The New Year has blown in from time’s north, ushering in a feeling of new and a sweeping sensation of fresh. We draw from year’s past to inform the untouched 365 days spread out before us and I as stand on the precipice of a new year filled with limitless opportunity, I can’t help but feel excited. Hopeful.
Last year I talked about the fear we have associated with going forward with more children due to our complications in getting our first child. But, as we looked at our only daughter and the miracle that she is, the fear seemed to dim and the light of potential life shined bright.
So, we did what anyone would do when thinking about having more children … We went to Mexico. Olé! We swam in the ocean. We ate tacos. We did not drink the water. And we had the best time of our lives with some of the best friends we could ask for, all the while speaking horrible Spanish. A few weeks later, I found myself staring at a positive pregnancy test. Life was on track.
But, what started out as a dream come true tumbled into a nightmare 10 weeks into the pregnancy. We saw the heartbeat at six and seven weeks, but at our next appointment we found ourselves trapped in a sad scene out of a movie. The ultrasound tech went silent and left the room and returned with our doctor. “I’m so sorry,” she comforted. “But there is just no heartbeat this time, your baby has passed on.”
In that moment, time stalled. The air felt thick and suffocating. All I could do was keep my eyes on my husband and breathe. Now, for me, crying in public is akin to the humiliation of forgetting to put on pants before speaking to a large crowd. But in that moment, something in me crumbled. My heart. My heart crumbled and I began weeping like never before in front of everyone.
Thus began my walk on a road that unfortunately many women have walked before me and a road in which I am terrified to ever have to walk again.
Today, I have the vantage point of being six months away from that moment, and I can honestly say that somehow I’ve emerged feeling grateful. Because every since that day in the doctor’s office and the harrowing ride in the ambulance two days later when I developed complications associated with the miscarriage; my heart became opened, sensitive, and acutely aware of the entire subculture of women that have experienced similar and more dramatic loss in their pregnancies.
In my own tiny little world within just three weeks of our own nightmare, two of my closest friends had miscarriages and yet another experienced an ectopic pregnancy. Not to mention one of those dear women had already experienced the excruciating loss of her infant daughter. I also have several friends that are currently navigating through infertility issues and, on the flip side, I also know many women who sneeze and are pregnant and their delivery reads more like a spa day than actual labor.
But no matter the story, the reality is the road to pregnancy, pregnancy, and the aftermath is an epic odyssey laced with heartbreak and indescribable joy. And as I said last spring; no matter what, life is always worth the journey. So, all of you women out there trying to conceive, who have suffered loss in the past, or are just fellow sojourners on the trek for children; I salute all of you. Your bravery to desire to love and care for a child is so wondrously sacrificial and the epitome of beautiful. In this new year, I pray for all of us that hope and life would grow and flourish.
As for the child we lost, while I mourn for her (we think it was a girl), we also rejoice. Because when we get to the point where all our journey’s end, I know I will see her again. And I won’t even have to be told who she is or wonder where she is. Because I know she’ll be there. I’ll recognize her and her me, because we know each other. What a sweet reward.