It has been argued, maybe, even scientifically proven, that there is no greater agony or excruciating pain than that of a woman going through labor and giving birth. If this perception hasn’t been substantiated in any medical journal, then I felt pity for that one person that would dare to argue that point with any woman.
In the last two years, though, my opinion in the matter has drastically changed. I unwittingly discovered that there IS a greater agony than hours of labor as a child being born to you. This pain supersedes ANY and all form of distress or torture experienced from bringing a child into this world. What’s even worse is that unlike labor and delivery, this pain doesn’t stop once you hold you beautiful son or daughter in your arms. This isn’t a pain that you completly forget about and bravely jump into another round of it by continuing to have chiildren No, this pain grasps on to you like a viscous predator wanting nothing more than to devour his prey. This pain is a jagged dagger to you heart while being hit in the gut by a train, dragged through thorny bushed on fire, kicked in the face with a wrought iron club, while having your lungs twisted into knots so you can no longer breathe, type of pain….maybe worse. THIS pain doesn’t come from bringing a child into the world, this pain comes from witnessing your child leave this world.
I remind myself how lucky I am to have been able to give life not just once but three times! Sadly, some will never see the “blue” line on a pee stick or hearing the words from a doctor. They won’t experience the feeling as their unborn baby tickles their insides like a fluttering butterfly. They will never laugh out loud because as they are laying perfectly still, they notice their tummy move around like waves in an ocean. Even now, as memories of being in a small hospital room, writhing in horrific pain, thinking that surely NO one had EVER experienced as much pain as I was having, I can honestly say how lucky and blessed I am.
At the time, little did I know that the physical pain or mental exhaustion from giving birth would not even come close to the agony of losing my child. No one tells you that compared to the misery of working so hard to bring that child into this world, losing your beautiful child is a whole new level of torment. One that can’t be put into words or explained by any brilliant scholar. I go from idyllic memories of holding that angel for the first time in my arms, to hugging his cold body for the last time. From cooing ‘I love you’, ‘welcome to the world’, ‘thank you God’ what took you so long’? to crying in pain, “I LOVE YOU’. ‘COME BACK!’ ‘YOU WEREN’T SUPPOSED TO LEAVE!’ ‘WHY GOD, WHY!!??’
My thoughts go from recalling him laying in his cradle as I gently rubbed his newborn face with one finger while feeling him hold tight to another finger with his tiny hand, to caressing his lifeless body in his casket and holding him so tightly that I was cautioned to be careful. When he was a baby, I remember not wanting to ever put him down. I just wanted to hold him forever. My mom would warn me that if I continued to do that, he would always cry when I would try to walk away. Ironically, as they were ready to drive the hearst away with his body, I recall crawling into the back of it, and laying my body over his casket. I didn’t want to get out. I didn’t want to leave him. I didn’t want him to see me walk away.
All the joy and immense happiness I had felt some 31 years before as I welcomed Joey in to this world, I felt the complete opposite as I escorted him out of the church. The bliss and euphoria had been replaced with a piercing pain of anguish. I would gladly re-do labor a thousand times over to have him back with me. I pity the person that would argue that a greater pain than this even exists.
The circle of life.. it moves us all…through despair & hope…Through faith and love