There have now been many times in my life that I reflect on as my darkest hour. Not just one. Many. Many, many hours of darkness. Every pregnancy loss, every failed embryo transfer, the death of a loved one. My third pregnancy loss left me feeling empty and hopeless like I was living in a blank space for a while. Yet somehow as I crawl or walk or fall down or stumble through the periods of grief, trauma and pain that turn life colorless and dark, there is someone there reaching out a hand and bringing the light back. I’ve worked very hard since my third pregnancy loss to make my world colorful and bright again. But it wouldn’t be the same beautiful place without the gifts of light coming to me from my friends, my family and my husband. This experience with infertility and recurrent pregnancy loss has created new relationships. Bonds created easily through similar experiences of loss and struggles to make a baby. The online support group I joined (that I now consider a miraculous discovery) has brought some amazing women into my life. One of whom reached out to me after my last miscarriage and sent me an open invitation to her home…whenever I was ready…whenever I needed to get away…whenever I just needed some girl time and a break from my life. It took me about 4 months to take her up on that offer.
A couple weeks ago I flew to LA and there she was – my new friend, my sister in this journey, an open heart and an open hand. A woman full of words of hope and support and encouragement. A woman full of hugs that would carry me through another embryo transfer cycle and another set of holidays without a baby in my arms. A woman who knew my pain and shared in it so deeply, her eyes would tear up when she talked to me about what I had been through. A woman full of so much generosity and sincerity, she warmed my heart and re-filled my soul with her kindness and optimism.
There she was – The light in the darkness – An angel reaching out to me and her name is Carolina.
I captured this photo at the beginning of this year. Thinking I was just trying to capture the moon, I somehow ended up with the image of an Angel. The moon is her heart. I can see her wings. The light of our babies’ souls being held in her hands, preparing them to be angels too.
Everyone wants to be the sun to lighten up someone’s life,
but why not be the moon,
to brighten in the darkest hour.
It seems that at this point I should have lost count, but I can’t because I know how many I have lost. I try to let the numbers and dates stay blurry, but I know how old my first baby should be. He should be 2 and a half. I purposely try not to remember the due date of the twins. But I can still see their heartbeats. There are six other embryos that disappeared somewhere in between the transfer to my body and the pregnancy test. On Monday, I had my ninth embryo transfer. Two more embryos.
On Monday morning before the transfer, I went for a walk with my dog. I had a choice to go left or right on the trail and decided to go right. We ended up near a beach where she loves to play catch but we didn’t have time for that…but she pulled me out to the beach anyway, looking back at me expectantly with a huge wide smile and tongue hanging out. The beach was empty except for the stroller in this photo. For a second I thought, well maybe my baby is right there waiting for me! Well, no that wasn’t the case, but I tried to view this as a hopeful moment. Somehow, maybe this is a sign. My babies that are watching over me and the baby that is still to be is here with me in this moment. A moment to give me courage to try again. To wait those nine hopeful, yet agonizing days again waiting for the pregnancy test.
The sun was blinding me, but I snapped a photo anyway, not quite sure what I would end up with. I wanted to be reminded of the stroller that was in my path. As I faced the stroller and the rock wall where we had once stood to spread our baby Jaxon’s ashes, I could feel them all with me. A little white light ended up in the photo and I choose to see the souls that I love so much in that light.
One little white light, Two embryos, Nine days to wait. Trying one more time.
I had to get up early today to go get blood drawn as part of my FET cycle which is not how I wanted to start Valentine’s Day. However, on my way there I got to see this sunrise. There is love everywhere and the light of love is raining down on us. Happy Valentine’s Day!
Photo by CJE
I REMEMBER YOU
The world may never notice
If a rosebud doesn’t bloom:
Or even pause to wonder if the petals fall too soon.
But every life that ever forms,
Or ever comes to be
Touches the World in some small way
For all eternity.
The little ones we longed for
Were swiftly here and gone.
But the love that was then planted
Is a light that still shines on.
And though our arms are empty,
Our hearts know what to do
Every beating of my heart says
“I Remember You”