A Private Sorrow

I have a sadness buried deep within my heart. It’s a private sorrow shared by many of us who don’t realize how we are ultimately connected, sisters in grief. Last year, just a week before Mother’s day, I had a miscarriage.

I’m one of the lucky ones who has been already blessed with two children Alhumdulillah. Each time before, I got pregnant months, even weeks, within ‘deciding’ that we wanted a child. I was foolish and arrogant enough to think that it was up to us, specifically up to me, to think I had any part in this miracle. After trying for almost a year, the prospect of a third child seemed harder to attain. And as usual, the more a person wants something, the harder it is to achieve. I became frustrated, pessimistic, even stressed–time was passing by and I was getting older. Having gotten married later in life made me want to speed up the ‘happily ever after part’. It seemed everything was working against me until finally that little plus sign showed up.

Being pregnant twice before I knew the symptoms. Again, arrogance led me to assume that a positive pregnancy test automatically leads to a baby. Five weeks later, after a much anticipated and wonderfully memorable family vacation, I had an appointment with the doctor. The heartbeat that appeared just a week earlier was now gone.

Did I overdo it on vacation? Was I too careless with this pregnancy? It must be my fault of course. I took things for granted thinking I had control over my life, over my body. After days of cramping and bleeding, sobbing as pieces of my dream were being shattered, I tried to come to terms with what was happening.

No one could understand my silent suffering. My husband tried to be supportive, but was going through his own grief. ‘We’ll try again’ and ‘We have two beautiful children we should be thankful for’ were the words coming out of his mouth, but I couldn’t understand them. I felt ashamed for having failed as a woman and as a mother. My body was working against me, and my unborn child. I was going through phases of guilt, grief, shame, loss, cycling over and over.

And then came the thought, how do I grieve this child that never was, who no one even knew existed? In my heart, I would pray janaza for this baby. In my head, I would imagine him or her in Jannah waiting for the rest of her family. With my hands, I donated to Islamic Relief in the name of orphans who were motherless to help me come to terms. And with my eyes, I took in my two beautiful children who never realized what a miracle they were to their mama. And I started to understand, just as I had done before in difficult, trying times in my life: everything happens according to the will of Allah (swt) and there is always a blessing in it. I recited “Surely we belong to Allah and to Him shall we return”,  finding solace in the words of the Quran.

I opened up and talked to my sister, who had been through similar circumstances, a few times over. I spoke with my dear friend, who after trying for years, countless fertility and IVF treatments and multiple miscarriages, was able to naturally conceive, not one or even two, but three beautiful children. I spoke with other friends who either have been through similar situations themselves, or have been the product of difficult or delayed pregnancies. I found out that despite the silence, I’m not alone.

Today, my heart and prayers go out to the women who are so desperately trying to fulfill that dream of a baby. For those who are mothers from their hearts if not from their bodies.  My sympathy is for the mothers who have had difficult pregnancies and as a result, might be dealing with circumstances that they never expected. I am one of them and I know how strong we can be. My respect goes out to the moms who don’t stop fighting, working, praying tirelessly for their children and showing them what true love and devotion is. My tears and patience go to the mothers across the world who are suffering the loss of their children. My love and admiration goes out to our mothers, who struggled with a new country and way of life, leaving their own mothers behind hoping to give their children a better life.

I am thankful to have my mother and to be a mother. And I hope and pray, and submit to Allah’s (swt) will as I wait for my little ones to arrive in October, inshAllah.

 Anonymous, Chicago Il.

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