21/02/2018 06:43 SAST | Updated 21/02/2018 06:44 SAST

An Open Letter To My First Child

"I am grateful for the little time I got to spend with you but also for the eternity of growth you have given me."

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* A tribute to all the mothers who have experienced a miscarriage

I carried you long enough to know that you were mine, and despite you leaving me before I was ready, you will forever remain my first child. The truth is, I doubt this is something I could ever be ready for. I doubt it is something that I could have prepared for.

When I first knew you were inside of me, little can compare to that joy; that feeling of pure happiness, that feeling of purity growing within me. As any other mother, I started imagining how you would be; your personality, character traits, appearance and your abilities. I imagined our lives together as a family, and how I would create a loving environment for you to grow up in. I could even picture your first days at school and all the crucial moments in your life that I would be part of such as your first relationship, your farewell, your graduation, your wedding.

But most importantly, I started imagining how much joy you would add to my life. I imagined how I would shower you with an immeasurable amount of love. I pictured how you would never know what it feels like to be abandoned or unwanted. I was eager to be the best mother I could possibly be and to give of myself willingly. I knew and I still know that I have the ability to be a great mother.

I always knew I wanted to have children, but now that you were inside of me, my dream became my reality; you. You were already the greatest gift I could ever ask for, and waking up each day knowing that I was carrying you was already a gift to me. I have never treasured each day, each moment as much as I treasured – treasure – our special moments. It felt like I connected with you instantly; you were half me, half your father.

But I was always sceptical. There were many factors that led me to believe that you would not be mine forever, but I still held on to you tightly – not the idea of you, but you. I held on to you with everything in my being while simultaneously preparing both my mind and my body to not only let go of you, but to deal with the pain of having to let you go. It has been the hardest thing for me to do, but I needed to let go, I needed to let you go, I just didn't know when it would happen. I needed to let go for your safety.

When you were starting to let go, I felt it immediately; it was a wrenching pain that I will never forget, but it was a pain that I was willing to endure because it was a sign that you were still within me. This reminded me of the quote in the movie, "The Fault In Our Stars": "That's the thing about pain, it demands to be felt."

In that moment, I knew you had both your father's strength and my stubborn nature. You, my child, demanded your presence to be recognised in that moment.

But as time quickly passed by, I had to come to terms with the fact that not only had you let go, but that I had to let go of you... only physically at least. Because I have been holding on to you in my memory ever since. I saw you leave my body, but know that my body did not reject you – I just could not hold on any longer, and neither could you.

The pain you would have endured had either one of us held on would have broken me. But you left my body and I was not sure if you left completely, but you left with several parts of me. Parts I would like for you to keep. Parts that will always remind you of me, because I know I have eternal parts of you that I carry with me daily.

I was waiting to be told that the last parts of you needed to be scraped from within me - by then you had left completely, but I had not yet left you. I still continue to hold any piece, any memory, and pain that you ever existed, because that was the closest I came to holding you in my arms and making you as happy as you have already made me. I still call you my blessing.

I am grateful for the little time I got to spend with you, but also for the eternity of growth you have given me. You will always form part of whom I am and who I am yet to become. You continue to mould my growth daily and for that, I will be forever thankful.