Before giving birth to me, my mother was pregnant with another baby. She had a miscarriage, and that person wasn’t born. When I was young I used to ask the question: was that my brother or was that me? Who was trying to manifest at that time? If a baby has been lost it means that conditions were not enough for him to manifest and the child has decided to withdraw in order to wait for better conditions. “I had better withdraw; I’ll come back again soon, my dearest.” We have to respect his or her will. If you see the world with eyes like this, you will suffer much less. Was it my brother that my mother lost? Or maybe I was about to come out but instead I said, “It isn’t time yet,” so I withdrew.
No Death, No Fear
Thich Nhat Hanh
Three years ago today, I felt life in my belly quietly grind to a halt, like lights in a building being switched off, floor by floor, replaced by a growing unease. I pushed the disconcerting worries aside, but I knew. Deep down I knew something was wrong. And I knew that I knew because I couldn’t bring myself to say the words I’m pregnant. Eighteen days later, at the first ultrasound, there was no denying it.
I think about that baby, Bean, a lot. Less than I used to. More on a day like today. February 8th reminds me that my instincts are good. I can trust them.
The above excerpt from Thich Nhat Hahn was my second ever blog post. I clung to the words “’I had better withdraw; I’ll come back again soon, my dearest.’ We have to respect his or her will.” Little did I know the preceding line “If a baby has been lost it means that conditions were not enough for him to manifest and the child has decided to withdraw in order to wait for better conditions.” would prove prophetic.
The way I see things now is that Bean is Viva. It was the same energy when I was pregnant. It’s hard to explain, but it felt like the same baby. The male body that I pictured Bean having was, with my DNA, not structurally stable enough for him to manifest. But he returned and picked the female twin’s body, the one that would become V.
This sounds crazier to me now I’ve put it into words. Oh dear.
I thought I was an atheist. Now I think of myself as a spiritual atheist. Or an atheist with Buddhist leanings. I don’t believe in god. I don’t believe in The Universe. All I know is that wrestling with the Shoulds and Could-Have-Beens has rarely been helpful. Sometimes you must simply surrender.
If you’re ever swimming in the ocean and you get pulled out to sea by a current, you have to literally go with the flow. Swim parallel to the shore. Surrender.
Yes, you will probably land on a different part of the beach than where you wanted to be, but it might be an interesting walk along the shore. You’ll have a tale to tell.
And you’ll be alive.