Ebony J. Ford
Open Letter to My Pre-Birth Trauma Self
To My Pre-Birth Trauma Self,
What a journey it’s been so far! In just 5 short years, you’ve endured SO much in your health and your fertility journey. And now here you are pregnant with your rainbow baby, Reign Victoria. I know that you’ve waited for this moment for quite some time, so what I’m about to tell you won’t be easy to hear. Brace yourself...
You often wonder if you can take any more pain on this journey to motherhood. And as much as it pains me to tell you, I must warn you that what you’ve endured will pale in comparison to what’s coming. In just a short while, you’re going to begin to experience symptoms that will evoke some of your worst fears. Your faith in the healthcare system and in humanity will be tried as you become a victim of the implicit bias that sickens this number. Though you’ve never been a statistic, that will soon change. All the dreams you’ve had about your pregnancy and birth experience will soon be shipwrecked and you’ll be left to make the best of the broken pieces. But you have the strength and resilience you’ll need to make it through this. You’ll pray more than you ever have and you’ll become more compassionate to the needs and even ignorance of others.
Although all of these other great things will come from it, I don’t want you to underestimate this experience. You’re about to be taken within in an inch of death faster than you ever thought was possible. First, you’ll swell and then your vision will fail you. And by the time you realize that you’ve not eaten or relieved yourself in over a day, you will already be in end stage kidney and liver failure (due to a condition you’ve never even heard of). Things will go very fast once you arrive to the hospital and you’ll start wondering how you ended up here after a healthy and uneventful pregnancy. You’ll hear terrible statistics about your baby girl and watch in disbelief as doctors tell your husband that he could potentially lose you AND he won’t be present for your daughter's birth....and sadly, neither will you.
The cries you desperately hoped to hear will just be a story given through NICU nurses. The first finger grip won’t come for another 48 hours and you won’t hold her for 11 days. You’ll start feeling like you’re not her mom and questioning how this could be your life. After all, you waited SO long for this moment only to have it snatched from you. And when she finally comes home, you’ll breathe a sigh of relief. But I want you to remember that the journey is just beginning. Raising a premature child comes with so many complications. You’ll spend more time in the hospital, doctors' appointments and therapies than you will at the playground. There will be times when you’ll feel more like a nurse than a mother. But don’t lose sight of the miracle you’ve been given.
The injustice of your birth experience is going to birth an unquenchable fire in you to see to it that others NEVER suffer as you have. You’re going to fight for the marginalized and give voice to the suffering of others who didn’t have the courage to speak. You’re going to be called on to speak in places you’ve only dreamed. You’ll talk to people personally that you’ve only dreamed of connecting to and it'll all be to further spread your message of awareness, to advocate for others and to be an answer. But I must warn you, the journey isn’t without pain or loneliness.
There will be times you’ll feel SO alone in this journey and you’ll question if it’s easier to quit. But you’ll meet other amazing moms and advocates whose faith in you will strengthen you in those times. No matter how tough it gets, DON’T YOU DARE QUIT! You were born for this and your life will be spared for this very purpose. And if you ever have any question of your strength, look into the eyes of the little warrior you’re about to birth. Her name is a strategic declaration over her life but also a reminder to you. Every time you say her name, remember that you’re destined to REIGN and that VICTORY will always be your portion.
Your road to motherhood has been rocky to say the least. And it's going to get even rougher. Hold on tight and remember my words to you. SHE SHALL REIGN...and you will too!