Tomorrow marks four months since the loss of our precious Baby Strawberry. Thank God for the good healthcare system in Ontario and for recognizing that having a miscarriage after 20 weeks gestation is like the death of a child, and you truly need time to heal mentally and physically. I have come a long way in the past four months, and while it hasn’t been easy, it has gotten easier. It was amazing to me the number of people who contacted me and told me their stories of how miscarriages had affected their lives. So many people do not openly discuss the topic, I wonder why it is so taboo?
This experience has changed my life in many ways. The first one being that I am so much more appreciative of my Cubby and the joy and purpose that she brings to my life. Secondly, I see that children are gifts and not to be taken for granted. The number of people who cannot have children today and who would be amazing parents is astronomical. Thirdly, I see the importance of doing things today and not waiting for “the day when I have more money”, or “the day when I am retired”, or “the day when I leave this job”. Life is full of surprises and those days may never come. I do not want to be retired and thinking back saying “if only I had enjoyed my life” or “if only I had taken my daughter here or there”. It is for that reason that I travelled twice in the past four months: on our family trip to Jamaica in May and my girls weekend to New York to visit my school friends.
Lastly, this experience has lead me to re-evaluate my life and determine what is important to me. I determined that having a job that allowed for more flexibility so that I could see my daughter in the morning and drop her to school and pick her up from school was important to me. This past year has been extremely busy and I have not spent as much quality time with her as I would have liked to. As the years are passing by so fast, I realize that I will not get this time back. I want her to remember the time spent with me and not the fact that I was never around because I was always working. This has lead to me to resign from my job at the hospital that I have worked at for 6 years and find a new one for a private company in the community. This decision has not been an easy one and has led to some anxiety, but I know that it is better in the long run.
I start my new job next Monday and it feels really strange to not be returning to the hospital and to not see my co-workers on a daily basis. I have had some negative feedback from other people as to why I would leave a salaried job with benefits and pension to work in the community for a private company that pays hourly (no benefits or pension). First, I got a really good feeling from the directors of the company who spoke very highly of their reputation and their vision and mission. Secondly, I left the two interviews with a gut feeling that I needed to be a part of this company and that if I said no to the opportunity I would always regret it. Thirdly, I have always wanted to work from home and set my own schedule, and this new job is allowing this flexibility. On the downside, my anxiety is stemming from the fact that I am nervous about being able to juggle my time between this new job where I am setting my own hours, completing the second year of my Masters program in health management and taking care of Cubby. I know that I am an organized, competent person so I will be able to do it; however, dealing with change has never been one of my strong suits.
Returning to Cubby, she continues to impress me with her strong vocabulary, her singing and dancing skills and her amazing memory. I speak to her like she is an adult because she is already using large words and inquiring about everything and anything. She can sing to any song on the radio and remember the words after only hearing it once or twice, which is a strange gift that I also have. And I must say that I am utterly impressed with her rhythm and dancing abilities. I know that I love to dance, but I have not taught her any of her moves; they are all Cubby original moves that she made up. I showed my friends in New York a video of her dancing to music and one of my friends was convinced that I taught her the dance routine. LOL!
I firmly believe that things happen for a reason and perhaps having this miscarriage was a way to allow me to have four months off of work to re-examine my life and see what was important to me. If this experience had not occurred, I would still be at the hospital complaining that I am not spending time with Cubby and remaining unhappy. As my due date was August 14, I am going to get the urn of Baby Strawberry’s ashes from the funeral home and release them into a free flowing river so that I can have one last bit of closure. Although she didn’t get to come into this world alive, she remains alive in my heart and mind.