One of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do was let go of who I used to be.
When my son died, I kept waiting to return to the old me. I was six months pregnant when I gave birth to him. The three or four more months following, my body seemed to progress as if I were still pregnant. So I thought maybe after it catches up with the birth that was no more, I would go back to the old me. But it never happened.
Then I thought maybe I would go back to the old me after my emergency C-section scar healed. It healed rather nicely too. At least on the outside. But then one day while receiving a spa treatment the technician saw my scar and said with excitement, “Oh wow they did a great job! How old is your baby?” And just like that… that wound was raw and bleeding profusely. Once again, I couldn’t go back.
Hmmmm… Maybe I’ll go back to the old me when we have another baby.
For years we tried. We did lots of temperature taking, ovulation predicting, scheduled baby dancing… but still, nothing. I had purchased one of those ovulation watch contraptions. I ran out to the store one day while mistakenly wearing it and someone asked me for the time. When I looked down I realized that I too had no clue of the time.
Sorry, this is no ordinary watch. Let me take this thing off. It’s not helping me to go back.
Time went on and I kept waiting.
I know she’s in there. I hope she’s in there. At some point I will return to the old me. The person who wasn’t constantly reminded of what was or who was to be. She’ll come back.
I wanted the girl who didn’t have to think so hard before answering a question. I wanted the girl who didn’t carry a bubble of emotions waiting to burst. Where is the girl with the heart that isn’t shattered? The bleeding needs to stop. I want to go back to old me. She’ll come back. Will she?
I got home one evening and became extremely sick.
When my husband saw me he immediately said, “You’re pregnant!” Wait, is this it? After confirming the pregnancy I thought to myself, “Yes! I will become the old me again.” But as my pregnancy progressed I was asked repeatedly, “Is this your first child?” *long sigh* Well, no it isn’t. It’s actually my second.
Here I am pregnant and the world will not allow me to go back.
Well OK. Maybe I’ll go back to the old me when my son arrives. He’s such a bundle of joy. Surely having him in my life will return it to a place of normalcy.
While at the playground one day someone asked, “Is he your only child?” I paused. I wanted to scream and silence the noise that was constantly reminding me. But instead I proceeded to share my story. My truth.
No ma’am, he’s not my only child. He’s actually my second.
My life has been forever changed. The little boy that you see had a big brother. His name was Colby. And I’ll never forget him. I can never forget him.
Honestly, I tried for so long to return to life B.C. (Before Colby). But to do so would require his complete erasure. I would have to live as if he never existed. I can’t do that. As his mommy, I can not do that. It’s impossible to go back.
My body will never be the same.
I’ve given birth to two children. I will never walk by the children’s section and not imagine shopping for my first born. His continued growth is a part of my life. When sharing the pride of being given a second chance at mommyhood, I’ll never forget that it is indeed my second time.
It doesn’t matter how hard I try, I can’t go back. As a matter of fact, why should I?!
I view the world a little differently now. Landing in this place of healing has brought an unimaginable level of compassion. The cracks in my heart have been filled with an unyielding love for others. My words are softer and my hugs are tighter. I am not the same.
My thoughts are consumed by ways to give life. My experience with death has driven me to pursue life with purpose and passion. There is no going back.
Welcome to W.C. This is my life WITH Colby!
The truth is I’ll never be the same.
And that’s ok.
Kierra Sunae’ is an infant loss advocate committed to supporting families on their healing journey of life after infant death. As a wife and mom who has triumphed over tragedy, she is a ray of sunshine determined to make grieving hearts smile again… one footprint at a time.