Tag: grief
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April Is a Promise.

“April is a promise that May is bound to keep.”

I’ve always loved springtime.

There’s just something about the smell of the earth and rain and new green things poking through the decay of fall; something about the symbolism of a colorful rebirth after a long, cold season of gray hibernation.  Thunder and lightning burst open the skies and settle the earth, and warm rains wash the whole scene anew.  The runoff from April showers wind their way in pretty little ribbons and streams down the streets and sidewalks.  Birds and rabbits lend their songs and scampers to a blossoming seasonal backdrop in a state of perpetual forward motion.

There’s something about the spring that just makes me feel at peace in the midst of a great turbulence.

Spring gives me roots, just as it gives me wings.

It grounds me, and gives me hope.

Emerging from the cold darkness makes me appreciate the warm sunshine, and the happiness I feel this season helps me better understand the despair I’ve felt in seasons past.

Gratitude for a warm day or a stubborn crocus poking through the last of the snow does not come from a general appreciation of these beautiful things, however.

Gratitude comes from want, from need, from being without.

I’ve been without.  I’ve struggled.  I’ve wanted and needed and cried and pleaded for things outside of my control.  I’ve been denied, I’ve been angry, and I’ve been on the verge of quitting so many times.

Once I was even given the gift of a wish granted, though it was a short-lived dream from which I was forced to awaken.

Mine was a dream that was meant to be fulfilled in April.

This month is not an easy one for me for so many reasons.  While it may be a month of celebrating life, rebirth, and growth, for me it also symbolizes grief, death, and loss.  The loss of a dream, of innocence, of hope, will stay with one for all of time.  I certainly have not fully recovered, though time has passed by, and life has gone on.

Even being an eternal optimist does not shield a person from a lingering sadness and a strong association with a date, a month, or a time of year.  Storm clouds may bring showers that help the whole world grow, but sometimes it can be so hard to see the silver lining for the rain driving into your eyes.

Spring is that time for me.  Hope and despair marry, and one becomes the other; a tornado of contradictory feelings from which there is no shelter.

April always leaves me confused – sad and happy, hopeful and grieving, warm and cold – but one undeniable fact about this time of year is that it never fails to remind us of what could be, what may be, and what will be.

The rain and the sunshine gently clash, and though one could easily destroy the other, they sometimes strike a compromise and find balance.  Out of that balance comes a rare beauty, a symbol of strength that’s meant to be appreciated, a promise that’s meant to be kept.

I may spend this month feeling like I’m being followed by a volatile spring storm cloud, but I know that hope is still alive, and that the sun will still shine.  As time passes, and we hurtle on toward warmth and growth, the world will explode into a riot of color, I will find gratitude again, and I will know that peace may find me yet.

And if I’m lucky, maybe my dream is still out there in the breeze…

If there’s a chance that April’s promise can still be kept, I will turn my face to the wind, embrace every blustery day, and remain open to whatever the chaotic, ever-changing seasons of life blow my way.

And for all the wild and unpredictable weather of life, one thing is for certain:

I will flourish.

I will bloom.

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Giving Thanks

Ohhh… the holidays.

The end of each year is rife with days where it is expected that you reflect on the year past and how life has treated you.  Days where you count your blessings, and put your hopes for the coming year out on the table for all to see.

The holidays can be difficult for Infertiles and miscarriage survivors.

Not only were our hopes for the past year – or years, in most cases – never realized, but sometimes they were turned into nightmares from which we have not been able to awaken.  The loss of a child, no matter how early or late in the pregnancy, or even after said child has entered the world safely, is not something upon which anyone wants to reflect, and certainly not something for which we should be expected to give thanks.

However, I fully believe that despite how hearing it ad nauseam from people in my life makes me want to throat-punch someone – Everything happens for a reason.

I believe in a higher power.  I believe God is directing this shit-show from above, and in my life and the life of my child, he saw something that caused him to take my child early.  I may never know what that reason was while on this earthly plane, but that’s what faith is, right?  Blind belief in something you cannot see.

I believe that my miscarriage happened for a reason.  Perhaps it was to make me into a stronger person.

Check.

Perhaps it was to make my marriage into an impenetrable force which cannot be rent asunder.

Check.

Perhaps it was to make me realize that life is not always fair, and some of us have to work harder than others for things to which we think we are entitled.

Check.

Perhaps it was to instill in me the patience of Job.

CHECK.

Perhaps it was to make me write this post, listing reasons my life does not suck and things for which I am thankful…

Check.

Life, God, has been good to me.  I have more than many people will ever have.  I know I have things that others wish and dream for, like a very solid marriage where my husband is truly my best friend and biggest supporter, and a relationship with both our families where I know that we could go to them with anything, and they’d be ready to help in a moment’s notice.

We have good, stable jobs.  I love my job.  I have coworkers who are true friends.  I have some friends who have become coworkers.  My place of employment and its cast of characters is quickly becoming another family.

We have a roof over our heads… Two, actually!  We are in the process of moving from our apartment into a beautiful house!  This transition could never have happened if not for some serious help from family.  We are very grateful and count ourselves truly blessed to have this opportunity.

There are so many things to be thankful for, and yet we still want.  We want to fill that new home with children.  Two maybe?  Okay, even just one would be amazing.

We want our families, friends, and die-hard supporters to stick with us as we start treatments again… probably as soon as next week!

We want Christmas to bring celebration, not sadness.

We want 2013 to be the year we become parents who get to parent, and not just parents who get to grieve.

For all that we have, for all that we have been given, allowed, blessed with, we still want.  It’s the nature of the beast, I suppose, but want isn’t just selfish hoarding of material things.  Want also creates motivation and hope.

We desire these things, and therefore we are motivated to work for them.  We have hope and faith that we will be blessed in the future, just as we have been in the past.

For all of the blessings, the joy, the sorrow, the grief, the hope, and the faith, we are thankful.

I am thankful for my life, sadness, loss and all, and I am thankful for you.  Without support, without kind words and kicks in the rear from the readers here, I would never have been able to make it this far in my nearly four-year journey to have a child.

To my readers, my friends:
 
May your holiday be filled with warmth and kindness and carbs and pie, and may your families just embrace you with love and not tell you to “just stop trying so hard”. 
 
May you find yourself truly thankful for all that you have in life, and may whatever heavy disappointment and grief from the past year be lightened enough this day that you are able to enjoy yourself.
 
May whatever diet to which you’ve been subjecting yourself be put on the back burner, next to the gravy.  May you lose track of your caloric intake as well as your wine consumption.
 
And finally, to those of you who are still trying to conceive this holiday season, may your turkey be basted to fruition.
 
Happy Thanksgiving, my dear friends.

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I Used To Be Funnier…

I used to be funnier.

I used to be happy.  All the time.  I was one of those

I used to laugh and smile and joke.

I used to skip and jump in puddles and stop to smell the flowers.

I used to be sweet.

I used to have this convoluted notion that one day, when the husband and I were ready for it, we would have a spontaneous, romantic intimate encounter and a few weeks later I would wake up just knowing that something was different.

I would go out and buy a pregnancy test, and get a positive result.  I would wait till the husband came home and surprise him with the news.  We would laugh and cry and hug and call to tell our families the joyous news.  We would plan out some elaborate way to announce our pregnancy to our friends; maybe a Facebook photo of the ultrasound or a clever shot of a bun in an oven.

We would make plans for that empty second bedroom.  We would talk about names and paint colors and finally choose a church.  We would warmly embrace the life that was so generously given us, and make preparations for our new family.

Now I laugh because I realize how naïve I was.

It’s a bitter laugh.

Even just a year ago, I was far more able to handle the thought of pursuing more aggressive treatments.  A year ago I felt hopeful that a different approach would do the trick.  A year ago I never thought I would still be doing this.

I think the hardest part of infertility is the grieving process.

I’ve grieved the thought of having three kids by age thirty.  Or having any kids by age 32.

I’ve grieved the idea of my kids having cousins their own age.

I’ve grieved the dream of calling to tell the doctor I’m pregnant, rather than the doctor calling to tell me.

I’ve grieved the experience of creating a child out of a loving act between husband and wife.

I’ve grieved.

It doesn’t get easier.

It hurts so much sometimes that it’s like a burning in my chest.  Sometimes I hold my breath just to keep the tears from falling.  Sometimes the happiest dreams leave me feeling bereft when the morning comes.  Sometimes I just want to quit.

I feel like I’m on a train.

I’ve gone through some beautiful countryside on this journey, but recently I’ve been taken through rocky canyons and along steep cliffs.  I’m in a dark tunnel and have no idea what’s on the other side.

It might be more beautiful countryside, a place where a young family can skip and jump in puddles and stop to smell the flowers.

Then again, there’s also a good chance the tracks may run out.  I could emerge from this in a free-fall into darkness.

Never again to be the girl of light and laughter and love, destined to live out the rest of her days in darkness and despair and depression.

I pray that’s not the case.

I know that God has a plan for me.  I know that God wouldn’t bring me to a challenge I wasn’t built to handle.  I know that God loves me and is preparing me for something bigger than all of this.

I know.

And yet, it’s hard to have faith some days.

Still though, faith is what gets me by.

I have faith that I will have a child; perhaps not by age 32, or 33, or even 40, but I will.  One day.

I have faith that my child will be loved by so many, regardless the age of his cousins.

I have faith that the joy of knowing I am going to be a mother will diffuse all of the resentment I have towards my body’s betrayal.

I have faith that my child will know he is loved, regardless if he was conceived in a petri dish or in my womb or in the womb of another.

I have faith, but I also know that I will never be able to be that girl again.

The carefree girl who laughs and smiles and jokes.

The sweet, happy, funny girl who doesn’t have a reason to cry.

I know I will never be the same after this.

But I know that I will be okay.

Even after a long period in a dark tunnel, it takes your eyes some time to adjust to the sunlight.

I won’t be the same, but I will be stronger, wiser, and have more depth than many.  I will have experienced loss and longing, and I will have had to fight for the life I want.

I will get up tomorrow and continue down this dark tunnel.

I will find my way out the other side, and regardless what’s there, I will survive.

More than that, though; I will thrive.

…I used to be funnier.  And I will get back there one day.

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