To Love and Let Go
By. Alisha Hiebert
I’ve always had a story to tell.
Loud and unapologetic,
I’ve been a certified shit disturber for as long as I can remember.
I have a tendency to rock the boat.
I’ve always had a roar in my chest.
Something loud and rumbling, just beneath the surface.
Something I never knew how to give voice to so I stuffed it down
and told myself to be quiet and swallow my roar.
The first moment I roared it vibrated through my veins like fire.
I had felt the sparks before but never let it tear through me
like a wildfire igniting but this time I did.
This time I had something else to fight for.
The hospital gown pooled around my feet as I studied my not yet showing
pregnant body in the full- length mirror. Sobs caught in my throat
but I muffled them into a towel.
They were waiting for me.
Outside, with a gurney ready to take me down to the OR.
When I came back upstairs I would no longer be pregnant.
They would scrape my uterus clean, delivering my son much before he was ready,
before his lungs had even developed enough to cry.
They were doing all of this to save my life.
And I didn’t understand how something that was saving my life
could feel like it was ending it.
I hid in that bathroom, one hand clutching my belly
and the other muffling my sobs, knowing the only way out
was through and my heart breaking over the injustice of it all.
There was a knock on the door. They wanted me to hurry up.
I felt it.
All bubbling up inside of my chest.
I told them to wait.
I wasn’t ready. I would never be ready.
All I needed was more time and I didn’t know what for.
The only thing they couldn’t give me, give my son, was more time.
“You need to stop,” the voice said from the other side of the door.
And I couldn’t contain it, and I didn’t want to.
With a strength I didn’t know I possessed I hissed out the words,
“You stop. I am allowed to break over this. And I need a fucking minute.”
And I did. I let the sobs rip through my body,
and then I inhaled the biggest gulp of pure oxygen into my body.
I commanded myself to be still, for my heartrate to slow and my body to relax.
I didn’t have anything else to offer my child but I could give him this.
Last moments that were calm and peaceful,
so he wouldn’t have to know the horrors that awaited us.
I told him in every way I could that I loved him,
that I was sorry, that he was going to be just fine.
And then I let him go.
Alisha is a yoga teacher, writer and social justice advocate living in Northern Alberta, Canada with her husband and dog. She believes vulnerability is the key to healing and embraces storytelling in all its forms as a catalyst for change. She writes regularly at thegilead.blogspot.com and on instagram @alisha.hiebert