Little Maya, two and a half years old was sitting on the kitchen floor, playing with her toys and building Legos when suddenly, out of the blue, she said: “I love you so much, Mommy.”
I responded, with tears in my eyes: “I love you too very much.”
The feeling I felt at that moment, I recognized immediately. It was the exact same feeling I’d felt at 11:23 pm on June 11, 2013 when at 37 weeks she was born. My husband had just laid her on my chest and this profound warmth of light had flooded over me. In that moment I said to him:
“She’s back. Isabelle is back in this little body.”
From the day it happened, Tuesday, October 10, 2010, it had been a long road trying to heal from the pain of my Isabelle’s stillbirth at thirty-nine weeks. As I’m sure all parents who lose children through miscarriage or any other way do, I was trying so desperately to find the answer to: “Why did this happen to us?” And even with everyone telling me repeatedly that this was not my fault, I felt so guilty: A guilt that, for some reason, I truly believed I could only be released from by receiving forgiveness―forgiveness from Isabelle herself.
Isabelle had been the result of my third cycle of in vitro fertilization (IVF). The sense of emptiness after her loss was so immense- I was in such dire need to fill the void- that less than two months later, against my doctor’s advice, we did another round of IVF. It again resulted in a pregnancy but I was so weak- so emotionally and physically depleted- that I quickly lost that pregnancy.
After much-needed physical and emotional recuperation, my husband and I entered into our fifth IVF cycle which brought us Maya, now three years old. As I described earlier, from the moment she was born, I truly believed with all my heart and soul that this was the same soul coming back to this Earth in a different vessel.
I have always believed that hiding behind every pain and tragedy there is always something positive waiting to be uncovered. We are just so consumed with the pain that sometimes we don’t allow ourselves to see beyond it.
And on that day not too long ago when little Maya was building with her Legos on the kitchen floor and she told me she loved me very much and I told her I loved her very much…
She then looked up at me and the tears in my eyes and said:
“Mommy, don’t be sad. I’m here.”