But that’s easier heard than done, when you join the “loss parent” club. Losing a child is unnatural, out of order, should be impossible. I had given birth to my triplets [Narad, Shriyal and Jhanavi], 3 months premature, and three days later I lost my first baby. My triplet one, my son, Narad. With little room to grieve, I had to brave NICU, we had to brave NICU. When I look back at that year…how could it not define me? How could it not have changed me?
You can come back from a failed career, a failed relationship, from most of life’s trials, but I cannot see how you come back from losing a child. I certainly don’t believe I ever will. I do not identify with the girl I was before 8 February 2018. She had her fair share of problems, but she knew, she was incredibly blessed. Oddly enough, from a very young age she felt for people who had lost children more than anyone else, and she feared it. Perhaps she knew something. Who I am now, is completely different, forever changed, fundamentally broken. And here’s the hard part…I imagined that in a crisis that you would go through the motions in limbo, the funeral, the ceremonies, carried through by your support system. That happened. I then imagined that the harder part starts, when life just carries on. But I imagined that this meant that the sun would still rise and set, and the support group would get smaller. But I didn’t know that I would be alone. Alone when the worst thing in the world happened to me, right as the biggest thing was being asked of me. Alone when I was nesting and found the clothes I wore to his funeral. These things, the many secondary and tertiary losses, I did not imagine.
My husband and I got married so that we would have legitimate children ?. But I knew something was off. Blessed with a wonderful husband, we endured one year of monthly breakdowns each time I got my period, and our hearts sank. We then endured 1 and half years of fertility investigations and treatment, something far too many couples face. But we were one of the lucky ones, when our first shot at IUI took…and took well! We had three peas in a pod. We went through the nervousness and came full circle celebrating everyday by reading how the embryos were developing, to them actually! We named them, we celebrated them, we were thrilled. Then Christmas 2017 came, and I took strain. Everything in my body was telling me to slow down, but no one could see it, and I put it down to being a first time mum and ignorance. But then I just couldn’t anymore. I started hoping that I’d be induced at 33 weeks, and had to calm myself down. I alerted my clients to early maternity leave and self-prescribed bed rest. But I was too late. I had planned to spend that week of 5 February 2017 wrapping up work, and then go stay with my mum. But at 2pm on 5 February, my [well one of] water broke. I instantly broke down in tears. I was alone at home, but hubby fetched me within minutes. We were excited, they were coming, but I was a mess.
Perhaps I knew. The rest I remember in bits. I know the nurses found all three heart beats and the general feedback was that I would be kept in hospital and labour would be stalled. But then a doctor saw me [not my gynae, who was away] and he said that Jhanavi’s [triplet 3] heartbeat was weakening and we had to deliver immediately. I was frantic but calmed myself down because I wanted to be awake. And then…I heard His beautiful cry. And then all three of them were rushed off for intubation. I slept while waiting for hubby to return with photos. And when I saw them, I was bursting with pride. I was in a daze and really was not worried. See when I was pregnant, at one point it hit me, and I thought, how am I going to do this?! But then I let go completely and had complete faith in God. I realised that He enabled me to leave a bad job, He saw me through my first year of self-employment, He blessed me with these beautiful children, He would see me through this.
So when they told me that Narad had complications, and hubby asked me to pray; I rolled over in the hospital bed, groggy from morphine, and I said “He’s in Your hands, God” and slept soundly, restfully in my faith. I woke the next morning to my husband crying and wheeling me to NICU, where I held my son, who had already passed. I was not even with him when He left.
There was so little grace thereafter. Life just kept on asking of me. In hindsight I don’t know how we survived. Of course, our girls are our reason. I yo-yo between guilt and grief. Guilt when I delight in my girls and don’t grieve Him, guilt when I grieve Him, and don’t delight in my girls because I am engulfed in the grief. It is living hell. Just as I think I am gaining peace, it hits me like a ton of bricks, a proper heavy weight blow to my heart. I can physically feel how shattered my spirit is. The PTSD just gets worse, as I hear the advice I am not ready for, and the people I expected to be there for me, and need, don’t know how to. So, this is me now. This is mine to live with. I will never be happy again, but I have moments of happiness and pockets of joy. This is my growth assignment, and I will trudge on through it as best I can, because my girls and my husband deserve a good mother and wife.