When I was pregnant with my second son my mother became rapidly ill and passed away when I was 12 weeks pregnant. I wrote in my journal regularly during this time and my entire pregnancy. This is a comparison I wrote between her terminal symptoms and my pregnancy symptoms 10 days before my son was born. 

06 December 2012


The cycle when birth meets death

At the end my mothers abdomen was distended with malignant fluid.


Pushing down her hernia.

Very heavy.

Propped in bed with cushions because it was too painful to lie down.

Too painful to turn.

Too painful to walk.

Too painful to balance.

Here I lie with distended abdomen – with baby within.

Taking a three step rise to get out of any sitting or lying position.

Propped with pillows to support my belly with the muscles,  ligaments and bones straining with the weight.

  • only “she” is alive and moving with the hopes and dreams of – my child.

The pressure – the occlusions. My mother burped to release heartburn. No appetite.

I can compare (but only a little) to the morning sickness at first and now still occassional heartburn. Floods of passing nausea. I still eat. I want to.

The tiredness. After little activity needing to rest. Sleep.

After some small exertion – walking around, some small activity. The need to lie down and rest, even sleep is overpowering and unquestionable. I am able to sleep again as if I hadn’t at night time.

Only the insomnia. My mother awake – reading. At 1 or 2 or 3am.

Myself – different hours maybe. Not always. Awake. For a bit maybe.


I will have a baby. A life. Continued. Joyful. Full of love – potential and opportunity.

Small suffering. 

Temporary – for all that a life can offer.

And my mother lost hers. 

My mother and father when my mother was pregnant with me. 

My mother and father when my mother was pregnant with me. 

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One Comment

  1. An intense and honest comparison of two very different but very real situations -birth and death. How remarkable that you experienced this and saw it for it was and felt it deeply. Thank you being so raw and so real such an enlightening read

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