The River of my life
January 25, 2015
My son River would have been born today.
This is the hardest article I will have to write to date. But this is my way to deal with the tragedy, which is the loss of an unborn child.
* * * * *
When I held that positive pregnancy test in my hand nine months ago, I wasn’t even shocked.
I wasn’t even in disbelief.
Although this pregnancy wasn’t planned at all, it felt like I was already prepared for it.
Somewhere deep inside me I found a strength I had never felt before. Worries flew out of the window effortlessly, there were more important things to focus on rather that insecurity or fear. I felt a purpose, I felt needed. Some tiny soul needed me to care about my health to safely grow his body inside mine.
As the weeks went by, I grew to love the feeling of my body changing.
I loved to feel every single cell in my body expanding. Burning even. Like fire.
I loved to feel energy, the power of life in each muscle, vein, bones, skin, … everywhere.
And although my body was aching, my muscles were burning & I was pretty exhausted from producing and dealing with all that energy, I felt the power of a mother growing her child. And it made me the proudest version of myself I had ever been.
But there was something I wasn’t prepared for.
The person who provided that Y chromosome, someone I deeply cared about, didn’t want the baby. Didn’t want him with a passion. He feared it would ruin his life. The one person I trusted gave me only one option: abortion.
And when my heart broke, I broke.
I went through agonizing panic attacks, sleepless nights, you name it. I felt alone, helpless, and all the beautiful power I had experienced before turned into an overbearingly crushing weight tearing my soul to pieces. I had suicidal thoughts.
Sadly, I was not able to keep my baby, which I lovingly carried for so many proud weeks.
With each agonizing day of cramps and losing an insane amount of blood I was dramatically reminded of the fact that the life that I had grown inside my body had gone. The fire had extinguished. The life I was supposed to protect, the life I was ready to protect with my own life, had died. That meant I had failed. Failed to protect, failed as a mother, failed as a human being.
And that one person I thought would have been relieved.. he left and never came back.
I was completely devastated. Empty and heartbroken. But after about three weeks of excruciating suffering, and one very embarrassing public meltdown later, I decided that I could not blame him for my misery. We all have our struggles and fears, but we are all responsible for our own happiness. And I would not allow this to ruin my life.
Holding on to anger & feelings of revenge and self pity doesn’t help you to get back to happiness. Accepting circumstances and other people for who they are does. Letting go of expectations does. Achievements, strength and pride in yourself does. Looking forward instead of backwards does.
* * * * *
With every day of recovery I started to take more care of my body and my soul. I began to work out like crazy. Sweat and tears. I cannot tell you enough how much the weekly hikes up the Grouse Grind saved me. The nightly 8k runs. The dancing lessons. The blogging. I really tried hard to enjoy and cherish my life with every breath I took, every morning I woke, every smile I could give. You know why?
Because my son was never able to live his life – but I still am.
As hard as it is sometimes, I am alive. Alive and able to turn the days I am given into the best days I can!
* * * * *
As this story is now written and out of my heart, I hope it may give others the strength to go through loss or breakups with faith and trust in yourself. No matter how deep the pain, it *will* get better if you just keep trying to get up, take one day at a time, and feel proud for being strong enough to go through your struggle! Try to not judge others, no matter how they treat you, as they may go through hard times as well. You alone can decide to let this wreck you and feel helpless – or to actively work for it and get your happiness back. There will always be some pain, but the stronger you get the more manageable it will become. And I *promise* you will smile again one day.
You know what makes me smile today? The experienced to have loved so much. And to be able to love again. Here’s to River, that beating heart inside my body. Here’s to the power of life, forgiveness, and strength. You can let loss & disappointment defeat you, or you can use it to become stronger. The latter seems to be so much more effort, but let me tell you – with every single beat of my living heart –
It is SO worth it!