Leila* had always been excited about being a mother and dreamed of having five children. But when she was 13, she was diagnosed with a heart condition that meant she may never be able to carry a child. She shares her heartbreak in this letter.
"At age 13 I was diagnosed with dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM). The doctor didn’t tell me the consequences of having this condition, but after a year of not having a period, I mentioned it to my cardiologist. She told me she just hoped I wasn’t pregnant because 'my heart wasn’t strong enough to work for another person.'
I knew I wasn't pregnant – I wasn’t sexually active at all. But the fact that my heart couldn’t beat for another person one day was terrifying. It dawned on me that I might never be able to carry I child – if I do, one or both of us might die.
I really want to try anyway when I’m older because I’m only 18 now. Ultimately I do hope that, like in the second last stanza, I will show Genesis, Gabriel and Geneva this poem.
A letter to my children (The Ones I’ll never know)
This is for Genesis, Gabriel
This is just for you
All the words were all thought in honour of you
To Gena, short for Genesis
I really loved your name, it spoke much without parenthesis
I always wanted you to be first
That even when I couldn’t have the others I could have you
occasionally crying on my chest and a mother at best
I was going to watch you grow, give you the world and
Never feel any vestige of guilt
You are my Sun, the one who gives me light to do work
For what matters most, the family I very much will never build
To Gabriel, my little boy
I always imagined you so wild, but your lone wolf character
Would give me great joy
You were distant from the others but not in a bad way
It was ok because you always came to me, oh! Son of May
You are my moon, in the nights you give enough light, you
give that light that makes me just lucid
To Geneva, you are the river in the cold country
the only thing that prevented me from ever seeing you.
I imagined your face ever shimmering with the
Waves of your smiles,
Your eyes as pellucid as when the suns set over you
You are the vast clouds in the night sky; you are not seen every night
On a good and storm seeking night you make an appearance
You are a different thing to every eye
Your elusive movements make it impossible to have two
People see the same thing
You are my canvas in the sky
Know that I really wanted to see you all grow inside of me
But the cold country called my heart couldn’t handle
it, pure jealousy!
The only thing it could let me do was name my
Cities but never build them
But trying to build you meant the first time I try,
Either the country or the city falls
But what is a built city without a country or a country without a built city?
A country is better with named cities that it can tell everyone about
But just never permit anyone to see
I hope that one day I may be able to look at these lines
And show you how I overcame that cold country heart and built my 3 live cities
And I’m not the clouds or the two main sources of light
I’m just the stars in both the skies, always there but only seen in the night
Next to the sun and amongst the planets
I’m just a universe of small lights that seem to have purpose in the galaxy.
This story was submitted to YOU by one of our readers and has been minimally edited.
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