Content note: pregnancy, children, loss – none recent
This weekend, we tore up some of the scrotty grass that’s never grown well next to our patio in the back and put in hostas. I pulled out the dead hydrangeas from the back bed and planted shade loving coral bells. We went to visit college friends and as we sat, I had one of those moments that might be called transcendent or even holy, where for just a second, everything was right with the world and good.
The new life, both literal and figurative, was all around us.
I came home, checked my calendar, and realized that it’s not all that much longer until my saline infusion sonogram for this final transfer. And before I knew it, this morning I was ugly crying, the one that isn’t a couple of crystal tears decorously sliding down the cheeks, but the red-faced, sobbing, snotty Kleenex filled kind.
That’s life, though, isn’t it? At least after a certain point? Where the most extraordinary exists among the prosaic of every day and the deepest, darkest muck that can be dragged up?
I am so incredibly, amazingly thankful for my girls. And I am so terribly sad that I never got to meet the three that died and were miscarried early, long before they truly lived.
I honor the truly ordinary, uneventful pregnancy I got the immense privilege of experiencing. And I grieve the long weeks of waiting, of fertility treatments and IVF, of hope mingled with sadness, of ultimately having three others over far too early.
I get the loveliness of watching my older daughter survive and now thrive. And I mourn that she lost the last weeks in pregnancy that she should have had, that she went through so many painful procedures, that we were separated by plexiglass walls and nights apart at the beginning of her life.
I can’t even express how much gratitude I have to see the girls treasuring each other and also fighting – as siblings do. And I can feel my heart breaking again and again and again that my sibling is gone, that a person I held as he came into the world left it long before me in such a terrible, senseless way.
I hold my dear ones close, their precious selves tangible and messy and wonderful and alive. And I cry remembering the unnatural coldness of my brother’s still face, the benediction of viewing him in death, the slight smear of blood that transferred to my hand when I put it on his cheek.
I am fiercely glad for my marriage and the love my husband and I get to share every day. And I mourn the things we have both broken over the years, some of which are still being repaired.
I am grateful for the chance to complete this final cycle, to close out this particular road, to know that no matter the outcome, I am truly fortunate and ready to live this good life I have. And I am anxious, struggling with the months of waiting in the lead-up, dreading some painful procedures, and worried about the potential for more hurt.
For the last several months, I’ve been veering back and forth between the extremes, saying how I’m fine (true) and FINE – F*cked Up, Insecure, Neurotic, and Egotistical * – (also true). It doesn’t sum up neatly, the pros and cons on the paper don’t cancel each other out. They’re all true, all a part of what poet Mary Oliver termed “your one wild and precious life”.
I am, without a doubt, in today’s parlance, a hot mess these days.
And…it’s an absolutely beautiful mess as well.
*credit to Louise Penny
This post is a part of Microblog Monday. If you want to read more or add your own, please head over to Stirrup Queens’ blog. Thanks to Mel for originating and hosting.