**Bella looks back at losing a pregnancy in its early stages and smiles over how she succeeded to overcome the sadness and uncertainties that followed. In the midst of it all, she came out stronger and even more optimistic.
In order to encourage and celebrate people like Bella, the International Bereaved Mother’s Day was created in 2010.
History of International Bereaved Mothers’ Day
The day was created by Carly Marie Dudley in 2010 after she lost her stillborn son, Christian.
According to articles online, Carly Marie knew how it felt like to lose a child and celebrate Mother’s Day with that grief so she wanted to help other people in healing their broken hearts.
It is worth mentioning that Mothers’ Day was created in honour of a Bereaved Mother.
In all, Bereaved Mother’s Day honours mothers who have experienced a miscarriage, a stillbirth, SIDS or any other type of pregnancy and infant loss.
The day is observed every first Sunday in May, a week before Mother’s Day in many countries.
In the economic capital of Cameroon, Douala is found **Leslie, a lady who has experienced her own share of the pain of losing a child.
Leslie’s baby died shortly after birth. She later gave birth to another child and has overcome her initial loss.
“Grieving generally is something no one would love to experience…that is if we had the power to stop or avoid it laid in our human hands,” she emphasises.
“Losing a loved one is so painful but I tell you losing a child, your own blood, a mini you, a flesh of your flesh is another kind of pain. I still recall vividly how my contraction pains accelerated on that fateful night. It was on the 25th of March 2014. The pain was there but the thought of finally meeting HOPE seemed to dilute everything and make it worthwhile. Yes her name was HOPE, she was actually my hope somehow. That was the only name I wanted to call her,” Leslie recalls.
“I was finally able to push on the 26th of March and I had my baby girl but unlike other babies who push a cry, Hope was struggling to breathe and in spite of every attempt that was made to help her, she gave up on life…on me,” she laments with tears.
The aftermath was a very traumatizing period for the mother.
“I would wake up in the middle of the night and do many strange things: yell, cry and just want to go out of the house. I would lock up myself for days and cry my lungs out but thank God for family and some friends I consider sisters. Their love and time are what took me out of this very incomprehensible moment of my life,” she explains with a smile.
“God’s love has kept me going as I understood with time that all that the Lord does is good and that He will bless me according to his riches in glory. He’s never late and His ways, thoughts and deeds are so different from ours. Hoping in Him has set me at peace with myself as before, I used to blame myself for the lose of my beloved daughter HOPE. His word reminds me every day that His plans for me are plans to prosper me,” Leslie adds.
**Ryan’s situation was not too different. After successfully giving birth to two children, she was blessed with a third who died barely a few days after birth.
Many are the women who have carried a life within, birthed the baby and parted ways with them too soon.
**Ma Christa explains how she was devastated when her son of over forty, died, leaving her behind to mourn him.
While others grieve their departed children peacefully, others are pierced with daunting arrows by themselves, relatives and friends who sometimes point accusing fingers at these vulnerable women.
With these and more in mind, the international community is using the International Bereaved Mother’s Day as a means to tell these Grieving or Bereaved Mothers that they are not alone.
And as Leslie puts it, “I say to every grieving mother out there, struggling to come to terms with the fact they have lost a child, their child, ‘Be strong sister and remember God is ALWAYS faithful. He will recover what the “Egyptians” stole, in thousand folds.'”
**Real names withheld
Eleanor Ayuketah Ngochi