If there is one thing that I wish I could undo in the past is believing the doctor’s opinion that my baby would die in my womb . In short , I was grieving even before my baby’s death. I was confined for 3 weeks in the hospital for Hepatitis B in 1987. At that time, hepatitis B awareness was so new that the vaccine cost as much as my husband’s monthly salary. Thanks to a relative-doctor, we were able to buy it at cost. My toddler and husband needed the vaccine protection in case the virus spread to their system. Meantime, I was agonizing in the hospital wondering how my illness might affect my 8 week old baby. I told my fears to my ob-gyne and she said that “if your baby is affected by your illness, she will just abort and die”. Just like that. No sympathy. No compassion.
And if my baby survived, will she have a complete set of fingers? toes?
My faith in God was not strong in those days. I know that I prayed that my baby would survive but I lived everyday in fear. For the next 8 months, I thought that my baby would die, if not in my womb…then at birth. Knowing the pain that imminent death would bring, I distanced myself from my baby.
Born on a rainy September day, M cried as she was delivered through cesarian operation. She was a beautiful and long baby . The pediatrician exclaimed that she had such a long umbilical cord and a pigeon chest, whatever that meant. My husband quickly counted her toes and fingers. Perfect ! But the doctors still had to inject her with immungloblin in case M got the Hepatitis B virus from me. The ordeal didn’t stop there. Convinced that M had the hepatitis B virus, my poor baby had to endure blood tests during her first year in life. There was one final test only done in St. Luke to determine if she will live to see her 7th birthday. I put my foot down this time and refused further blood test.
If only I trusted that God was taking care of M! If only I didn’t distance my love to shield the pain , I would have been a better mother to M. Though I cannot undo the past, the present and the future is all that matters now. How strange that life prepared me for the grief over my daughter’s “impending” death but never in my wildest dream did I imagine losing my son.
M turned 19 this month and I am full of gratitude for the life that God has given her. This girl is lovely, feisty, artistic, and highly intelligent. God must have a purpose for this girl of mine.