Began 12/16/08 @ 3:31pm
I don’t remember getting into the car to go home. I don’t remember what the weather was like that day or the amount of traffic on the roads. I don’t remember the conversation that occurred in the vehicle, if any happened. I don’t remember where my partner was, my family members, or my mom driving to the house. However, I do remember Feb. 26, 2004 very clearly. I do remember coming home, in my maternity wear, but not being with child. I do remember crawling into bed, pulling the covers over my head and wondering “What happened to the past 24 hours of my life?!” I do remember her. I do remember… every day… I do remember her.
On Feb. 26, 2004, I gave birth to a beautiful baby girl, named Jamayka Jade. She had brown skin, like her parents and dark black hair. She was small and detailed, like a baby doll found at a local Toys-R-Us. However, she wasn’t alive. She had died due to premature labor, per “Incompetent Cervix” ruling by my OBGYN physician. She was born at 5 1/2 months, i.e. 26 weeks, too early to be fully developed and functional. Jamayka had begun to form and I remember looking at her non-moving body, with a pink crocheted shawl and hat on her as placed by the nurses, and thinking, “How freakin’ surreal is this?!”
Healing, as defined in the encarta.com dictionary, is “a noun; the process of curing or becoming well.” I am continuing to heal… cure… become well. Every morning is the dawn of redemption and growth. Every day is a chance for me to continue my wellness and acceptance of my loss. Throughout this process of 4 years, I have found myself dividing my life into 2 phases… “Before I was pregnant” and “After I was pregnant.” My life is a book, only given 2 chapters in my mind, which causes a disservice to all the other chapters or characters in my life. Unfortunately, I’m still unable to completely rewrite my story.
Over the past 4 years, I have found multiple sources or actions that have allowed for spiritual, emotional, and mental healing. Please be aware that healing does not equal “being okay with it.” Healing, to me, equals unresolved acceptance and inclusion of my past into my present and future. The sources are as follows and described impact they have brought to my life.
God: My spiritual walk has been a huge part of my healing journey. While I have yet to understand or fully accept what has happened, my continued faith in God and faith in His Ultimate Plan has given me reason to keep going. In the book of Isaiah, NKJ version of the Holy Bible, chapter 55 verses 8-9, it states “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, said the Lord; For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.” I cannot, in the largest mind, comprehend the path that has been given to me through Christ. I cannot comprehend His thought processes or “bigger picture” that He can see. I can only see and live what I see and do every day. Knowing that there is a bigger plan than my own personal plan gives me some type of hope that ONE DAY, I will understand and know. All I know is that I do love God, I trust Him, and I believe in Him and His “higher ways.” I’m thankful and blessed that I don’t know my future or reasons for my past. I’m glad to know that I do not hold my entire destiny in the palms of my hands. I’m blessed to have a God, a Jesus that loves me for me and accepts me for who I am… flaws and all. Knowing that there is a God who wants the best for me, even though I am selfish and want to know why certain situations happen to me, gives me a strange and unidentified peace and hope for my continued healing.
Family: Certain members of my family have been a substantial part of my healing. For instance, my mother has been a big source of strength for me. She had a miscarriage due to an ectopic pregnancy many years ago, which actually led to the international adoption of me! Even though she and I do not discuss it on a regular basis, I do know that she remembers Jamayka just as vividly and intensely as I do. I do know that my mother hurts for me and with me because I had to endure that struggle and continue to endure with the memory of Jamayka every day, every holiday, every anniversary of her death, and every anniversary of her due date. My mother does know, and at times verbalizes my pain, hurt, bitterness, resentment, anger, confusion, and goal of 100% healing acceptance. For that, I’m thankful.
Friends: Both during the time of my loss, afterwards, and now, I am blessed to have a wonderful social network around me that loves me, cares for me, prays with and for me, and accepts me for who I am. My friends were and are the individuals who stood by me and still hold my hand and wipe my tears as I frequently bring up Jamayka’s memory and birth. My friends were and are the individuals who allowed me to be pissed off, vent, sulk, cry, rage, and feel jealousy about other family and friends’ pregnancies and babies. I know that to someone randomly reading this, my jealousy and somewhat frustration is odd when referring to the birth of a child; however, when you experience a loss, anger and bargaining is part of the healing process. Granted, I’ve never expressed these emotions openly to those individuals, but I did allow for a small grieving period for myself each time I heard the words, “I’m pregnant!” My friends have provided stability and strength when I could not otherwise make it. They have given me space for grieving, patience when regressing, and most importantly, a shoulder to cry on.
Time: Time can either be your enemy or your BFF. Enemy, in that you cannot speed it up when you want it to, stop it when you need a break, or rewind it when you feel regret. BFF, in that you can find healing and relief through the slots of time given to you as you face each day, week, month, year, and ultimately… years (with an ‘s’). Time doesn’t show favoritism, as it works and moves at its own pace, a somewhat deity of its own, holding no prisoners for those left behind. Time opens up new blessings, doors, and mercies every day, as God describes, allowing for new creations, provisions and grace at every rising of the sun. Right now, Time and I are on pretty good terms. Not quite BFF’s yet, but not my complete nemesis anymore either. So, to you, Time, I raise my glass and say, “Touché!”
In my eyes, I see healing as a recipe. There are many “ingredients” to contributing to your healing. One may be love, another anger, another peace, another family and friends, another spiritual belief systems, etc. Each ingredient on its own cannot produce the same result or finished product. Alone, the ingredient is just a part of a bigger whole. However, when you add them, mix them all together; they can create a bigger and finished product that equals healing. Some ingredients may be more utilized than others, may use more or less of each than others, may “taste” better standing alone than others, but eventually, that ingredient will need the others to continue the recipe process.
My personal recipe of “Suzanne’s Healing Special” is not quite finished. I’m still allowing for some ingredients to simmer or bake, while others have already been thrown into the mix. One day, I will pull the most magnificent product from my proverbial oven, after having been mixed, stirred, processed, baked, cooled and sampled… Then, using my finished product, I’ll taste and enjoy it, remembering all the work and dedication it took to make this product. I’ll cut it up and divide it among my family and friends to enjoy, showing appreciation and gratitude for helping me create my recipe during this process… always remembering its meaning and importance in my life.
So, to you, the reader in cyberspace, I challenge you to start your own healing recipe, mixed in with your personal ingredients, with the hopes that soon, one day, you will see your hard work come to fruition as well.
Love, peace, and hope…
Finished 1/6/09 @ 11:40pm