A Mother's Call of Duty
The journey through pregnancy is a difficult one for most of us as moms. Whether it is the morning sickness, the strange cravings for things such as soap, the memory of loss or generally having to accommodate our bodies going through so many changes physically, mentally, physiologically and emotionally. We even start to think of all the things that we know that can go wrong or have gone wrong in the past. Then there is YouTube, Google, Facebook and Instagram that are littered with a plethora of images, videos and heart-felt stories that can educate, excite and scare the placenta right out of you! All these thoughts can make you feel like halting that bun in the oven all together, because you've now decided that you are not mentally prepared for an inevitable grand finale that has suddenly come into full-view. Then it finally happens. You go into labour or you're induced or you go under the knife, whatever the case may be and you survive. You finally experience the miracle of child birth and live happily ever after. The End. Or so you think.
This child has needs and very needy needs too. This child needs to eat and needs to eat from all things sterile, which more than likely means that mommy needs to make everything sterile. This child needs to be burped, this child needs to be cleaned, this child needs to sleep for more than the blink of an eye and this child needs to cry for no apparent reason at all! This child then starts to grow, then starts to smile and warm your heart, then starts to crawl and play about. You watch this child through each stage of development and watch them hit every milestone.
Then there are times when you have to watch them go through things that you wish you could take from them instead. You see them battle illness as you helplessly stand by the sidelines. You see them boiling with fever and the meds are just not reducing it quick enough. You're trapped between rushing them to a hospital that moves at a snail's pace or sponging them down and sticking to your doctor's advice. All in all, you've seen them through multiple ear infections, throat infection, chest infection, upper respiratory tract infection, influenza, tonsilitis, bronchiolitis, pneumonia, seizures, hand foot and mouth disease and the list goes on. This is life after pregnancy as you've never heard it. Your fridge is constantly stocked with meds like a 24-hour Momplex pharmacy.
As mothers, we feel innately responsible for the care and protection of our young. So when we are rendered helpless during these times of sickness and disease, we feel like we have failed our children, even when logic dictates otherwise. Unfortunately, some mothers feel it the hardest when their children are snuffed away in the middle of the night by SIDS at nine months, or after months of treatment by stage 4 cancer at age four, or by asthma at age twelve or some other means that we had very little or no control over. It was our duty to protect them, to take care of them, to shield them from death's arrows, to keep them alive, wasn't it? Why would they be given to us for us to invest so much time, energy, love and loving memories in them, only for them to just live on in our hearts and on Facebook?
I wish I knew these answers and I wish I had the right words to say to these mothers. Only God knows why he loan these children to us for such a time as this, but in honour of SIDS awareness month and Pregnancy and Infant Loss awareness month, we honour the brave parents who are nothing less than warriors for their children. Your fight was not in vain. You sat by your child's bedside when no one else was watching and you never stopped praying through the night when others were sound asleep. You are a true hero. We also salute those parents who stay up at night to make sure their children are still breathing despite their age or to check their temperature or give them their meds or take them to the doctor or hospital in the wee hours when everyone says to wait until morning, spouses included. Your efforts may never be duly rewarded, but you are making a difference and saving lives every single day.
Thanks for taking the time to join me on my journey. I hope you had a reflective read. Do you know a mother struggling with emotions of loss? Reach out to her today and let her know her efforts were not in vain and feel free to share this post.
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