Apr 17, 2016

Mother of an Angel Baby

Sometimes it makes me angry that my partner has a healthy, smart and beautiful daughter. 
Perhaps that’s a harsh statement.  But it's the truth. 
And if you'd like to know why I said that, I will need to take you to travel to seven years ago.
I remember my frozen feet.  The painkiller had worked numbing my back and belly. The cramp had disappeared. Leaving just me. And my feet.
I remember the doctor telling me: "Please pray according to your beliefs, Ma'am. I am sorry you may have lost your baby."

I remember looking at him trying to find something wrong with his words. I told him he was wrong.

He was.

And the next morning, I gave birth.

I gave birth. Contractions and dilation. And all that.

I gave birth.
To the smallest wonderful being that's half the size of my palm. He was 15 weeks old. I hold him as I bawled my eyes. As if my tears would wake him up.

I blacked out the next few hours. But I do remember the Operating Theatre, being introduced to the anesthetist, and thinking what I would be doing if I were not in the surgery room  Having a pedicure? But not this time. This time was a curettage
"We will need to make sure that everything is clean, and no more tissues or non-formed organs left." they told me.
But all I hear was "We need to make sure that your baby is really dead."

My cheeky nephew was a two-year-old baby at the time. And he was one of the first to greet me when I was wheeled into the recovery room a few hours later.

He ran towards me and I opened my arms to hold him tightly. My Mum, my then husband, and his Mother  panicked. They thought Joseph would hurt me. Hearing their loud shrieks, he burst into tears, thinking he had done something wrong. 

At that time, I felt I had every reason to be angry. So angry I was.

I put the tearful Joseph onto the sofa and I yelled at my Mum, my then husband, and his mother and, well, everybody in the waiting room:

"Quiet please! Joseph was just trying to cheer me up! I have no more baby to lose anyway!"

And like opening a Pandora’s Box, my latent anger was born.

Every day since, I have succeeded in finding a reason to be angry:  Why me? Why did I miscarry and lose a baby? My baby. What did I do wrong? And to make it worse, it always felt that people blamed me for my loss.

Fast forward to my first year in my new home of Bali, when I confidently declared that I had moved on from my divorce. But little did I know that I have never move on from the miscarriage.

Last January, I found a half-dead puppy abandoned on beach. I rescued her and cared for her for a few days while searching for adoptive parents that could provide her with a safe future . But she did not make it.

I came home late from work one night greeted by my other two dogs’ loud barking, and her tiny cold, stiff body. My heart stopped.

My feet turned cold. Again. The same coldness I felt seven years ago. I cried my lungs out calling her name. I called my partner on my phone, hysterically telling him what happened. It took some time for him to  calm me down and me to catch my breath. 
Same with my tears over my baby seven years ago, my tears did not wake Snoopy.

After I managed to calm myself, I buried Snoopy (the name I had given the adopted puppy, because of her white body and black markings) in my backyard. With a small shovel I scooped away the wet earth. I scraped a shallow grave where I lay her down, wrapped in the same scarf of mine that she used to snuggle in the past days, placed stones on top to prevent wild animals from desecrating her grave.

I buried her in front of my bedroom window. It was like burying my own baby.  
Now I realise it was not only about Snoopy.

It was about something deeper, darker, and more painful that I have managed to hide so carefully in between my smiles, successes and existence as a strong independent woman. Snoopy's death reminds me of the loss of my own baby. Of how small and cold he was. Of all the "What ifs." that has been madly playing in my head.

This sounds strange. Memories of what I did not do seven years ago resurfaced. I did not talk about it with my ex-husband, I refused to join a support group, I never prayed about this particular pain. I did not give him a proper funeral. Maybe I should have?

I bawled my eyes out that night. Thinking of Snoopy, and thinking of my unborn baby. I pictured his eyes, his hair and his smile. I imagine what his likes and dislikes are. 
"Will you love the beach? Can you name all the stars?" 
I read him poetry.  I sing him The Beatles' "If I Fell"
I sing him Sinatra's "I've got a crush on you"
I imagine telling him about my own life, describing my dogs Marilyn and Mahoni and how jealous I am of my partner, with his healthy, smart and beautiful daughter..

I told my baby about his step-sister. And how she loves unicorns and dragons too. Like me.

Told him how they will get along, like brother and sister, right from the start.

Then I asked my baby to wish me well... So that I will share this love I have been keeping for him, with his sister.
And maybe someday... with another baby of my own.

I cried myself to sleep. Thinking of him, smiling at me. And for the first time in seven years I could pray about him and say goodbye.
My feet feel warm.

ps: My letter to him a few years ago


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