The most difficult year of mothering yet.
This time last year, Moustapha and I just found out we were expecting. It was too early to have an ultrasound and to know if everything was going okay. But we knew we were pregnant. We’d been trying for a few months and tbh we were praying for a little girl. At our 9 week appointment, we got to see our little gummy bear, a strong heartbeat and all signs that he or she was doing great and growing as expected.
At 10 weeks, I could listen to the baby’s heartbeat at home. I did this most evenings. We had some blood work done around 10 weeks and got the results at our 13 week ultrasound.
We were told that our baby was a girl and she was growing perfectly. I loved that ultrasound so much. Our baby girl was dancing! Putting her hands to her mouth and gave me all the feels of a happy little baby!
We told the Els around this time but waited to tell them our baby’s sex until my 40th birthday. The kids were so excited to know either way and delighted to learn she was a she. 💗💗
After this, we treated the next three weeks as normal. We enjoyed family time and my baby bump continued to grow.
At just over 17 weeks, I couldn’t find her heartbeat at home. I was headed for my regular appointment the next morning and I didn’t let myself believe that she could be gone. But, the next day, my worst nightmare was confirmed. Our baby girl had passed, her heart had stopped beating. I now had to mother all of my children through a situation I never imagined for any of us. I had made promises to them- promises that they would hold their sister. Promises that we would be a family of seven. Promises of a life together.
This was not what I promised. But, I leaned on God and kept going. Should we let the Els see Mary-Linda? Hold her? We decided to let them decide. We had photos and when the Els arrived to the hospital the day Mary-Linda was born sleeping, we let the Els look at the photos first. We gave them the option to look and then if they wanted to see her after that, they could. And, if they wanted to hold her after that, they could. One by one, they made the decision. And we kept the promise that they would all be able to hold their sister.
It doesn’t stop there. I don’t get to mother Mary-Linda here on earth, the way I want to. But, losing her has changed the way I mother my other children. I don’t know if I’m doing it right. Is there even a right way to move through this? But, I haven’t stopped. I’m trying to love my children through it. I can’t say I’m looking forward to Mother’s Day this year. I can say I thank God for every single one of the precious souls who made me a mother.
Please know that I’m thinking of and praying for all of the mothers out there who’ve lost, who’ve longed for a baby on earth, who have loved ones in heaven. I’m thinking of you.