Akemi Michel Shares Her Journey: Loss and Support
At Mitera we celebrate the modern mother throughout her individual motherhood journey. So, to honor all mothers who endured loss, courageous Akemi Michel agreed to share with us her courageous personal story.
A while ago, someone asked me what I really wanted for Mother’s Day. I thought about it long and hard but I really could not come up with anything except for my two sons to stay healthy and wish me a happy mother’s day with smiles on their faces.
Ever since I lost my younger brother to an accident at the age of 16, the concept of “staying healthy” took a whole other meaning. This is the most important thing for me because staying alive and healthy is the foundation for everything else. It is wrong for kids to die before their parents. This is something I think about every day and I wish that no parents would ever have to experience seeing their children pass away before them.
My first son Sean was very much wished for after a long struggle with infertility. I still vividly remember the indescribable joy I felt when I found out I was pregnant and the incredible journey of this life growing inside of me. His being born healthy into this world made me a mother. This for me is worth 1000 mother’s day presents.
After Sean, I experienced two miscarriages during another round of fertility treatment and it took four long years to be blessed with Oscar, our second son. I am so blessed with a wonderful family, who supported me through this journey but it was my son Sean’s heartfelt wish to someday become an older brother that really carried me through those difficult and uncertain four years. So, you can imagine the double joy I felt with Oscar as he fulfilled Sean’s dream of becoming an older brother and made me a mother for the second time.
Every year on Mother’s Day my kids bring me a huge flower bouquet. This year for the first time, Oscar carried the bouquet (that was almost as big as him! ) instead of Sean. Sean was responsible for giving me a handmade card that he and Oscar made together. Of course our kids are small so my husband is still the one behind the scenes instilling in them the meaning of Mother’s Day and helping them prepare the flowers and a card. I hope someday they will do this out of their own initiative but I am simply happy that they are growing up as healthy, happy and caring human beings.
Today marks Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day. So, I decided to share my story in hopes that it will resonate with and offer support to those going through similar experiences. My husband and I could not have been able to become parents if it were not for the advancement in the medical knowledge and technologies in fertility treatment. The majority of pregnancies and births in Japan are ‘natural’ and there is still a negative sentiment towards fertility treatment. But I know through my experience that there are so many couples who truly wish to become pregnant but are not able to do so on their own. I also know that many are able to get pregnant but are not able to keep the pregnancies and experience later term abortions and stillbirths.
Before we embarked on our fertility journey, our doctor spent some time with us explaining how much of a miracle being blessed with a healthy baby is and all the risks and challenges of undergoing fertility treatment. We were extremely fortunate to be blessed with two healthy children as a result of years of treatment, however through this process and two unexplainable pregnancy losses, I now know how it feels to be pushed straight down from heaven to hell. I can now truly appreciate that being able to create, sustain and bring new life into this world is a miracle.
The fertility clinic that helped us create this miracle still reaches out to us from time to time to see how we are doing and get some data regarding our experience with the treatment. I am always happy to provide them with whatever information they need in hopes that it might contribute to advancing the knowledge of fertility further and help women and couples in similar circumstances experience this incredible miracle and joy of motherhood.
Akemi Michel is originally from Japan married to a tall and handsome German. After being based in Dubai for several years, she and her family currently reside in Hong Kong.