Christmas time and the whole family is home. The quiet lonely time I used to devote to thinking, making and remembering Ida was interrupted by chaos of people talking, laughing, preparing for Christmas.
On the 24th of December I went to the cemetery to see Ida, brought her flowers and asked her to inspire me.
I feel her presence strong inside me when I feel the urge to come out from my dark hole in which I find pain and comfort to stay in.
This urge driving me out is a positive change, creating or doing something to help whoever in Messina that will have to go through a termination for medical reasons.
To help them and avoid them fighting, arguing and being the advocates for themselves in a moment in which you don't want to fight back and actually you don't feel like living at all.
Inspire me Ida to see good, do good and honor your existence changing what I can change and letting go on what cannot be changed.
I came back home positive and ready to have my whole family over for dinner. My mother helped me creating decorations with her symbol, the snowflake. 3 candles were lightened up, for the 3 babies that me, my mother and my auntie lost in these last years. Nobody else knew, but this didn't matter.
In the afternoon one of my mother's friend came over to bring a gift to my brother and then stopped talking for a while. He brought Ida a Christmas gift. He was in the toy shop and felt Ida needed a gift. He chose a beautiful colored rag doll and gave it to me, worried it might be offensive, not caring, misunderstood. I felt so blessed somebody I didn't expect a thing came with such a beautiful gift for my daughter, her first gift I ever received for her. He recognized her existence, her importance and her life. I will never forget this.
After dinner, after the busy gifts opening time, most of the people were gone, the kids were playing happy with their new toys and I felt so alone. I longed so much for feeling Ida inside me again, to feel her growing and kicking. When you are pregnant you are never alone. When your baby dies you feel this constant presence she was filling suddenly gone and this emptiness scratches the walls of your being expanding and moving like trying to find and bring your baby back.
When I feel better and positive I still have aside, in a corner, the feeling I will crumble and get back in depression in a matter of seconds. And this is grief, puzzle-building towards healing, then something breaks the whole puzzle down, you start again all over, but knowing already how to move between all the pieces.
The 28th of December marked one month from her death, but also from meeting her. I slept hugging her doll during the night that wanted me awake. I've dreamed of her at 7/8 years old. She was staring at me, serious, not happy, not sad. Just looking at me and none of us could get any closer than those 4/5 meters separating us. She was so beautiful. Visible down syndrome, but so beautiful. Her hair was light brown, thin and held in a chignon, her face was long and delicate, her eyes big and blue, so much like her dad, but with my same lips. I wasn't understanding what that meant, I wasn't able to speak to her, but I was so surprised and happy to see her. I woke up wondering what this dream could ever mean. Wondering and doubting again about the meaning of this all, of her existence, of our love choice. This going up and down it's so difficult. This up and down makes you wonder if you will ever emerge any time you go down.
Today I went to a touristic place with my mother in law and my boyfriend. I learnt so much about Sicilian history and culture from a local artist! Then, suddenly, he started talking about the magic of life, of women and pregnancy that Sicilian culture preserves in its matriarchal society.
He played the music of life with its 'marranzano', the music of pregnancy. The energy generated by its music, movements in which he was like 'absorbing' and 'giving' energy, moving his hands in the air, touching his 'pregnant' belly was very moving. He didn't know my story, but he stopped me at the end and when I told him about what I do in life, studying midwifery, he told me he had to give me a Sicilian mother doll he crafted. He told me to preserve our culture and our amazement towards life and pregnancy. Then I felt to tell him I accept the gift also as a mother, a mother of a daughter who died one month ago.
The tears couldn't stop flowing. He hugged me strong and told him he will remember me forever and that that room, that space will be forever mine as well, from that moment, from that sharing.
I am thankful for these kind of random encounters, random that i know it's guided by my daughter who makes me feel her presence whenever I need her the most.
I love you my sweet Ida.
Ida Saoirse Scherer,
our first baby girl, who was born and died at 16+5 weeks on the 30th November 2017.
Resources about Termination for Medical Reasons
Sister-friend Emily writing for her first son Amari Regan (Fragile X Syndrome)
Katrina's blog for her second daughter April Rey (Trisomy 13)