In Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day, speak your truth

This is a poem written by a mother who has experienced the profound impact of pregnancy and infant loss. These words are the first of many that I will share throughout the month of October, in honour of Pregnancy & Infant Loss Awareness Month.

Beneath That Tree

It was a new years week & we felt complete
Prego test was positive, we were on a winning streak

Life in my womb, a life we had created
Symptoms of this gestation were here & celebrated

Then an ultrasound on Valentine’s, a heart to share some beats
Was not there on the day of love, just silence & defeat

And this being that we loved inside my womb
Was not alive or growing or going to have a room

And it sounds kind of crazy but I felt such loss & shock
And I cried & called my hubby, mom & midwife just to talk

Then the weeks of agonizing bout this thing still inside me
Should we have it sucked out or let it come out naturally?

Should we make it happen now or let this take it’s course?
Feeling like a walking coffin, but I loved this little corpse

I bleed & cry & wonder why & blame myself at times
My husband teary, grandmas grieving, so much in my mind

So I get some medication & put it up in there
And wait for contractions that hurt like hell to push it out in prayer

And the pain becomes too much to bare
For two long days I moan, then stare

Placenta, embryonic sac, & this miscarriage had ended
In the amniotic fluid a small baby is suspended

Floating in time through translucent membrane walls
I see life & death in one small sac, & the witch inside me calls

I gather sage & stone & bell & take it to the trees
Moss covered roots, the perfect cove, I dig & feel a breeze

Large flakes of snow are falling now, a winter wonderland
I feel the season there with me, it comes & takes my hand

And the hand digs deep & sees three worms & carves a perfect spot
And it lays this procreative loss inside & marks the lot

With the smoke of Sage to bless it all & take it’s sacred place
And the stone would pierce the sac & the fluid fell into the space

And this little life & death would be upon the stone on soil
And a blessing bell & words I do not know would come to boil

Nature gave & took & it was nothing short of a blessing
And I love nature & respect the Mother, but sometimes this is depressing

When a friend gets pregnant & I see a baby, I feel such a love at the meeting
But occasionally it stings my wound as if their fertility makes mine fleeting

So this changed me for good & I’m not sure how but I see things in different ways
I know what I value & love & live for & I’m hoping that this insight stays

Cause you just don’t know what happens next & sometimes a loss breaks you open
And I want to live & laugh & love, & not waste my time just copin’

So many women feel this loss & keep it hidden deep
Some comment on their abilities to be women, to sow, to reap

But it is not so, it’s a re-evaluation, a time to look at your existence
To see what is worth it, & what is not, & be that star shining in the distance

So I am still healing. I am stronger than before. I like this new found me.
And I love that life & death that lies in the Earth beneath that tree.

~Shannon McEwan

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