Surviving the Loss of Your Mother while Pregnant

A Mother is the “Best Gift” of all!

Mr. Husband’s Viewpoint

“A mother is someone who we’ve known longer than we’ve known ourselves.” I lost my mother when I was 20, but got another in the form of my mother-in-law when I married my wife. I could talk to her freely for hours about anything and never get bored of it. She used to tell me stories about how my wife was as a child and how she had grown to be the woman she now is. In the 4th year of our marriage, she had started dropping us hints that she wanted a grandchild and that we should start a family soon. She wanted us to have a baby more than anything in the world.

And then Shaarav happened. Our bonding had grown so strong that I used to call her up to ask her every bit about what my wife could eat and what not. I used to ask her what if my wife wanted to binge on junk food at this stage of her, and my mother-in-law was more than glad to tell. She was very proud of me and she sort of “kept flaunting me” among friends and relatives.

The Untimely Loss

But unfortunately, when we were into the 16th week of our pregnancy, she too left us for the heavenly abode due to a heart condition. She had a major heart surgery and she succumbed to it. My wife was devastated to hear the news and cried and cried and cried inconsolably. She was my wife’s rock. My wife never even got to say goodbye as she wasn’t allowed to travel at the time. I was devastated too, but I had to stay strong for her. I had to stay strong for our unborn baby.

My wife had so wanted to share the news of the pregnancy with her friends once she completed 4 months, but now she couldn’t without talking about her mother and controlling her sobs. She wanted to grieve, but she was too frightened it would harm the baby. She felt guilty for even having a life growing inside her when her mother’s life was taken, and this guilt was consuming her. Some days were like she couldn’t breathe, she cried so much. She still hoped it to be a dream – a bad dream.

From Being a Motherless Daughter to Being a Motherless Mother

We are well aware of the fact that a woman needs her own mother the most when she becomes a mother herself. But that was not going to happen for us.

She was now a “motherless daughter” who was soon to become a “motherless mother”.

The entire pregnancy she missed her dreadfully, she misses her still and she just wants her back, she just wants her here with her, for her. She wanted to share with her mother all that was happening to her, wanted to ask her about the things she was experiencing and the emotional stuff she was going through and the names she had picked for the baby. But the reality was harsh. She was no more with us and her absence is massive.

Time is a great healer they say. And not a day goes by reminding of her, but now my wife has made peace with the situation and takes comfort from the fact that though her mother isn’t here with her now, she has taught her everything about being a good mother just by her example.

I try to convince my wife that at least she knew about him, knew he existed, but it’s never going to be the same. Yet, we like to think that she is looking down on him, on us, and we try to look after ourselves as best we can, bringing this brand new life into the world. We believe “she is our son’s guardian angel”.

After Shaarav was born there have been some very sad days where my wife would just wish that she could talk to her and get some advice or even just a hug. And whenever I think of her I couldn’t help myself thinking how, despite my wife’s every word of caution, I still couldn’t resist myself spilling the beans and she was the first person whom I told about. And I very vividly remember how excited she was about the baby.

Finding Ways to Pay Tribute to Her

And now about a year and a half later, my wife finds ways to pay tribute to her. My wife tells Shaarav how much his “Naani” loved him even though he wasn’t born and shows him pictures of her. My wife uses this as an opportunity to bring her to life again through her stories, morals and all the wonderful things my wife grew up learning, and to pass on to him the same heritage. Best of all, she tells him about the ways in which she can see her mother’s characteristics and qualities reflected in him. The sadness never goes away, but this way it seems to get easier to cope with. But deep within, she has this gutted feeling that Shaarav would never really know his “Naani” and would have to settle for her memories.

In the whole turn up of events I have had to stay strong for my wife, for the baby, and more than anything for us, knowing that I am the next shoulder she would lean on. I had to become her next rock and I will always be.

Coping with the loss

Going through the loss of your mother while you are going to be a mother yourself can be the most dreadful thing to happen to anybody. Coping with such a great loss can be the toughest thing to do. But, it becomes a lot easier if there’s someone to provide with the right kind of support.

I lost my mother when I was 4 months pregnant. She was the most cherished soul and still is. Mr. Husband was very fond of her too. But till date I kept shut about it, never sharing a word of how I felt with anyone, not even Mr. Husband. Feelings kept building but I didn’t find a way to express it until today when I started writing my own blog.

Thoughts and feelings are many, yet, I find myself writing about her so consuming that I feel choked with emotions. It’s easier for me to express from Mr. Husband’s point of view than writing from my own without crying again. Mr. Husband is the kindest soul I’ve ever known. He has been an unfaltering source of my strength this entire time. I feel privileged and proud for having him stand by me, supporting me in every endeavour of mine, giving wind to my wings. Nonetheless, someday I wish to be able to share my feelings from my own point of view when it’s a lot less hurting to express.

Love,

Mrs. Sunshine

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Are you ready for a new perspective in relationship goals?

“Us” together

When we talk of parenthood, the role of a mother has always been given an edge over the role of a father. None of us can really deny the fact that mothers are the ones to devote more amounts of time and energy in raising a baby than the fathers too.

Over the years there has been much written about how contrastingly a mother’s life changes after coming of the baby as compared to how it was before the baby. But, not many of us talk about how a father’s life changes after a baby come into the picture. So here’s a Husband and New Dad’s perspective on relationships.

How a Husband and New Dad looks into this new role:

When we first planned on starting a family, we had a pretty clear picture that the baby was going to change the present dynamics of our marriage. But just when the romantic flirty messages changed into the grocery list, the intellectual chat changed into pee & poop talk and the birthday & anniversary reminders changed into vaccination reminders, I am still clueless.

Nobody warned us about the plummeting our relationship had taken and the chaos the rest of our lives had fallen into.

During the initial months everything seemed so exciting and gala, but soon after I found myself lamenting how our love for the baby had usurped our very own love story. Despite the fact that our happiness knew no bounds – she was happy and I was happy, but together our happy “we” times went missing from the picture.

We now have more pictures of us with the baby than we have of just the two of us!

And as determined as I was not to save our “us” for some day in the future, or pause our romance for tomorrow or even wait for the weekly off to hold a kiss for that matter, I also didn’t want to rush her into it either. I understood she needed time to recover & heal. But I also couldn’t shy away from the fact that her drive kept on taking a reverse gear whenever I tried to reconnect. I had been trying very badly to be the people who once met, married, fell in love and had a miraculous baby. But, our love story seemed to be lost somewhere underneath those soiled diapers and laundry piles.

How Sex and Intimacy went down the drain:

Who wouldn’t agree when I say that intimacy is like the glue in a marriage? So exactly how was I supposed to react if she chose sleep over sex? And even when, after a long, challenging day she tried to pry her tired and sleepy eyes open to tend to “us” because that might be our only chance during the entire day, I felt it was selfish of me to make her go through this. I did understand that “us” time would be the last thing on her mind with all the tiredness & exhaustion and over-touching from those tiny hands and feet climbing and clinging to her all day. And as much as I would hate to admit – it did feel like I was not wanted, I was not cared for, when all I had wanted was a sense of belongingness, even if the thought crossed my mind just for the millionth of a second.

How reality struck hard:

Did they tell you before having the baby that life will be more beautiful and lovely with the baby?

Reality check!

They sure forgot to tell you how different that love and life you probably imagined before having the baby could be when you are sleep-deprived parents to a highly active toddler. I knew beforehand, life couldn’t be the same and I was definitely geared up for this, but I so wanted more of her, I so wanted more of “us”. Reality struck me hard when one day, on hearing my wife calling, “Hey handsome” I jumped in all excited only to find that it was for the baby and not me (sigh)! He sure is my baby too and he’s handsome. But ouch! That hurt, and so much.

How I started looking at our relationship in a new light:

But amidst all that chaos we still tried to laugh while cooking or cleaning, appreciate each other, exchanged gifts, even when they didn’t seem to be enough.

And just when I was beginning to think our relationship had lost its lustre, our marriage was far from being over, not even close. In all the drama going on in my life, I somehow missed seeing the bigger picture. This time around, she was the one to reach out. I’m glad I had the patience to wait and I didn’t rush her into it.

It was then I was able to witness how with each one of these challenging days passing by, we had been inching closer to each other gaining in trust, establishing mutual respect and building on faith. I had missed seeing how we kept fuelling on hope, enkindling belongingness and growing even deeper a love, all along the way, silently.

It just took me a little while to see how our relationship had metamorphosed and transformed into a more beautiful form, just as a butterfly does from a caterpillar, giving more meaning and depth to the relationship that we already had. Only my eyes were long clouded to realize how a whole new dimension of my psyche was born, as we lovers had morphed into something more.

We were morphed into parents.

Our “us” today is definitely different than what it used to be, and not always a “good different,” but I love this life we’ve created and how we’ve grown as a family. And I have never been this sure how this phase of my life has shaped my personality and given me a deeper perspective on love and sacrifice.

The morphed parents enjoying some “us” time.

Our relationship is definitely the most cherished aspects of my life, but the look of unconditional love that I see in those tiny eyes of my one-year-old who calls me “Papa“, and how my heart fills up with gratitude, love, and pride is beyond any word can describe and I wouldn’t change a thing about it.

Love,

Mrs. Sunshine

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