Today is International Bereaved Mother’s Day, and I’m thinking of my missing children who will never be here to bring me cards and spend the day with me. But I also want to share an update on my newest miracle and how my journey has taken a positive turn despite the grief that will forever be a part of my life.
My darling baby girl Jaya arrived on Thursday April 6th at 9:36am weighing 6 pounds 12 ounces. I delivered her after hours of rigorous labour with pitocin, an epidural, artificial rupturing of the membranes and fentanyl. It was such hard work, but it was amazing. I felt alive.
I couldn’t post anything up until now as these last few weeks were a total blur, and also because I wanted to let my emotions settle. I have felt everything on the spectrum and it felt like a big jumble in my head. But I feel like I can start to string sentences together again so here I am.
Birthing Jaya was a surreal experience. I lifted her onto my chest and the rush of love I felt, and relief, and victory (which is what Jaya means!) was absolutely incredible. I felt like I was lost at sea and having her finally in my arms was like staggering on to a rescue boat. I feel gratitude and safety and I haven’t felt that in such a long time.
Jaya looks remarkably like her brothers; the same furrowed brow, tiny mouth and pointy chin. She has lots of hair like Manav did and long eyelashes like Avi. I see all my children when I look at her. It has been triggering as well though – when she opens one eye only it reminds me of how Manav was born with one eye open. Or when she sleeps with her mouth hanging open…or when her face is scrunched up…it is all Manav. I can’t decide if it’s a comfort or a curse.
My grief has resurfaced in different ways since her arrival too. Holding a fresh newborn minutes after birth took me back to my brief hours that I had Manav in my arms. They smelled the same, they were both warm and soft against my chest. While I have been enjoying baths, feeds and snuggling Jaya to sleep, I have ached inside as I didn’t get to do that with Manav. It hurts so much but I often don’t have the words to even express that pain.
I also feel delirious with joy…Jaya has unlocked a part of my heart that has been sealed for so long; my excitement I had for a sibling for Avi when I was pregnant with Manav never surfaced until now. I can exhale again. There is sunlight again. I can live again…sometimes I feel guilty about it but I try to think of Jaya’s arrival as a gift from Manav.
I am so thankful my pregnancy is over. I’m so glad my birth was not traumatic. My Avinash is so happy he’s a big brother and I feel so relieved and proud to give him a sibling he can keep. I feel a bit unprepared for life with a newborn; I think I was so convinced that this story would end in tragedy that I refused to dream about this being my reality. It is so much more beautiful than even my wildest dreams.
Thank you Jaya, for joining our little family.