If you’ve been following me on the social network for some time, then chances are you’ve probably noticed the hashtag “For Kairi.” Some of you might know what the hashtag stands for, but if you happen to be one of those who doesn’t, then give me a moment of your time to explain everything…
I’ll start with earlier today first.
I was in need of a little fun. I felt restless so I decided to go on a spontaneous adventure to the city of Los Angeles- Downtown Los Angeles.
But why Downtown?
I discovered that amid the strange crowds, the foul odors, and the crazy noise, there were some hidden gems that were worth exploring in this city. I enjoyed a small service at the Cathedral of Our Ladies of the Angels, went to 3-4 local coffee shops, explored the Bradbury Building, walked around Grand Central Market, and last, but certainly not least, ventured into The Last Bookstore for the 100th time.
All was going well; I was enjoying myself tremendously… until the unthinkable happened. In the middle of exploring The Last Bookstore, I suddenly felt a deep sense of loss, pain, and emptiness… and I knew where it was coming from. I had felt this before.
“No. Please. Not now. Not today. NOT AGAIN,” was all I could think.
I managed to escape the crowds by going to the restroom and cried almost uncontrollably as soon as I was certain that I was alone.
It then began to hit me. I started to understand why I had been so desperate to go on an adventure and why I was exploring all of these hidden gems in L.A.- I had told myself I would go on grand adventures and see the world (as plenty of it as I could) for my daughter.
Let’s go back now to 2016- Late September.
I had been having stomach problems for a couple days already, I had vomited one Sunday around 12am, and I was pretty sure that all of this was coming from something I had eaten at a local hole in the wall Chinese Restaurant. I was certain all of this had to do with food poisoning so I decided not to make a huge fuss about it and (thanks, Dr. Google) treat my stomach problems with natural remedies. However, the symptoms wouldn’t go away and I was beginning to wonder if the “food poisoning” had gotten worse.
I finally decided to retire Dr. Google and listen to the advice of a nurse friend… “Go to the hospital.”
What did I have to lose, right?
I called my husband and told him where I was headed and we agreed to meet up at the hospital.
I explained everything I was experiencing to the doctor and the nurses, answered their questions, had blood drawn, and was sure I would have my food poisoning treated in no time. Wrong!
8pm turned into 12am, and my husband and i drifted off to sleep. Around 1am, the doctor and nurse startled me awake.
“Oh, thank heavens,” I thought, “finally i’ll have some antibiotic prescribed to me for this wretched food poisoning.”
“So you said you’re not pregnant, but we just got the results back from the lab. You are pregnant.”
“It’s not food poisoning?”
It was as if though I was expecting the Doctor to burst out laughing and confess that he was only pulling my leg. I kept denying everything in my mind. I tried looking for a sign that he was only kidding… but there was none.
I turned to look at my husband, as if I was looking for a sign of reassurance that this was all a bad dream and the whole thing was just not true, but my husband was just as shocked as I was and I found no comfort in his reaction. I was stunned. I fell into complete silence.
The doctor moved forward and explained what would happen next, but I couldn’t quite make out what he was saying. He arrested my attention once more, however, by stating that it was quite possible that 1 of 3 things had or was happening:
1) I was in my early stages of pregnancy
2) I had had a miscarriage
3) I have an ectopic pregnancy
It was already bad enough that this was happening to begin with so the idea that this could be 1 of 3 things stated above didn’t really faze me. The worst part? I had no idea what the 3rd possible result was… and I was going to find out the hard way.
I’ll pause right here to help you understand why I was even shocked, if not in denial, when I received the news that I was pregnant. It wasn’t that I didn’t want to have children. I eventually wanted to have 1 or 2 of my own, but I was pretty sure, at the time I was given the news, that I was not ready to be a mother. Was it based on selfishness? I could see reasons where maybe I was still too consumed with the thought of wanting to enjoy life before having children, but that wasn’t the main cause of my fear and denial.
I grew up in a dysfunctional home filled with abuse and neglect. My parents tried giving me the best that they could, but failed in areas that were essential for my well being- spiritually, emotionally, and mentally speaking.
At the age of 11, I witnessed my parents go through a rough divorce that left me feeling conflicted for a number of reasons. Couple years down the road, I was sexually abused by my mother’s (now ex) husband. The sexual abuse damaged my relationship with my mother, and it did a great deal of harm to me- psychologically and emotionally.
Abuse was a central part of my upbringing.
Emotional and mental manipulation became a familiar language to me. The dysfunction from my childhood played a role in many of my personal decisions growing up- many of which I am not proud of. It wasn’t until after I became a Christ follower that i began to notice the vicious cycle I had grown accustomed to.
I knew I had to break free from this mind prison I was trapped in, but it didn’t happen overnight and, matter of fact, I’m still on a journey to healing.
This pattern of thinking came with consequences that nearly destroyed me.
It wasn’t until I spoke with a police officer that I started to understand the seriousness of seeking help for myself. He had shared with me how many times he’d witness parents neglect their children’s basic needs thus leading to terrible consequences later on in their lives. He explained that children of dysfunctional homes often wound up being victims of assault or some type of abuse because parents never took the time to teach their children how to protect themselves.
I’ll never forget his last words to me: Don’t even think about bringing a child into this world unless you seek treatment/help for your trauma. I took his words seriously… but I also discovered that life has this unexpected way of surprising you.
Couple of months later, Kairi walked into the picture.
You’re probably thinking, “how did you know your baby was a girl?”
For several weeks, before I discovered I was pregnant, I started noticing signs that something was about to or was happening. Simple things that I had seen before now started standing out even more. I started noticing more and more women announcing that they were pregnant… with GIRLS. Ok? So what? Well after discovering I was pregnant, I called my adopted father to break the big news to him. Without warning, he asked if the baby was a girl. Mind you, I had not told him anything about the baby’s gender even though I had already had a hunch of what it was.
I knew right away what her name was going to be too.
Yet, as much as I wanted to be happy that I was having my own little girl, I also feared that she wouldn’t have the mother she needed.
I honestly felt like too much of a mess to even have the honor of being called her mother. I shuddered at the memory of my relationship with my own mother.
Did I really want that for my own daughter?
HELL. TO. THE. NO!
I knew I needed to act, and quick. I was willing to put my all into seeking professional help, no doubt about it. But just when I was beginning to think that I had a plan all set to go, my world came crashing down.
The baby wasn’t going to make it (if you guessed result #3, lo and behold…) and unless I got surgery or a methotrexate shot, I wouldn’t make it either… which meant I’d have to lose her to save my own life. I had no choice.
As much as I wanted to save her, even asking if there was any way we could relocate her to the proper place in the womb, there was nothing I could do.
By this point I was in disbelief. I even had trouble looking at my husband directly in the eyes and acknowledging his presence for a time, even though I appreciated him being there for me.
I moved forward with the methotrexate shot and thought the whole mess was finally over… until two weeks later when it was discovered that the baby was still in the Fallopian tube (quite the fighter, my little Kairi) and, therefore, surgery would be required.
I had already spent a week or so mourning the loss of the baby, so when I discovered that I was going into surgery because she still wasn’t “gone,” I felt like I was reliving the nightmare all over again.
And what a nightmare it was. I would spend at least 3 days and then, later, a week at the psych ward due to thoughts of self harm and depression.
This pain was unlike anything I had ever felt before in my life. No other heart break could top this one, from the rejections of boys I had once liked, to the betrayal and hurt my family had inflicted on me. I hated the pain. I didn’t want it. I just wanted my daughter back. I didn’t want to accept the fact that she was gone.
And I would share the battle I had with myself and God throughout my time of mourning, but I think I’ll save that story for another time…
What I can share is that I was never the same again after this tragedy.
After finally accepting the fact that I wouldn’t be able to hold her, nurse her, and guide her in this life time, I was comforted with knowing and believing that Jesus would reunite us again one day- soon.
The loss of my daughter was tragic, but I had to refocus my attention on things I’d want her to be proud of if she were alive. I didn’t want to waste a passing moment without enjoying, learning, and letting go. Her short life inspired me to live life in the best and most inspiring way possible. I wanted my life to mean something so when I did see her at the resurrection, she’d know her momma had done her very best… thanks to her.
Back to my moment in the restroom. I didn’t want to feel that pain again. I didn’t want to remember the painful details of the day that I lost her. Yet, a still small voice came to my heart: embrace it. I knew denying my emotions would hurt me more. I knew God was right- I had to embrace the pain.
And I have to learn that there are some days when it’s okay to not be okay. I don’t always have to feel strong. I don’t always have to think that emotions can simply evaporate with knowledge. I can cry and feel anger; God won’t be angry if I do.
So as I continue to heal from my pain, my traumas, and my past, & even present, shame… as I continue to explore and learn about the world around me… and as I continue to grow more and more into whom God called me to be, there’s a little wee baby that I think about everyday, whom I look forward to meeting somewhere in the near future, and whom my greatest and smallest accomplishments in life will be dedicated to.
Always and forever #ForKairi.