Five years ago this time we were in our first, and what we thought would be our only, two week wait. I only did the math because Facebook reminded me via the On This Day reminder the other day, as five years ago I posted a vague post about the two week wait.
Then I posted nothing else about it... It seems my brave-speak-the-truth advocacy did not develop until after our journey ended and fought my way out of my fetal position to rise from the ashes.
Five years ago I remember we went home to Iowa for Christmas showing off black and white pictures of bubble globs to all our family. Those globs being our eight celled embryo babies.
The babies we never got to meet. We were positive it had worked. It had to work, as it was our only chance.
That only chance was crushed with a one minute phone call followed by me trying not to throw up in the trash can and Chad literally holding his tears in as I lost my shit.
We took the loan out the next day for another try. That one didn't work either.
And as my life would have it, four years ago today, our last embryo was to be born. Had that last round of IVF worked, we would have a four year old today.
Oh yea, and it is the damn holidays.
That is some timing, no wonder I struggle in December. I am haunted by dates that will be forever seared into my heart and soul.
Dates that are sad and dates that made me a mother.
Once again, I am reminded by a decent smack upside the head, as He often likes to work with me, of my own work. The work to embrace the complicated gray, and to choose the joy within this sadness, as there is always room for both.
In the midst of many desperate-on-my-knee prayers this week, I had the realization and the reminder of how strongly we can feel two "opposing" emotions at the same time.
- I am forever longing and sad and also grateful for the mother He made me, even if they aren't here with me, longing joy.
- I love my life and how much I have worked to thrive after loss and I miss my three more than words can say, grateful guilt.
This is the hard ass work of walking in the freeing truth of the complicated gray.
And, the more I think of it and learn, we are nowhere near the first to walk this walk. Perhaps, we had a model who did it best a long, long time ago.
Jesus longed and loved. He angered and loved. He grieved and loved. He struggled and He trusted His Father,
...not my will, but yours be done. Luke 22:42
And yes, I am that kind of Christian, I just said ass and quoted Jesus all within a few lines.
He knows me. He sees me. He understands me.
This faith and truth does not make the complicated gray easier to feel and muster through. It does, however, ground me and help me to stand my sacred truth. That even though I shake my fist at Him on some days because the story He has written for me hurts like hell, makes me sad and feels unfair, I know and trust that He's got this, that He knows me (and best) and that He has my ending.
My only job is to emulate His love, walk in my truth and to choose joy.
Because when I do that, I honor my three and myself.
And, that my friends, is the best thing any mother can do for herself and her children.
End note: After working on this piece I met a friend for dinner and shopping at the mall. Of course, I was sat at a table looking head on into the long line of families waiting to see Santa. I chose joy, sure it was in chips, salsa and wine but joy still.