We would have met him by now. We would have had a little boy in our family by today.
But, we don't.
We learned on September 21 that his heart was not beating.
That news stuns me every time. This time, the third, I could again feel the choking sobs starting and only composed myself long enough to exit the ER door of the hospital and get to my van.
In the van I somehow felt secure and free to let it all out. Strange, but that's where I continue to have the most "real" moments of grief still today.
I love this picture of the next day, September 22.
I needed some air and just sat in our yard. The girls played and Kate took to combing my hair. Her tender touch was so soothing and comforting.
Izzy's playfulness was a gift to watch.
Can't help but smile a little even though I had a child within that I couldn't smile at or cuddle or feed or sing to. To be able to do all these things again was fixed in my mind and heart as real possibilities. All I had to do was wait till March. It was going to be a long, but best wait of my life. The hope, the dreams, the future were well formed in my head and we started talking about all the good changes that we would be allowed to experience as a family. What a surprise gift for us!
Every day I die a little more to those dreams.
Grief is so powerful. It has touched every part of my being. No part of my life (physical, emotional, spiritual, relational) is the same as before that excruciatingly painful time. Sleep, dreams, mood, energy, appetite, ability to think and communicate clearly, basic functioning - are all effected. And only time passing, choosing to trust the Lord who loves me deeply, and the constant active love of people around me has helped me move through the pain.
So here we are. We are a changed family.
In the last few years we have experienced a lot of hurt and grief. Grief piled on top of grief on top of grief.
But that's not the whole story. We love each other. A lot. We are open to what these circumstances and experiences are calling forth from us. More love. More compassion. More empathy. More calling on God's grace and the power of the Holy Spirit to help see us through.
I love the five of us and I love those children we conceived whom we never met.
I know that they are somehow enfolded in the Father's arms and hanging out with this guy.
I would say there are in good company.