This post has been running through my mind for a long time now.
It started when a sister came up to me a month after the stillbirth of our son. She told me she lost her baby at 5 weeks and how she hadn’t been able to tell anyone outside of her immediate family because it wasn’t the “right thing” within her community. I didn’t want to delve into the whole stigma thing at the time because I was hearing a completely different message. This sister wasn’t just crying about the loss of her baby. She was crying about not being a mother.
And this is where I was lost for words as I shamefully got it… I got what she was saying and why she was feeling like that. After all it was something I was feeling and battling with. My URL “born to be a mother” really started to play in my head as if it was a complete lie… and this carried on for a few months.
Even when a really good friend of mine told me by The Grace of Allah she was pregnant, I was so happy for her. However, when she followed her good news with questions on what to do during her pregnancy a huge sense of “why you asking me? I don’t know” came into my head. I no longer felt like I could advise her. I felt if I gave advice she may think “well your son died so I don’t want advice that leads to my child dying” and like a boomerang this insecurity came slapping me in the face, time and time again, with whoever asked me for advice on their pregnancy or labour.
It took an embarrassingly long time to come to my senses and catch that annoying boomerang! I had to fight this illogical thinking by saying what logic was already in front of me:
You became a mother from the moment you conceived. Whatever time period you had with your baby you were still mothering him/her/them. And even now after their return to Allah you are mothering your child. Fathers will forget or they will confuse the children up… It’s a man thing. But mothers don’t. You are still very much a mother and don’t let anyone, even your own self, tell you otherwise.
And that’s that.
To all those mothers who I have had the fortunate opportunity of speaking to about their gifts from Paradise I want you to read the above and not be daunted by the whispers of “I’m not a good enough mother” or “What advice can I give this pregnant women? My child didn’t survive”.
You will always be a mother … give that advice when asked and know that Allah has already given you the badge of motherhood regardless of how old your child was inside or outside of your womb.