from our family to yours!
I apologize. I’ve been avoiding you.
Or, sort of, anyway.
I just didn’t have the words this week. I had a few, enough for a tweet here or there, but not enough to put together a coherent post. I had to get them sorted out for myself first, and I think I’ve finally had enough time to do that.
You see, this was a week of loss for us. On Wednesday, we were told to say goodbye to what would have been the newest little member of our family. The little one we didn’t even know yet, but had come to care so much about.
And so I revisit the reluctant sisterhood of mothers who have experienced pregnancy loss. Mothers who wonder “Why me?” and “Why this baby? This baby who is so badly wanted, so incredibly loved?” Mothers who get so invested so quickly, even though we all know the deal we sign when we get pregnant has fine print stating:
I join the timeless lineage of mothers who then remember that there is no real answer to the question “Why?” other than the knowledge that this is all part of the journey.
This baby simply wasn’t strong enough to come join us. I know that, and I’m OK. My heart is broken, and my spirit is trying to heal, but I know deep down inside that I am carried in the hearts of so many generations of women before me–women from every time and every place, joined by a common thread–and my experience will, undoubtedly, help me in guiding the important young women in my life through their losses someday.
It may sound a little odd to some, but for me, embracing my loss is really the only way through it.
So, this Thanksgiving, I am thankful. I’m thankful for the joy I felt when I found out we were expecting. I’m thankful I got to carry our little bean for 8 weeks, and I’m thankful for the support I received while adjusting to the news that the new future we were envisioning wasn’t meant to be…yet.
But most of all, I’m thankful that for one brief, fleeting moment, as my husband, my son and I peered at that little screen watching the flicker of a heartbeat, we were a family of 4.
I’ll admit that I’ve been having a little trouble keeping it all together lately. The past year has been such a whirlwind, and while I rarely, if ever, admit that I am overwhelmed or need help, I’m at the point now where I can say it: I’m overwhelmed.
That’s not to say I don’t love my life. I do. I adore being a mother, and my little boy is, unquestionably, my heart and soul. But I am having trouble balancing his needs with my own, especially when my own include having a neat, clean house, constant new projects and all my ducks in a row at all times. I’ll tell ya, folks, it just ain’t happening right now.
I was always a little afraid of having a child because I heard so many people talk about how you “lose yourself” once you have little ones to look after. But now that I’m waist-deep in the thick of things, I don’t feel like that at all. All frustrations aside, I feel more like “me” than ever. Instead of taking over my life, my boy has become an integral part of it; he’s helped me discover the best parts of me (that I didn’t know existed), and he inspires me every day to become a better person.
I realize now that being a “better person” isn’t reflected in how many times my name is published or whether my laundry is piled up, or even whether I cook dinner from scratch each night (although that one IS pretty darned important to me…) It’s about love and patience and peace. It’s about constant questioning, challenging and learning. It’s about embodying the qualities I want my son to see in me, and modeling the ones I want him to emulate.
And today, it’s about being thankful.
This Thanksgiving, I’m going to spend my day with my favorite people. The husband that fate insisted I marry after nearly 2 decades apart, our giggly little boy, my endlessly supportive mom and dad, and my one and only brother. It would be easy to dwell on the fact that my work schedule is more than I can handle right now, or that I should be blogging more, or that I haven’t been exercising enough or doing any of the things I should enough….but I won’t.
Instead, I will spend the day feeling grateful. Grateful for YOU, my community that I refer to as my friends, even though I don’t know your faces. Grateful for this priceless outlet for my angst and ideas…
But most importantly, I’ll be grateful that I have my family, my health, my career, and a lifetime of endless opportunity ahead of me.
….and for pie. I’ll definitely be grateful for pie!
Happy Thanksgiving, everybody! I hope you all have the chance to relax and have a wonderful holiday!