Six years ago I was 36 weeks pregnant when I started having contractions that turned into a mad fever overnight. In the morning I drove to the hospital while having contractions and they did an ultrasound on the baby only to deliver the most terrifying news of my life. “Your baby’s heart is not beating”, they said and offered me two options, either to induce the labor at a different hospital or wait for the labor to start naturally.

 

Before then I had no concept that babies can die in mothers womb. I thought I could never in the million years would type this word combination. To them it was a medical procedure, to me it was what felt like the end of life. Part of what used to be  me died that day.   We have just finished putting a nursery together  and had a baby shower just few days before. All the baby shower happy cards still taped to my refrigerator and tiny newborn outfits neatly folded in the dresser. The saddest thing is to walk into an empty house after leaving your baby behind into a place that was supposed to be the beginning of a new life. That moment I felt like there was no purpose for me to be living. Tears would not stop running for days. But that came later,  the first week was just utter shock, numbness. It just felt like someone slapped me in the face.

They told me I was so strong, but in reality there was simply no lower ground I could further fall down on. This was it. The very bottom.  The darkest bottom you could ever find. Nobody came and said that there was a choice. There was no choice. I had to drag myself out of bed every morning and go to work. Because the worst  and the  most offensive part about when a  disaster hits your family is that you still have to pay the fucking bills. The most offensive part is that someone else’s life is still going on. The world is still spinning. How dare they?!!!

This experience shook my ground. It woke me up to how fragile our lives are. It woke up a part of me that was sleeping.    It showed me that the old me was already dead. The old me was no longer that 19 year old girl with big wide eyes and dreams that were bigger than life. I was no longer the girl who challenged herself to fly across the world and start over in a place she knew noone.  The old me was a robot that had no joy in life, that lived in the 9 to 5 system, somehow, somewhere sucked into this nasty never-ending circle of miserable existence.

With the death of my first son that miserable girl died, and the new girl has risen from the ashes and built herself up, unwilling to take the misery of the system any longer. It is when you make a no bs, no plan b kind of choice to no longer tolerate being average, being afraid to speak your mind, being afraid of losing, it is especially easy when you know there is nothing left to lose.  It is then you make a decision to live a free life. It is  a matter of your choice. That experience  not only turned me towards pursuing photography. Because when you lose someone and don’t have many images. Images is all you have left from them. I mean it is THE ONLY thing you have left. And you need images to grieve. You need them like you need air. It has taught me to  never tolerate misery and pursue big dreams, take huge risks, rinse and repeat. Live life like a maniac. I needed that experience to start valuing what I had and start my journey towards a person I want to become and the life I want to live. You can too. Just make a decision to no longer tolerate, but fully live.

Happy 6th birthday, Angel Stephen Melvin. I know you are always with me guiding me. Thank you for all the blessings I have experienced afterwords. I would not have been where I am right now without you.

 

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About The Author

Katya Melvin

Dreamer, Fighter, Entrepreneur