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Tuesday, September 14, 2010

A Different Path?

I love the way that pictures have a way of telling stories. They capture a moment in time and later are there to remind you of people and places and events.

Here are two pictures of my husband and me, taken two and a half years apart. When we had the more recent one taken, I couldn't help but remember the older one and where we were then. There are a lot of similarities between the two images. They were taken by the same person at the very same park. Of course, they both feature the same two people, walking hand-in-hand down a sidewalk.




But they are also very different. The people are the same, but the view is different. You can't really tell this from the pictures, but they're walking on a different path of the very same sidewalk. Perhaps the most obvious change, though, is the season.

It is winter in the first one. While the picture itself doesn't make me feel sad at all, the landscape is a bit dreary. The trees and grass don't look very vibrant. As the subjects, my husband and I seem far away, like we're walking down a quite a long path. There is as much sidewalk in front of us as there is behind us. Besides that, there's a curve and a tree up ahead and you can't quite see beyond that. You can't see our faces or expressions, but it's clear that we are looking at each other as we're walking along together.

This picture was taken as part of a photo shoot for our Christmas cards that year. It was December of 2007 and it was a fairly happy time for us, yet we were certainly still in the midst of a long trial. We were getting ready to take a trip to Florida and then return home and get ready for the holidays. It had been eleven months since my last miscarriage (number six), and the following month I would be having surgery with my new RE to look for scar tissue and any other new problems. It was the only thing we knew to do next but at least we had a plan. We had no idea what might be up ahead. We had covered a lot of ground on our infertility journey but we were still walking, still moving forward. Together.

The second picture is quite different. The first thing I notice are the colors. Everything is bright and green and alive. It was summertime, and take my word for it, it was hot outside. You can see our expressions in this picture and can tell that we are happy. We are still walking together even though the scenery and the seasons aren't the same. The path even looks much shorter...

Of course, that's a matter of perspective. As I mentioned before, it's the same park and the same sidewalk, just a different view and a different angle. That's the point I'm trying to make here. This pregnancy, this place where we are now, is not an entirely new path; it's just a different part of the same road we've been walking for many years. It is the sum of everything we went through to get here. Oh, I do wish sometimes that we could have been simply placed right here! If we could have just by-passed all the years of hurt and loss and taken a much easier way, surely it would have been so much better. But that's not the path we were meant to take, I guess. And frankly, if it had been, I know it would look and feel entirely different and not nearly as meaningful to us as it does now.

I want to say thank you. I'm so grateful for those of you who haven't written me off as just another pregnant woman. Thank you for considering our path -- the whole thing, every step -- to getting this far and for continuing to offer your support, prayers, and friendship. I realize that you could stumble upon this blog and see the pregnancy ticker at the top and decide that you're not interested in sticking around. But many of you do, and many of you send me messages and tell me that my story gives you hope. Thank you for encouraging me to keep writing about it, as I've learned that having a successful pregnancy doesn't erase everything else I've experienced. While it certainly brings joy and some sense of victory and healing, it doesn't entirely take away the pain of miscarriage. That will always be part of my story now. Just like any time you lose a loved one, you don't want to erase their existence! You keep their memory alive and are thankful that you had the time with them that you did, even though their absence leaves an ache. It will always be there when I look back, and really, that's okay. My babies are part of me and always will be in my heart. Fortunately there are and will be good memories as we continue on this path, especially as we finally bring our baby home.

Next week at this time, she'll be here. Finally, one of the tiny seeds of hope that was planted along this path will get to bloom.


I can't wait to share it with you. Thank you for your constant prayers for us and for baby Lily!

22 comments:

DeniFay said...

Beautiful post, Stacey, as usual! Thank you for your sweet comments today on my posts. We got some answers today and I'll be posting about them soon, but right now I'm trying to absorb, and have a phone conference scheduled with the RE tomorrow, so I feel I'll be better prepared to write about it with some huge questions answered!

Can't wait to see sweet Lily's face and rejoice in the miracle that she is in her precious room surrounded by so many people loving her! Praying for a safe and easy (as easy as it can be) arrival of your special little girl! Lots of love!!!

Renovation Girl said...

The loss really is a part of the journey, too, and so often people forget that. I've been forced to "forget" publicly my losses, but being here, reading your blog (and others) reminds that it's okay to still think about it, talk about, and feel it. I feel so honored to be able to share in your journey. Next week at this time, you will be overflowing with feeling, so much so that you won't know what to do with it...and I can't wait to hear the amazing posts you will write. Many blessings on your upcoming labor. I know we all can't wait to meet Lily!

Amazing Life said...

Beautiful reflections. I love that the new picture is bright and vibrant!

I can't wait to see pictures of Lily! I have been praying for you daily as you and C wait to meet her!

Katie said...

What a lovely post and it most certainly does show where you've been through and what you are looking forward to as a couple.

I can't believe it's just a week at most until she's here!!

Angie said...

That is a message I needed to hear. It is hard to see the road ahead when you are in the middle of heart break. I am Angie, and I have been reading your blog for the past couple of months, and yes, you have brought much hope and encouragement. Thanks!

Joy@WhenDoesDaddyComeHome said...

Can't wait to see her!!!

Cherish This Life! said...

What a beautiful post & I love the contrast of the pictures. Different journeys but both were oh so important to get you prepared for this upcoming week!! CONGRATS girl, can't wait to hear all about you getting to meet your baby girl!

Andrea said...

Stacey,

I absolutely love this post...for anyone who would just look at the pictures they would see a beautiful couple expecting a baby. Nothing more. But, thankfully, we KNOW your story and these pictures represent "your journey" and the many layers that have been revealed to us. I rejoice in knowing this is "your Season", Lily's season, and it fills my heart.

If anyone "knows" you and your beautiful spirit, they cling to this blog and not stray from it. The HOPE that you have given to so many who visit here is immeasurable. Not to mention your strong FAITH that always encouraged me to dig deeper to find my own.

Sending you love today and always, as you count down to holding Lily in your arms. I just can't wait!

xoxoxo

Jen: Proud Mom of 7 Adopted Miracle Blessings said...

GREAT post and perspective!!! I wish you the very best!!!

Jenn said...

This is, by far, my most favorite post of all time. Wow, what meaning and what feeling in your words and in the comparisons of the pictures. I absolutely LOVE this! Beautiful, simply beautiful, just like you! :)

Sunny said...

I couldn't agree with you more. Walking the path as it's turned out, as hard and painful as it was at times, makes me soooo grateful and filled with joy and peace with where we are. God knew all along that THIS is the time for these things to be happening. THIS is where my feet are supposed to be planted on the path at THIS exact time. Same with you and Chuck. Isn't it amazing that the God of the universe cares so much for us that He would perfectly time out and plan our lives for "such a time as this"....

Birdie said...

Oh Stacey, all I can say is that I can hardly wait to see Lily's sweet little face!!!!! :) I'm SO incredibly happy for you and so thankful that you continue to think of us who are still waiting for our time. You are so incredibly thoughtful and caring and sensitive. It means SO much! You are a great help & encouragement to many women.

Rebecca said...

Congratulations on your little girl! I know you must be so excited. I pray your every dream comes true. I actually cannot read your posts right now, but I've been keeping up with you. My pain is very great, yet I want you to know that I wish you all the best. :)

heartincharge said...

This is beautiful. You have got to print this post or keep it somewhere special.

* ButterflyChik* said...

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Jo said...

What a lovely post. I am so looking forward to hearing Lily has arrived. Like you I find the comparison between the two pictures really amazing. As well as all the things you pointed out I also notice that the first pic we are seeing your backs as if you are leaving on your journey - moving away towards something in the distance. The second pic we see you from front on - as if you are not moving away but coming forth towards something and arriving at your destination. And how wonderful that Lily will soon be starting her own journey here and that you will be sharing it all with her. The ups the downs the good the bad - everything in her life. Yay for parenthood. Lots of love to you Lily and hubby xoxoxo

Melody said...

Beautiful. I have chills. And you couldn't have ended this post any more touching than with those precious words and that gorgeous picture rich with meaning. Praying for your family this week and next.

twondra said...

Aww, this post brought tears to my eyes. What a wonderful way of putting things. I absolutely love it!

And I'm going to stick by your side through everything...you can't get rid of me. :) I love you too much. :)

Rebecca said...

I loved this post, thank you for posting your story and the pictures.

Katie said...

I woke up this morning and realized that you are going to have your baby TOMORROW. God is so good and I can't wait to "meet" your miracle.

Lots of luck and if you have any last minute questions on the c-section, just e-mail me!

Sunny said...

Can't help but think of you tonight knowing that it's highly doubtful you'll be getting any sleep! I can't imagine on the last night as a family of two, what will you be feeling? thinking? doing? Can you even believe tomorrow is the day you meet your sweet, precious Lily? Wow. I'm just in awe of the magnificent thing that will be taking place tomorrow. Many hugs and much love. Prayers for a safe surgery and all to go as planned.

Becky said...

I have been thinking of you all morning knowing that today is the day you finally get to meet Lily! I am so excited for you! I am covering you in prayer for a safe and healthy delivery for you both.