Sybella was born on the 24th of April, after a very long and anxious eight months. She was greatly longed for by our entire family. Everyone here knows that conceiving Sybella was difficult, and when we finally learned we were expecting her, Kelvin and I were ecstatic. Jack was excited about his new sister that was “spending time growing bigger so that she could come and play with him.” Our family was complete.
The pregnancy was difficult. I was very sick for 5 months. I was enormous. Sybella had some mild kidney problems that we were assured were of small consequence, but we worried for her all the same. Despite all these difficulties, I wouldn’t have changed anything. I would go through those 34 weeks again and again for my little girl. I hope that while she was living and growing in me that she felt safe and warm and loved. I am sure she heard Jack speak to her, and her daddy too. She never kicked very hard, and I tell myself it was she was such a gentle soul, relaxed and calm. I hope she knows I looked after her as best as I could while I was growing her. Well, I tried to. I just wanted her to be happy and healthy and loved and cherished.
Sybella’s birth was the most beautiful event of my life. Despite knowing she would be stillborn, I felt I needed to honour her with a natural birth…although the thought terrified me. Labour began at 12pm. I was told that it could take days. But I knew she would be born before the sun went down. I knew that together, Sybella and I would embrace the challenge of birth and death on the same day, and in this respect, my body did not fail us. Our daughter was born asleep at 4.01pm. I held her immediately. She was perfect. Perfect and beautiful and peaceful. She should not have died. This was an incredibly bittersweet time. Being acutely aware that my daughter was not alive, the peace and serenity in the room was palpable. It was incredibly organic to be lying there with my newborn daughter. I am sure her spirit was still there and she didn’t leave until we had been given the chance to meet face to face. Until she got to have a cuddle and a talk with her mummy. Until her mummy got to give her her first and last bath. Until we had finished marveling at our beautiful creation.
Sybella will always be my second child. As of the 24th of April at 4.01pm, I have two children. Jack and Sybella. If we add to our family, another child will be our third child. Our other children will be told about Sybella. Her birthday will be celebrated every year. We will honour her at Christmas. I speak to her like she is here and Jack and I say goodnight to her every night and we tell her we love her. I open the curtains in her room because she needs fresh air and sunlight. I kiss her blanket that she was wrapped in after birth every night. I worry that she is warm and safe and protected, because that’s what mothers worry about.
Despite the pain and heartache that we feel, I feel lucky. Sybella chose to come to us. She will always be part of our family. I am privileged to be Sybella’s mother. I am honoured to have carried her, felt her move, birthed her and held her. She was born to ME. For someone who never took a breath, the number of lives that she has touched is remarkable. Sybella, at zero days old, has taught me more than I have learned in 29 years. She has shown me more about life and love, serenity and peace than I ever knew. She had a purpose, I am sure. And she will be preserved as a perfect, innocent heart forever. Sybella won’t grow up like other children will grow up. She won’t face the hardships of this world. She won’t experience disappointment or sadness nor will she ever cause us disappointment or sadness. Sybella is a special soul. Her little life will be a memory of nothing but love, innocence and purity.
Stillborn, but STILL born. We see her with the butterflies.
Simply, we love her. We always did. We always will.