Monday, March 15, 2010
It was 2001. I was 24 years old and had been married for 3 years. It was the year my husband and I decided to take a couple of huge steps. We were pretty young, but we knew our lives were about to change drastically.
He had accepted a new job in a new state and was leaving his hometown. I'd already left home when I went to college, and after marrying a local boy, his home became my home, too. We'd made lots of great friends there. His parents were there. We loved the town and the community and we were pretty comfortable there at the time, but we both agreed that the move was the right thing to do for our family of two. It was an amazing opportunity, one my husband wasn't even sure he was qualified for, but he interviewed anyway and got the job! He was going to be a software engineer at NASA. It was such an exciting time, but yes, we were both nervous. Change always makes me nervous.
We moved from North Louisiana to Southeast Texas in May of that year. The move actually brought us a few hours closer to my side of the family in Southwest Louisiana. That was some comfort for us, as well as the fact that my husband's sister lived nearby in Houston. It was a tough transition. I think the hardest part of all was leaving our church family and having to start from scratch in a brand new place with no familiar faces. We were finally on our own, though, and as scary as it was, it did feel pretty good. We were making it! We had a cute little apartment and were already talking about buying a home sometime in the next year or so.
That was where we were just before we decided to start trying to have children. It was just before our lives really did change forever.
A few months after our move we made our first trip back to my husband's hometown. We had decided to set up a photo shoot with a friend of my brother-in-law's, a young lady that he and my husband knew from high school who was starting a photography business in town. We had seen some of her work and really liked it, so we scheduled a time to meet with her while we were in town. It was a fun day for us and we thought she did a great job with the photos.
Now, when I look back at these pictures all these years later, it's hard to describe what I feel.
It was just before we were faced with the toughest trial of our lives.
We were young, in love, and so hopeful for the future.
It was just before I realized that I would have to be much stronger than I ever thought I was.
Toward the end of that year, we decided that we wanted to start trying to get pregnant. To tell you the truth, we didn't know a whole lot about ovulation schedules or anything else like that, but I was learning. I started charting my temperature and paying attention to certain clues. Early in May of the next year, I got my first positive pregnancy test. It was almost a year to the day after we'd moved. Most of you already know the story, but I miscarried 2 months later, as we were getting ready to move into our first home. (I've written more about that loss here.)
It was the beginning of the scariest ride of our lives. The next 7 years or so are almost a blur of grief, and hope, and devastation, and most of all loss. I almost can't believe all that has happened since that year. I never would have dreamed I could live through 6 miscarriages and still find the courage to keep on trying.
Sometimes I miss the couple in those photos. But I know the couple we are today.
We're still young (relatively speaking), still very much in love with each other, and we're still hopeful for our future. And this time, we know that we can make it through some really, really tough times. We know that we can survive, and not only that, but we can keep on living and keep on hoping, despite our setbacks and disappointments!
This photo was taken just before I realized how much I truly loved my husband and just how grateful I would be to have him by my side.