If there is a theme to my writing & my life & my work it is perhaps that love conquers all. If you read on, know that I write with love, I write to conquer the pain, I write to reach out into the rooms & hearts of others who are suffering similarly & say;
"Look for the stars. This is your birth."
I had started this post to push the agony off my chest, to document & so free myself of the agony we've suffered since that first exciting, happy, scary moment when Nick & I decided to grow our family so many years ago.
We decided, someone had a baby, it wasn't ours. We decided to keep trying, someone else we love had a baby, and then another. We stayed strong, another baby came, it was never ours. Even tonight as I hope & pray & love for the couple who shared their beautiful, well deserved & amazing news, I am up. I am in the darkness, I am praying for a star.
And as we get more and more unthinkable news about the health struggles we're trying to face together, and at the same time more and more wonderful news of the little ones headed into the lives of our friends & family, my heart fills with love for them, joy for what's to come in their lives, and also sharp, tiny arrows, piercing my stomach where no baby grows. Where pain grows instead.
The pain grows still. The understanding does not grow with it. Over the course of the past several years, we have congratulated 15 beautiful couples on the upcoming births of their tiny, perfect little children. More we know are trying. God willing & with our support they will succeed.
I've never felt anything quite like this pain & joy, hurt and love full to bursting at the same time. My heart fills & instead of bursting with joy, it simply breaks as I listen to my friends say things like, "Welcome to the club!" when one of us is about to have a baby. I say one of us because we are all of us friends but it's not really "us" is it?
I feel increasingly separated from the tribe of women in our world. To carry a child or barring that, to be a mother by any means is a rite of passage and I cannot pay the toll. I don't know what it is. My hands are empty. I have failed the ones I love in so many ways.
Since we started trying, 15 babies have been born to people we love. Fifteen. Fifteen hugs. Fifteen congratulations. Fifteen slow, floating walks through hallways that aren't mine, trying to find a door to lock, turning the fan or faucet on as high as it will go to drown my quiet sobs, my back slowly sliding down the cold door as my hands clasp around my body, hugging & clawing at the emptiness.
Fifteen times picking myself up off the cool tiles, looking in the mirror at a woman who is vacant, remains vacant, splashing the color into my face. Smiling. Trying to clear a path for the true happiness that I do feel for the lucky, happy, funny, kind, bright, friends & family I do love and cherish.
So here's to all the babies now and all those yet to come. To everyone who has contributed to that number, 30 moms & dads, 15 little babies, toddlers, kiddos up to almost preschool. Yes, we have been trying that long. If we had been successful, if that spark of life had held on in the first month or two, we would likely be walking a child, our child, to the school bus, waving goodbye, feeling a different ache. The pang of watching our little ones grow bigger. It is insane to realize that. We have no parent teacher conferences, no crayon stained walls, we have no bath times or bed times or birthday parties with tiny hats and kazoos, we have no skinned knees to bandage, no playhouses to build. We only have each other and even that seems to feel thinner and thinner each day.
But it's not true, when life gives you lemons, all you can do is ask to borrow a cup of sugar. We are not empty. I see the little ones given to couples who were successful during the first months that Nick & I were trying and I cannot believe how old they are! Not just walking & talking but running, stomping, playing in the beach, pouting & shouting & dancing & loving and being the brightness in the dark. They are our bright stars in the dark, guiding us along with the promise that a new star, our own star, will one day come out.
And so tonight I lay here, under the rubble and the remains of these fallen dreams, and I wait.
I wait for that light in the darkness, I wait for the stars to come out.
Lots of Love,