Today, as I type, it’s September 3, 2016.
I’m riding a train headed for the Brisbane International Airport. I’m USA bound.
People have been asking me a lot lately ‘Are you excited about your big trip?!’
And I’m not quite sure how to answer, because, yes, I am excited to experience the rich Native American culture in Sante Fe, New Mexico, the dreamy landscapes of Boulder, Colorado, the buzz and beauty of our big company convention in Salt Lake City, Utah…
Today, September 3, is the day that my little boy was due.
I imagine myself skinny and weak from Hyperemesis Gravidarum, but still with a large, round belly, housing a human. What would that feel like? To be nine months pregnant?
And then I touch my tummy, I look at my fleshy hips, which are no longer protruding offensively out into the world, and I’m thinking about what could of, would of, should of been.
I’m having a Sliding Doors moment.
Here we are, friends, placing a full stop upon this mighty 5-part series.
If you haven’t already, I recommend that you read Parts 1, 2, 3 & 4, which are all, in their own way, very sad blog posts. But today, I want to bring you some light as we conclude this story; the very light that poured into my life after we lost our boy.
You’ll remember that when my pregnancy came to an end, I was incredibly sick and weak after barely being able to hold a meal down for three months. My body was dehydrated and malnourished and my Spirit, traumatised.
Arriving home from the hospital after losing a baby is a very strange thing.
You left for the hospital, pregnant.
You come home, not.
You come home, bleeding.
There is a silence in the air.
The void is felt.
It’s difficult to speak words that matter or mean anything at all.
The next morning, when I woke up in his arms, I looked at my ex-partner, at the room, and I waited to feel sick. I didn’t. I sat up, and waited for the crippling nausea to roll in. It didn’t. And then it struck me.
‘Honey, I’m hungry.’
Hungry wasn’t something I’d felt for months. Food and eating and chewing and swallowing were all hell, because it all lead to one thing: vomiting.
‘What are you hungry for, honey?’
‘An acai bowl.’
And so that’s what we did. I rose, dressed, patted Layla, walked down to the car, and we drove to my favourite little cafe in Currumbin and ordered my favourite acai bowl covered in cacao and coconut and blueberries.
Sitting there in the sunshine, eating, being with him and Layla… it was so overwhelming. I just… I cried. I didn’t realise how rapidly I was dying until I was able to do the simplest of things. The sunshine felt so sweet and nourishing, I can’t even explain it. Before, the sun would touch my skin and I would recoil and vomit. But to just be… receiving… those rays, and lifting my head to the sun, and feeling my shoulders warm up, well, it’s bringing tears to my eyes just writing about it. I felt the Earth and the Sun wrap me up, and hold me. ‘We’ll look after you now.’
I was so ill during the pregnancy that I thought it would take months for me to feel better, but I can’t possibly articulate the rate in which my Spirit returned. And I felt it. I literally felt every cell in my body, alive, vibrating, living, rejoicing.
I felt rods of energy climb up my legs and help me to stand straight again.
Every single mouthful of food was a spiritual experience, often leaving me crying into my plate.
Laughing brought such ecstasy, and I think Layla was putting on a show to get more and more giggles out of me. ‘It’s so good to have you back, mama.’
What I learned about women during this time, is our capacity to hold all things, at once. I literally felt a diverse range of emotions bouncing around inside of me, with a different one rising to the surface every few minutes, with a simple destiny to just be felt and released.
Felt and released.
We hear this a lot in the personal growth world, don’t we?
Feel the feelings.
I thought I had that embodiment piece dialled, but now I understand that I was just thinking about feeling the feelings, because suddenly, in one minute I could pivot from releasing tears of pain over losing what we had fought for, to lifting my chin once more to the sun, and crying tears of joy. Thank you for teaching me how to love.
Grief. Relief. Grief. Relief.
My baby is gone.
My energy is returning.
But my baby is gone.
I can function again.
But my baby is gone.
Everything feels new and fresh and wonderful.
But my baby is gone.
I feel such immense amounts of love for every single being on the planet.
But at what cost? My fucking baby is gone.
The mind rallied to stay in grief and heartache, and part of me truly did want to do that, but there was something BIGGER happening. I literally just… couldn’t. I mean, I would grieve every day, every morning, in my spiritual practice. I would lower my forehead to the floor and ask ‘Why?’ and clutch at my belly and even ask him to come back to me… but after a few minutes, all that pain would truly disappear, and all that would be left, was…
I’m going to sound like such a wanker saying this, but, losing my baby was the catalyst for an awakening for me.
It’s always been not only a personal opinion of mine but an observation from direct experience, that the deeper we are plunged into the Underworld as a result of tragedy, grief, loss… the higher we are catapulted into the heavens here on Earth, so that we can bring back our boons; our gifts; our offerings of grace that suffering so intelligently bestowed upon us.
Because yes, my baby was gone, but – and please hear me when I say this – only from my body.
I still felt him in my energy field, in the world, above me, around me, and in many ways, still in my womb. I felt more connected to him after we lost him that I ever did when I was pregnant (HG women will often comment on their growing bub feeling more like a parasite that is sucking them dry then a growing human to love and adore).
The LOVE that rattled through my body was unspeakable, I would sit at the beach at sunrise, sobbing, tears falling to the sand, and my tears fell out of grief but also of gratitude because I have never felt love pumping through my veins as I did in those first few months after our loss.
Friends would ask me how I was. I would respond with saying: ‘My baby is pouring his light all over me.’ And he really was, I could FEEL it. I could feel the light, I could see the love, I felt as though I were being breathed and moved by him. I felt my chakras come to life, I felt empathy for every single person and creature on the planet. The Divine Mother energy in me was roaring and ever-ripening, despite the pregnancy ending and I just loved, loved, LOVED. Anything. Anyone.
When people say that there is a light at the end of the tunnel, I think this is what they mean.
There are days I feel inconsolable, because there are definitely ramifications for us in the future. It’s likely I will have HG again, and that, more so than the idea of losing another baby, is what is most frightening to us.
When babies leave, they leave so much grace behind. Pain and heartache, of course, but they also reach so deeply into their mother’s soul and leave such an imprint, without ever having been born. Even the babies who leave can change the world.
But all Hyperemesis Gravidarum does is destroy. Sickens. Kills. Maims.
We are afraid of that. It’s a beast that takes residence in your house and consumes every living thing there. It’s scary.
The doctors said to us:
‘Don’t worry, next time you’re pregnant, we’ll get you on anti-sick drugs, anti-depressants and steroids, immediately.’
I just blinked away tears of disbelief.
Really? Is that my only chance?
Today, my ‘job’ is to stay as present as I can, because the most painful question I find my mind returning to, is: ‘What if I live a childless existence?’ And that question is just too much to contemplate.
So instead, I focus on the everyday miracles that unfold in front of me, constantly.
I focus on nurturing and empowering my mother energy, which doesn’t need a child to be expressed and practiced and given. I funnel this love and care into Layla, into my beautiful team, and most importantly, mySelf. I have been mothering myself.
Losing a baby or a loved one or experiencing vast amounts of suffering cannot be comprehended or reconciled at the level of the mind, or with our physical senses. But if we can find the courage to look at our lives symbolically, if we can contemplate the role of Soul Contracts, if we can remember that we are still here, and we are still breathing, and our hearts are still beating… then maybe we can remember, just as I did when I felt the light of our boy’s soul cleanse and restore every inch of me, that on some level, it’s ALL a miracle.
My next tattoo is inspired by words from Rob Bell:
‘What can come, of even this?’
What, you beautiful Soul, indeed?
I still remember sitting in front of my laptop, booking this trip, on this date, as a symbol that he lives on and adventures on with me, by my side, in my heart. This very trip is an ode to him.
Finally, I recently listened to a Dear Sugar Radio podcast episode in which a mother who lost her son, and then subsequently, her marriage. She spiralled out of control and became suicidal. She imagined herself, dead, but eternal, and back with her son in the light, and what she saw was two outcomes.
He embraced her, smiling, and said: ‘Mum, I’m so proud of you!’
He embraced her, with sad eye eyes, and said: ‘Gee, mum, you weren’t supposed to die when I did.’
I know which of those outcomes I want to experience.
I want him to be proud of me.
All my love,
(And all my heart and all my Soul and all my pain and all my joy and all my revelation and all my unwavering gratitude to you, you and YOU)
PS: You are, as always, free and encouraged to share this article with your communities, tribe. It touches my heart when you do.
PPS: Thank you for being a part of this with me… I couldn’t have written these 20,000 some words without your support and presence.