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Thursday, June 24, 2010

Always There

I don't know where the time has been going lately, but it's really flying. Summers always do seem that way I guess, but in the years we spent struggling through pregnancy loss, time always seemed to pass so slowly no matter what the season. The weeks and days (and especially the nights) would drag on, yet before I knew it I was facing another Christmas, New Year, and birthday with an empty womb and empty arms. Somehow the years piled up more quickly than I expected while we were slowly trudging through day by day.

Now, for the time being, I don't mind that time is marching on. One of my favorite things to do is turn the calendar to a new month and count the weeks until our due date in September. I'm so eager to have this baby here that I want the next few months to go quickly even though we're not "ready" in terms of having everything done.

But with all the joy and all the things we have to keep us steadily busy for the next 12 weeks, those years of infertility and loss are always there. They are in the past, hopefully once and for all, but they don't go away. The old familiar hurt is there when I hear of someone experiencing loss. I still feel funny (jealous?) when I hear a pregnancy announcement from someone very young, newly married, and totally oblivious that anything could possibly go wrong.

I still miss the babies I carried before Lily. They were here, they were loved, and they were celebrated before they were gone. And besides missing them, I don't think I could ever forget the huge, aching emptiness I felt inside. The future was so uncertain when it came to whether or not we'd ever get over this hurdle. Could I be okay if we never had children? Would I be destined to live with only the memory of six tiny babies that we never got to see or hold? Will we be able to adopt, and if so, where would the finances come from? How could we ever have a successful pregnancy after six failures? Would we ever beat the odds somehow?

So many questions. And while some of my questioning and wondering has been put to rest, the feelings of loss are always there. And yes, the fears are still around, too. I think they always are when you've had a history of loss. I still pray so hard for this child. I talk to her and tell her how much her Daddy and I love her, and how hard we tried to get her here. I tell her what a miracle she is already, and I pray God's protection over her life.

Because the reminders of what we've lost are everywhere. Lily will wear clothes and play with toys that were bought for her siblings years ago (although, trust me, she has plenty of brand new things that are just hers!). She will probably grow up wondering why we look at her with such awe, why we call her a miracle, and why we get choked up every time we thank God for her in our prayer time.

It's not that I need reminders to remember where we've been. I don't, but sometimes they come unexpectedly. I've been able to do a lot of reading in the past few weeks, and the last two books that I finished from my reading list (The Forgotten Garden and Sarah's Key) had some element of infertility or miscarriage in the plot. I had no idea when I added these works of fiction to my list at the beginning of the year that they had anything to do with that topic. One of the books was well over 500 pages long and the infertility element didn't appear until more than 400 pages in.

I don't necessarily mind when a book talks about infertility or miscarriage. Actually, I'm glad that people are beginning to see that it's a real and terrible issue that a lot of women face. I'm glad it's being talked about so much more than it used to, even if it is in a novel. But sometimes it catches me off guard. Sure, I use books as an escape from real life. I always have. That's what is so great about getting lost in a story! Sometimes it feels too familiar, though. Sometimes I'm not prepared. I wasn't expecting to have big, fat tears rolling down my cheeks because I can relate to the woman who feels like she's at the end of her rope because her body has betrayed her. She feels a familiar ache in her abdomen and fears the worst. She feels her hopes and dreams begin to crumble when she realizes that her pregnancy is over. She feels like a failure as a woman and a wife because she can't have a baby. She feels empty and desperate and alone.

I know those feelings because they are always there.

And I'm ready. Ready for my mourning to turn to dancing, and ready for my tears of grief to become tears of joy. But, rest assured, even when the time finally comes, I'll never forget.

11 comments:

Indy said...

Beautiful reflection, Stacey.

Connie said...

"She will probably grow up wondering why we look at her with such awe, why we call her a miracle, and why we get choked up every time we thank God for her in our prayer time." I've thought of this so often. She is quite possibly the most prayed for child ever. XOXO

DeniFay said...

Such a gorgeous post as always you put things so eloquently! Praying for a safe timely arrival of miss Lily and looking forward to all of your celebrations with her!

Amazing Life said...

This was said just beatuifully. The experiences will always be a part of your life, but praise God there is dancing in your future!!

belle said...

i'll never forget either.....

praying for this child you carry. blessings

Sharon said...

And you won't forget even after Lilly has filled your arms and healed your heart. That has been my experience since Ava arrived. Its not as raw as what it was, its not overwhelming like it used to be, but its still very much there and from time to time it catches me totally off guard.

Jenn said...

What a beautiful child Lily is and we haven't even seen her yet!

twondra said...

Always so beautifully written. I love how you always talk about your other 6 children and it's so obvious how much you love them as much as you love Lily. You're an amazing mother. (((HUGS)))

Renovation Girl said...

My past three books have surprised me with miscarraige in them (one with recurrent) and it took my breath away a bit. Here I am escaping the hurt only to be confronted with it. Yet it helps and I wonder how much of it is God's reminder to me that I am not alone...

Birdie said...

Oh Stacey, I love reading your posts! I'm so happy for you. I know you'll never forget your other babies. I'll never forget mine either. I was just thinking about my babies today and imagining what it will be like when I get to meet them someday and give them big hugs when we're all together with Jesus. I can't even wrap my mind around what it could really be like, but I really enjoyed imagining it. :) How wonderful it will be!
Stacey, I'm so happy for you and that things are going so well with your pregnancy. I rejoice with you! I can't wait to see little Lily. What a special little girl she is!!!

Rebekah said...

I always find reminders in books and movies and tv shows. I guess stories of loss have always been there but my eyes weren't open until now. We never forget where we've been but it does help me to be grateful for where I am.