Random Thoughts….Pursuit of Happiness

Let’s face it, we’re all caught up in the pursuit of happiness one way or another. We pursue possessions, relationships; we try new things, and new experiences all in the hopes of finding that one thing that truly makes us happy. But what exactly is happiness? Is it a moment when something makes you happy or smile? Is it something that lasts a moment or a lifetime? How does one define happiness or measure it?

For me, happiness is waking up every morning in good health. It is when I open the curtains and I see the beautiful world outside…hot or cold as it may be! It is realizing that God has blessed me with yet another beautiful day to add to my life. It is realizing that even though I may not have everything I want, I have everything I need. It is realizing that God had provided for my needs and I have not lacked anything. These are just a few items I count on my happiness list.

What makes you happy?

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Pregnancy Again

Its been more than a year since I lost my baby. Today I am happy to let you know that I am pregnant again! I have spent some time thinking about the things I should write in this article, and I have to tell you that it hasn’t been easy. Part of me (the chicken) didn’t want to share this news, and another part (the brave one) has been pushing for this. Am glad to say the brave one has outmuscled the chicken!

I write this article from the bottomest part of my heart (if such a thing exists) so here we go! This journey hasn’t been an easy one. From losing a baby, to wanting to be pregnant and to actually being pregnant has been quite an emotional ride, which I will never forget for the rest of my life. After losing my baby, all I wanted was to try again. Deep inside I couldn’t wait the one year recommended by the doctor, but my more sensible husband helped me keep my impatience in check. I patiently waited for time to pass. Then early this year, discovering I was pregnant again was the greatest joy, and greatest fear of my life. Joy was squashed by fear! My mind kept taking me back to last year when I lost my baby. You fool my mind told me, what if it happens again? What if you lose the baby again? How will you move on from that? How will you pick yourself up? And what will you tell people? Wow hey, how can my emotions stab me in the back like this? One minute we were counting the time, waiting impatiently to try again, the next minute I was standing alone with my emotions betraying me. Fear was now trying to be my friend.

Fear can keep us from so many things in our lives. Fear can stop you from achieving the greatest things in your life. It can keep you from success, prosperity and many more of God’s blessings. God can set before you a great vision or dream, but guess what, fear will most certainly come knocking! I realized that I had to face my fear and tell fear to get the stepping! I have to be brave enough to walk this journey and have faith and trust in God. For He knows the plans He has for me.

So I say, bring it on! This is a journey God has designed for me, and I will not be afraid to walk it!

Isaiah 41: 10 So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

Letting Go

It has been more than a year since I lost my baby. I must admit, the first couple of weeks were hard. I would cry sometimes. I felt the emptiness and aching in my heart. I asked a lot of questions, mostly why me, which went unanswered. Letting go was especially hard for me because each day I had to look at the scar on my tummy. The scar that would forever remind me of the day I lost my baby. I learnt that I couldn’t move on without letting go. I had to make a decision, I could either drown in my sorrow or I could begin the process of healing. I chose to let go. I chose to remember my baby with joy and appreciate the time I had spent with him. As each day passed, it got easier and I was on the road to recovery.

There is no road that I know of that is smooth with no bumps, even if it has been resurfaced. I have had my days of feeling low. I have had days where I have been angry. I have had days where I have wanted to smack some people. I now fully understand when people say ‘you don’t understand what I’ve been through or what I’m going through unless you have walked in my shoes.’ The journey from last year has been a journey filled with hurt and pain, but above that it has been filled with great faith.

How does one deal with friends or relatives having babies or telling you they are pregnant? I rejoice with them, but deep down I feel the pain in my heart. I remember my baby, why couldn’t he still be here? I give all the hurt and pain to God, the one who knows my future. The Comforter of my heart. I learn to rejoice with those bearing good news. I smile with them even though my heart aches.

I have had days when someone would come up to me and ask why I don’t have children yet? Coming from someone I don’t know made this statement a bit easier to bear. What I could not handle was someone who knows me, who knows what I have been through asking me this question. Someone I know acting as if my loss didn’t happen, acting as if last year didn’t happen. This is someone who actually wasn’t there for me during this time, someone who never checked up on me just to see how things were going. All they said was sorry for your loss, and I never heard from them again. Now this someone, after a while is now asking why I don’t have kids yet. If this was a cartoon, I would try and illustrate this. They have this huge smile on their faces and I am floored. I think to myself, Oh really?? It must have been just an image of you then that said “sorry for your loss”. But then again, because you haven’t walked in my shoes, losing a baby is like losing a house key to you, or maybe losing a pen, I mean hey, you can replace it right. But I have learnt, people are insensitive like that! How do you think you would respond to that if it was you? For me, it brings up sadness and sometimes anger. I feel like screaming out loud and telling the person off. I want to tell them to go where the sun doesn’t shine!

I have been hurt and confused. I have cried over my loss. I have cried over people who showed no care. BUT!!! Through it all, I have come out stronger and wiser. I have learnt through this journey to forgive. I have learnt that anger and hurt doesn’t get me anywhere and does not edify me in any way. I have learnt to walk in other people’s shoes first before I open my mouth, I think first before I speak. I have learnt to smile when I see the scar on my stomach. I have learnt to smile when I think of the baby I lost. I have learnt that God has a greater plan and purpose for my life than what I can imagine.

Here are some scriptures that helped me through the days:
Psalm 46: Be still, and know that I God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!
Psalm 55: Cast your burden on the Lord, And He shall sustain you; He shall never permit the righteous to be moved.
Proverbs 3: Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.

Questions

Losing a baby at 40 weeks is not easy. Stillbirth is a very painful thing that a woman can ever go through, especially a Christian woman. You have so many questions. Why did this happen to me? How could God have allowed such a thing to happen to me? Does He really know how much pain I’m in? Is there really a God out there? How can you possibly forgive God for allowing this to happen to you? Are you not His child? Did you not spend most of your life believing in Him, trusting that He has you in His hands?

How does one move on from losing a child? You spent 40 whole weeks being excited about having a baby. You spent 40 weeks preparing and planning for motherhood and in a few moments it is wiped away. No words can describe this time and the emotions that go with it.

Losing A Baby Part 2

They thought I would fall asleep from the medication. How can I sleep? My mind is busy, but it feels blank. Really?? Is he gone? I am so cold I can hardly think. Am I really hearing what they are saying? How come I don’t feel anything? Someone must be playing a joke on me, come on bring me my baby already!! The look on my husband’s face confirms it all. Am I heartless, how come I don’t feel anything? Help me Lord, I am drowning in something, but I don’t know what.

My husband is hurting so I have to be strong for him. I find some words and scriptures in my heart that I share with him. I tell him we have to be strong, that everything will be alright. I must be running on auto-pilot because I really don’t know where I am finding all these words. I go through the day, but I don’t go through the day…. I’m there, but I’m not there. I feel as if I’m drifting on some cloud, this is not really my life is it? It’s not me, it can’t be me. I feel my belly looking for my baby, but he’s not there, he’s gone. I really do believe that they are going to tell me they made a mistake, that it wasn’t my baby that died. The strength that I’m feeling though is unbelievable. I go through the day, friends come to see me, they cry, but I don’t. I am the one strong for them, I comfort them… oh Lord, am I heartless? How come I’m not hurting? The first day goes by, it must be how clouds feel when they are drifting in the sky… light, floating through the day.

The second day is like a hard smack on the head. I’m awake, I’m alive, I can feel again. My baby is gone and it hurts so bad. I saw my son when they took him away, what a beautiful baby. Oh God it hurts, I feel as if my heart has been ripped out. Where did you go my son, did you know how much I loved you? I don’t think you really knew, otherwise you wouldn’t have left. I didn’t even get to hold you. Mixed thoughts, mixed feelings rage on through the day, but I manage to stay calm.

This is my story. My name is Sheila. I lost my baby at 40 weeks due to pre-eclampsia, high blood pressure that occurs during the late stages of pregnancy. I cannot understand how this could have happened since my blood pressure never gave me problems during my whole pregnancy. I tried to ask God why, to question Him, how could He allow this to happen to us, to my baby, especially since we had prayed over our baby since the first day we found out we were expecting? It didn’t feel fair, why did it happen to us?

Losing a Baby Part 1

I’ll start my story from May 2011. The day we found out I was pregnant! This was the happiest day of our lives. Words cannot begin to explain how happy we were. A blood test at the doctor confirmed that I was three weeks pregnant. In the midst of our joy, I started having abdominal pains that were really bad. We went to see the doctor that very same evening that the pains began and to our relief I was only experiencing pains from a bladder infection. The doctor encouraged me to drink lots of water to clear out the infection. This I did and within a few days, it was all systems go again, I was feeling much better and the infection was gone. Finally I could begin my happy journey into pregnancy.

The first few months of pregnancy were terrible, I threw up every day almost after every sip of water. This continued into the beginning of my second semester and gradually stopped. Finally I could enjoy pregnancy. Scans showed that we were expecting a baby boy and we were so excited as this was getting even more real as each day passed. At 24 weeks, the baby started moving and about a month later we started feeling strong kicks. The doctor taught us how to count the baby’s movements per day ie at least 12 movements per day. We always laughed that he moved more than 12 times in an hour, and that I was carrying a really energetic baby (energetic like his father). I grew bigger and bigger each day and gained more weight. I stopped going to work at week 36 as my feet were swelling up each day.

February 2012, I started having labour pains the Wednesday after week 40 of my pregnancy. We rushed to hospital at midnight, and around 3am I was prepared for an emergency c-section as they were struggling to find the baby’s heartbeat. My husband was with me during this time. The c-section was performed, the baby was taken out, but we did not hear him cry. No one said anything to me then, only after I came into the ward after the c-section did they tell me that my baby did not make it.