The Gift He Gave Me



I never heard Maya cry,

I never saw him open his eyes. When he was laid down on my chest he was not moving, or screaming, he was completely silent and still. Seeing him for the first time, I was shocked that we created him, that together my boyfriend and I made a perfect little human who looked like the both of us. I was feeling what most mothers feel when they see their child for the first time, but along with the amazement of seeing, really, what perfection was for the first time, it felt like my heart was being tortured slowly, because once this was over, us holding him, crying and wishing he would just wake up, he had to go somewhere else to be cremated.

Maya’s life had a purpose.

I struggled for months trying to figure out why this happened. What I did to deserve this. I know I wasn’t always the kindest person, that I have made countless mistakes, and have had a lot more ups and downs than I maybe should have. But why this? Why did I have to lose him? Was I that bad of a person? I felt really hopeless for a long time trying to figure out what I did, and how to fix it. After seeing therapists, sitting with myself, reading, and letting myself grieve and go through “the process,” I realized that there was nothing I did wrong. This was not karma for anything I had done, I was not “deserving” of this because of my past, my body did not fail me, I wasn’t not less of a woman or incapable of my what every other woman could do (that is a whhholleeee other conversation), there was nothing about me that failed. If I had the option to have him back, to watch him grow, I would take it in a heartbeat.. probably less(ha). But I don’t have that option, all I can do is look at what is here because of him. He left me a gift only he could have, he taught me more than a lifetimes worth of lessons, he gave me love and guidance I may have never found with out him.

He is not here physically, however the mark he made on my life is permanent.

Worrying and being angry use to be my top skills, and I never recognized how much pain those two “skills” were causing me. I use to be afraid of going places because I didn’t want to run into anyone because my anxiety made me afraid of what others would think of my appearance. Before Maya I had zero drive to be anything but a nanny or a waitress because I didn’t have my high school diploma and I believed I never would. That all changed because of Maya. I go outside whenever I can, I love to sit out in the sun and go on picnics, I am not afraid of anyone or what they might think of me, and my anger does not define me anymore. This months on the 29th I graduate high school! At 22, I will receiving my diploma! Maya taught me that you have little control in what happens in your life, and that, it is okay to not always be in control. He taught me it is okay to love and let go, to be and to grow. Without him, I may have never accomplished any of these things, I may have been stuck in the same place for years without ever realizing the pain it was causing. He is not here physically, however the mark he made on my life is permanent.

Being able to take something terrible and find the light behind it is another profound skill I have learned from my baby boy.

I am by no means grateful that my son is not here physically, but I have chosen to be grateful for what I could take from the time we did have together, and see what he left behind in my life. Being able to take something terrible and find the light behind it is another profound skill I have learned from my baby boy. He was not just stillborn, he was a gift. His life has meaning, his life gave me purpose and an understanding for more than I could have ever imagined. My growth is his, and I am so very grateful for it. The love I have for him I am learning to put into any place I can: my writing, my relationships, myself. He was so much more than a stillbirth, and everyday I am gaining another gift from him because of what we went through together. I am definitely still a work in progress, I have so much more to learn, but I see it as he’s here with me, watching me, holding my hand and telling me, “You’ve got this.”