Life, as we know it, has undoubtedly changed over the past few months. During this time, I find myself in a season of introspection. From experiencing a traumatic loss to fighting a never-ending battle with anxiety, self-doubt, and depression, I have encountered nearly every emotion known to man—all over the course of a few months. From mass hysteria to self-isolation, we all long for life to resemble something we once knew.
Life, as I knew it, would never be the same after December 1, 2019. In less than 48 hours, my water broke, I gave birth to my stillborn son, and I had an unexpected operation. I remember being eerily aware of everything that was happening to me.
Although he feigned calmness, I remember the concern in my husband’s eyes. I remember the soft touch of his hand on mine as I drifted in and out of sleep. I remember the repetitive beeping of the heart monitor—a sound that pierced through my eardrums like a shrill siren. I remember the dampness of my mother’s shirt from the tears I cried as she hugged me and rubbed my back. I remember feeling every single contraction. I remember the pain finally subsiding once I received my epidural. I remember my husband’s tears when the nurse said, ever so gently, “It’s a boy.”
I was present.
I was aware.
I remember everything.
One thing I didn’t feel—couldn’t handle—was the actual pain of our loss. I did, however, feel extreme exhaustion: physically and mentally. Making so many immediate decisions during a traumatic event is anything but easy. I couldn’t fully grasp the magnitude of what I went through. It didn’t seem real. That was until I got home…
No mother ever expects to be leaving the maternity ward without her newborn. Everything became real when I walked into our apartment and saw the nursery. It became real when I stayed in bed for days with the blinds closed and barely ate. When my breasts started leaking, and I had no baby to feed, it became real. It became real when the first person texted me to see how my pregnancy was going.
Through the muck and mire of it all, I clung to this Bible verse:
“I depend on God alone; I put my hope in him. He alone protects and saves me.” – Psalm 62: 5-6
Baby Boy West brought so much joy to my life, marriage, and family. Although it took some time for me to get back to regularly praying and studying the Word, that scripture carried me through my toughest moments. And while I will never get over the loss of my son, I am more than grateful that God chose me to be his mother. I’m thankful I had the chance to feel him kick and move. I am grateful that I was able to talk, sing, and bond with him. Even if it was only in my belly, our connection is something I’ll always cherish. For that, I can’t thank God enough.
So today, on April 18th, Baby Boy’s original due date, I have to thank God for bringing me to a place where I can pray, smile and laugh again. Life, as I once knew it, may be quite different. However, I know God has a plan for my life, and I trust Him completely.
Thank you, Baby Boy, for making me a mother. And, although I don’t deserve it, thank you, God, for your endless grace, mercy, and protection.