As I close my eyes it all comes running back to me. A memory soo painful yet deeply etched in me for ever.
It might have been an ordinary day for you but for me it was special. The happiness was so big that it was becoming impossible to contain it. Am I dreaming?
Is it real?
Is it really happening?
Of course it was, but it was taking time to sink in. Never in my life before have 2 lines seemed any more meaningful. I was going to be a Mom. I wanted to run to the rooftop and shout it out at the top of my voice.
I WILL BE A MOM!!!!!
It was something that I had always dreamt of.
There is something about babies that makes you want to have them, to hold them, to love them, to cuddle them! I guess my hormones had already started doing their job. For the first few days I was happy, excited, jumping with joy then a strange feeling took over me.
An individual….a part of me……Gratitude!
A week later I called my family and shared my good news. Blessing and Congrats starting pouring via phone calls, emails and texts since most of my family was away….in other parts of the world. Luckily my sister lived a few hours away. As I shared my good news, we mutually decided that she would come over the weekend for a sweet celebration. Lets just say I couldn’t wait to meet her, to ask her all the teeny weeny details of being a mom from the precautions to take to the handling of morning sickness to the pregnancy woes and of course the dreaded weight gain (biggest worry)…
Yes, you can imagine there was a lot to discuss.
Finally the day came and I wore my favorite outfit and got ready. The table was set and I finally sat on the couch thinking what will I discuss first?? Maybe I will start with just hugging her or maybe I should waste no time and directly ask the questions. I was ready to have the talk or better yet super excited to have one.
But I never got to talk the talk.
Before she arrived I started to bleed. Initially it was just a few spots of blood. Like any other person in today’s internet age I googled fanatically. What was wrong? I was a doctor myself, but at that moment I was just a mother who wanted to be told it was all ok. That nothing was wrong. My baby was safe. Please be SAFE!
My sister came, but instead of laughter and hugs I ran outside and we rushed to the hospital . A few hours and some bleeding later it was all over. The chapter of motherhood that I had just started to write was ripped out from my book of life. I came back home to flowers, balloons and a baby book that my sister had brought so lovingly. They looked sad. As I held the baby book something inside me broke and I began to cry hysterically.
It was all over.
The human mind works in strange ways. I knew about miscarriage, first trimester losses, how they are very common and mostly they have no explanation, in a few cases either chromosomal or genetic defects in the growing embryo or occasionally the anatomical defects. I knew that none of it was my fault but my mind refused to believe it.
It’s strange that human beings are the most intelligent species but in situations like these where there is no answer…..no explanation, our intelligence is nowhere to be found. The easiest way to overcome grief is to place the blame on something or someone. Usually when we cannot find that something or someone, we blame ourselves. And so did I.
Then started the brain racking…..
“Maybe I shouldn’t have walked that far….but I walk the same distance everyday….No!!! I should have walked AT ALL”…Was it the walk???
” Maybe I didn’t drink enough water”……Was it the water??
” I took the train, I shouldn’t have taken the train. It did feel bumpy, didn’t it???” Was it the train??
” I shouldn’t have worn high heels…..Yeah!!!…. My mom told me not to wear high heels. Maybe its the high heels…..Wait….I don’t even own high heels….
AAAAAGGHHHH!!!! What was the reason???
No matter how lame the excuse was, I was ready to accept that it was I, me, myself who had to be reprimanded for my acts.
As I look back now I realize how naïve I was. I spent that dark phase of my life crying and blaming myself for something I had no control over. Unfortunately this is how we cope with grief. It is not how we should cope, but actually what we have taught ourselves to do.
There are numerous occasions in our life where things go wrong and there is no single answer and no one to blame.
Big situations like a marriage that failed…. an accident…..a financial crunch…..losing a loved one….a health situation or even small ones like a job interview….a friendship….an exam.
It’s just how life works. But we have taught ourselves that every time such a situation comes, we must go down that rabbit hole. We have to play the blame game. I must have done something wrong that is why I am being punished.
Situations where there is someone or something to blame, no matter how painful are still easy to process. You have a target and you can vent your anger or unload your feelings and move on feeling lighter. But the real challenge lies in situations where there is no answer.
Who to blame??
Who to target???
What to do??
We take the blame ourselves and go down the whirlpool of guilt, swirling down the drain of emotions, slowly….painfully we torture ourselves, we kill our happiness….our smiles….. our good memories….. our friendships….. our existence… Till it’s just us and our ugly guilt face to face. The pain helps to ease the loss. The time heals the rest.
But, there is another way…..
A much harder yet less painful way. A path which will seem blurry initially but as you keep on walking it will light up.
That path is a 4 lettered word …..
It is also the path of belief. An unseen staircase where new steps are added every second. Where you learn that situations come and go but life does not stop. Yes it might break you initially, yes it might seem difficult but it will give you enough energy to not only get up but also be strong and move on. You will learn to live, to thrive, to find new doors with new opportunities waiting to be opened only by you. You will learn that you are not to be blamed because you are as good as you could be.
“You did your part, Life did theirs”.
You will find happiness in much smaller things as your garden of gratitude will thrive and prosper. Sometimes even the most toughest situations will not daunt you. It takes real courage to take that path but once you do the dark skies will start opening up and the rays of “I can do it” will start peeping through.
I’m not saying that life will be a bed of roses or full of butterflies and rainbows, or even an empty road where you can drive in any direction or at any speed you want because that would be stretching it a bit too far. All I am saying is that Hope is like an airbag in your car. At the moment of crash it balloons up and shields you to decrease the impact for just those few moments of your life when you are unable to comprehend but ultimately it is you yourself who has to get up and figure out the way.
We all have a way!
(…….In conversation with my sister)