MAMADEE's Blog: SP Day 5131
Hello fellow Sparklers!
Pardon Me While I Ponder the Mother Who Could Never Be
There are some cultures in the world today that honor the life of the unborn child by seeing the newborn child as one already a year old. I wish everyone would honor life that way. Born or not, a child’s life is always important, and always a part of the mother’s heart in ways nothing else can be. Life is so very precious! Loss of life is so very tragic!
In my heart, that loss gets a lot of heart-space. Some days, like today, May 7, 2020 it feels like it takes up all my heart. Some years ago I made myself focus on this one particular day to take some time, be kinder to myself, do things that felt good for me, supported me, and allowed me to honor something that was but now can never be: the Mother of all the babies I’ve ‘lost’ that never got the chance to grow up and be somebody. The Mother Who Could Never Be!
Nine different times in my life babies were conceived, sometimes in multiples. Five of those times no baby ever came home to grow up and live a life like most people. Three of the other four times I had survivors, but I also had babies that would never come home. Their lives were over at a very, very young age before their birth.
Except for maybe one! Katie-Sarah was born into this world at just 19 weeks, 6 days, 23 hours & 45 minutes! If there was any possible means I knew then to have stalled that moment for just 16 minutes I certainly would have! For in my culture, the unborn child is not considered a life until they hit that 20-week mark in gestation! There is no birth certificate. There is no death certificate. There is no legal way to recognize that life at all. Even to bury her would require a lengthy process to get the proper permissions from the authorities that governed such things! In that world Katie-Sarah never existed!
Yet, as I held her lifeless body, as small as it was, her hair was red, most definitely! Her beautiful face was so delicate. I imagined her eyes were green, though they were still closed. In her facial features I could clearly see other family members. Her ten tiny fingers seemed so long ~ maybe she’d play piano someday. From her ten little toes to her red, slightly curly hair, she seemed so very perfect: all 11 ounces and 9 inches of her! In my world she most definitely existed! In my world she most definitely held a place of honor. In my world she will never be forgotten!
Neither will nine other siblings of little Miss Katie-Sarah! In the nine different times that I was pregnant, five times no baby would come home to grow up and life a full life. Four times I was expecting just one baby, like Katie-Sarah. Four times I was expecting twins: 2 of which both babies died and twice I lost one baby but was able to bring the other baby home to cherish. The ninth time surprised everyone!
That last pregnancy was twins doubled! A rare set of quadruplets with two pairs of identical twins! A pair of boys. A pair of girls. A terrified mom praying not to lose another baby! The details are not what this little story is about, so I’ll simply say we did lose one. My tenth baby to never come home. My tenth baby that I’ll never get to Mother like the six who survived!
All ten rightfully deserve their day to be remembered. But the memories of these ten are so powerful that a single day is never enough. There are days leading up to that day. There are days coming after that day. Then there is the twinge that hits every month on that date that they died. Sometimes it will hit on every day of the week that they died. The losses of our loved ones – babies, children, parents, friends, family, etc. – are not ‘moments’ in time. It doesn’t just happen once and is never again mentioned or thought about.
Still, it IS different for our babies born too soon or not yet born when they died. Many will never speak of them again! For some it is even forbidden to mention anything about them! Until it happened to me, I had no idea it had also happened to so many of my friends and family! They didn’t talk about it, at all! Telling me about it, for most, was a one-time deal; something to show they understood what I was going through.
I have loved being a Mother to my six survivors! Even so, three of them are the exact image of a baby that I cannot Mother. Knowing there are seven more that I can never Mother breaks my heart over, and over again. For my own survival, and sanity, I simply HAD to choose ONE DAY to allow myself to remember them! ONE DAY to do what I needed for me; to remember them and show honor for their very short life & to be able to continue being a Mother to the six equally precious babies that did grow up and go on now living full lives!
It’s ONE DAY for me to, just a little bit, be… “The Mother Who Could Never Be.”
By Andee Dunn
May 7, 2020
Til next time,