Tuesday, 1 January 2013

Proud to be a parent

I well and truly kicked 2012 to the kerb. In doing so, I kicked myself to the kerb too. Today was a very slow day as I nursed my hangover. I took myself on a walk to atone for my drinking sins. I noticed people laughing, smiling, playing games and just lazing about. Everyone looked so carefree – like the weight of the past 365 days had suddenly been lifted off their shoulders. I guess that’s the joy of January 1st every year – you wake up hopeful that this year will be better than the last!

As I walked, I mulled over what I would write about in today’s post. I wanted to carry the positivity I had for making peace with 2012 into the new year, however, it just didn’t seem to flow. Prior to my walk, I was reading a magazine which had a story in it about Sonja Kruger struggling with IVF at 47, and comedian Paul Murray and his wife losing their baby a few hours after he was born. These stories were the ones that were swirling in my head.

One point from each story stood out – Sonja’s story mentioned there was no word for a someone who had lost their child. If a child loses their parents, they are an orphan. But what does one call oneself if they’ve lost a child? In this day and age when we love to slap labels on everything, there is no label for that. You are just someone who lost their child. And sometimes, people who have lost a baby in early pregnancy don’t even label themselves as a “parent”.

Paul’s story included an overview of the “celebration” they had to mark their son’s life. It was a truly touching story that included having the doctor explain to everyone what had happened, giving the attendees sunflower seeds to plant in his honour and sharing their love for their precious little boy. At the end, Paul turned around to his wife and congratulated her on becoming a Mum.

As they stood their united in their pain, and love, they were not two people who had lost their baby, they were parents. So, maybe that is the label for someone who has lost their child – “parent.” It may not match the picture in your head of what you thought being a parent would be, but life is often like that.  As I continued to mull it over, I suddenly remembered the letter I wrote to Peanut – in it I said “For an all too brief 7 weeks, I had the utmost joy and privilege of being your Mother.” Whatever happens to me on this pregnancy journey, I am enormously proud to be able to say I am a parent – because I think losing your child doesn’t mean you revoke your parent status.

While the subjects of these two stories were both sad, I took a lot of positivity out of it. They reminded me of something that I hadn’t thought about for a while, and I’m glad to be reminded of it. Whatever happens in life, I’ll always be proud to say I was Peanut’s Mum.

Image by Nutdanai Apikhomboonwaroot
Courtesy of www.freedigitalphotos.net

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