Sunday, January 31, 2010

A Time to...

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven...a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away ~ Ecclesiates 3:1, Ecclesiates 3:6 (NIV)
When we found out we were pregnant with Caleb, people came out of the woodwork offering us baby items. From clothes to car seats, blankets to cribs, bassinettes, cradles, breast pumps to high chairs, the love and generosity those around us bestowed upon our budding little family was amazing.

All of Caleb's things have been boxed up and stored in our spare room for nearly 16 months. It pains me to call it a spare room because it should be a nursery, but it's not and may never be.

I went through the room recently and found some special items I haven't seen in a long time.

The very special (and oh so soft) blanket we purchased after we found out Caleb was a boy...

His prayer buddy...

His crib (now disassembled)...

His very first Buckeye accessory ...

A special gift from his Great-Nana...

And a few items I purchased just 2 days before we found out Caleb was gone...

These few things are special to me and I will never part with them. No matter how stupid I look having a crib with no baby. But there are other things that could really be put to good use by a new mom in need. A very hopeful part of me wants to hold on to all of these things. They help me feel close to Caleb and I like to imagine another child of mine getting to use all of the things that his or her big brother never got a chance to.

But a more logical part of me knows that these things don't bring me any closer to my baby. Only God can do that. These are just material items that Caleb never used. I also know that there is a small chance that we will ever have another child. And even if we do, it won't be for a long time. There are babies that can use these things now.

So I'm torn. Is it time to give up or should I hold on a little longer?

Sunday, January 24, 2010

You're Outta There

Never deprive anyone of hope; it might be all they have. ~ Unknown
Another cycle, another ill-fated attempt to blossom.

Pssst....I have a secret. Outside of a few people at work and of course the girls on my online support group, nobody really knows this. So, well, consider yourself in the know.

Brandon and I tried AI (a.k.a. Intrauterine Insemination) for the first time this month. On January 7th (which also happened to be one year since Caleb's due date and the day Columbus was hit with some NASTY winter weather), my husband and I narrowly avoided a 50-car pile-up and ventured to Dr. Fertile Myrtle's office for my monthly ultrasound to check follicle growth. Much to our surprise, my egg was growing on the right side. Four days later, we were back in her office for the insemination.

Yesterday I discovered that it was all for nothing.

Did I really think I would end up pregnant after our first attempt at insemination? No. I am the eternal pessimist. Still, the blow wasn't softened by my glass-half-empty attitude. It hurts. It's frustrating and it hurts. It's devastating and it hurts. It's embarrassing and it hurts. But, mostly, it just hurts.

So, tonight, instead of praying for a healthy pregnancy, I will ask God to give me strength and comfort. I don't know what He has planned for me but I know that, at least for the next few weeks, I will need both of these things

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Healing vs. Forgetting

Although the world is full of suffering, it is also full of the overcoming of it.- Helen Keller
On Christmas, after all of our stops were done, and we were back at home, Brandon and I released balloons for Caleb. We released four balloons. One red, one green, one gold, and one white. I wrote a message on the red one and I drew Caleb a couple of pictures. Brandon wrote on the green one and I transcribed a message from our pup Lacy on the gold one. The white one was sent up to all of the other little angel babies in Heaven. We let the balloons go, said Merry Christmas, and came back inside. This is what I like to call "remembering".

I didn't cry on Christmas because I didn't have my baby boy with me. We made six stops to visit family and friends and no one really mentioned Caleb. I wasn't bothered by this. I wore my necklace to remind me of him. I held him in my heart all day. And I knew that Caleb was having the best Christmas because he was celebrating with none other than the birthday boy himself, Jesus. It was hard watching my sister open gifts for her baby that she's expecting in March. It was hard playing with our niece, who is now thought of (and maybe rightfully so) as the only grandchild on Brandon's side. But I had a sense of peace in my heart through it all. This is what I like to call "healing".

Some people, mostly those who have never been through a loss, confuse healing and forgetting. They think because I do things like release balloons, wear a necklace to remind me of Caleb, hang a stocking for him, or celebrate his birthday that I must not be healed. And since I do all of these things and appear, in their eyes, not be healed, well then I must be dragging this out for far too long. It's time to let go, they may say.

Six and a half months. That's how long Caleb was with me. Fifteen months. That's how long Caleb has been gone.

By God's grace, my heart has slowly healed. It's not completely healed, but it's better than it was. That's amazing when you think about it. When I found out Caleb's heart stopped, I wanted mine to stop too. I wanted to go with him. Now here I am, 15 months later, and I have hope again. I can remember my son and rejoice that, even though it was only for six and a half months, I got to be his mommy. I can do things like release balloons and be a little sad that he isn't here with me, but understand that it's ok that he's not.

In doing things to remind me of Caleb, I am healing. These things do not weigh me down or make me sad. They help me to become more at peace with what is. If I tried to pretend that what was had never been, if I tried to forget that for six and a half glorious months I carried with me someone who changed my life for the better, my heart would still be broken. I would have learned nothing from the experience God blessed me with. And at this point, that's exactly how I see it. Caleb wasn't meant to live in this life. He had a different purpose. In my own way, I think Caleb was sent to help me. And he did. What a crime it would be to forget that.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

I See Pregnant People

Before you were born I carried you under my heart. From the moment you arrived in this world until the moment I leave it, I will always carry you in my heart. ~Mandy Harrison

Pregnant women stalk me. Seriously. It's not just paranoia. Everywhere I go all I see are baby bumps. Sure, a rational person might say that since I am preoccupied with baby thoughts 90% of the time I am just hypersensitive to all things pregnancy. I'm not convinced. I'm almost positive (like 80% sure) that there is a very pregnant woman outside my house right now, with her Frosty and french fry combination in hand, waiting for me to leave so she can send a mass text message to all the other expectant mothers out there. Then they all stop their prenatal yoga, or whatever it is pregnant women do, and follow me from place to place. It's total CIA-type undercover work.

It's not that I'm not happy for these women. I would never wish what happened to me on anyone else. Ever. Plus, I don't know their stories. Maybe they suffered a loss or infertility and this is their miracle baby they are so proudly placing on display. But at the same time I can't help but feel jealous when I see a member of the Mommy-To-Be Club.

Before I got pregnant with Caleb I always thought how awful it must be to be pregnant. I knew I wanted a child some day, but I wasn't so sure about the whole pregnancy thing. I'm a pretty independent (ok, stubborn) person and don't like the idea of being told I can't do things. That's how I saw pregnancy. A big list of No-No's for 9 months. But I can remember hearing Caleb's heartbeat for the first time and understanding how amazing it was to be carrying a human life. Not being able to eat raw cookie dough for a few months seemed to pale in comparison to what I was doing.

Now I long to be pregnant again. I want someone to tell me to drink 10 glasses of water a day. Or that I can't have a glass of wine with dinner. Or to take the elevator instead of the stairs. But mostly, I want to have that bump. The one that shows the world that I am carrying one of God's children. The one that holds possibilities for tomorrow and for years to come. The one that is filled by a child that will have my lips and Brandon's eyes. The child that will go on to do many great things and live a long, full life.

Until then I guess I will just secretly admire/envy all of the other pregnant women out there.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Auld Lang Syne

What can be said in New Year rhymes,
That's not been said a thousand times?
The new years come, the old years go,
We know we dream, we dream we know.
We rise up laughing with the light,
We lie down weeping with the night.
We hug the world until it stings,
We curse it then and sigh for wings.
We live, we love, we woo, we wed,
We wreathe our prides, we sheet our dead.
We laugh, we weep, we hope, we fear,
And that's the burden of a year.

-Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Here's to another year...