How could it be? JUST YESTERDAY, we were waiting, waiting, waiting to see if the whole world ended because of Y2K.
And now...a new decade.
2011. Somehow, 'Twenty-eleven' doesn't sound as cute or catchy as 'Tweny-Ten,' does it?
I can't even say that I am SO glad to see it go...because in doing so, I'm saying that I'm so glad to see all the days thus far of my little Luke's life go too and I'm just so thankful for each and every second I know he lives, I can't help but willingly swallow the lumps of sorrow so that I can still taste all the sweet joys this year has brought.
I've had a lot of hard, hard realizations this year. Obviously, realizing that the rest of my life will be lived without watching my first-born grow continues to happen. I think it will until I take my last breath.
I've also realized that when something so life-changing as losing one's child happens, there really are no rules or expectations that anyone can have--me of others and certainly not others of me.
Although both expectations of me and my expectations of others of course occur. They just really aren't fair on anyone's end.
I've realized another miracle--a full-term pregnancy of another amazing and precious little boy. I never honestly believed I'd have ONE of those, much less two.
I've realized that sometimes when we beg God for His comfort and assurances--they don't always automatically appear. Sure, sometimes they do...but often, it takes a little bit of time and perspective to be able to look back and see where He was at work. I think that's where the 'time heals' adage comes in...time doesn't heal, it just gives you the ability to see the other things that DO help heal.
I've realized a lot of things...but I think the one that's hit me the hardest in the last few days, really, is that I was never meant to be able to have both Matthew and Luke on this earth.
I know this will throw some into a whirlwind of thoughts about containing God and telling me how I can't possibly know or believe that...if those thoughts must become words, feel free...I'm just putting it out there. There are lots of women who have lost children and are subsequently pregnant, and bless their hearts, I often read about how they wish that they could have BOTH/ALL their children...the one(s) lost and the new little baby after the loss.
I sometimes find myself thinking that and then realize...it was simply not meant to be. I could never have Matthew and Luke on this earth. I walk by brothers--who I picture to be Matthew and Luke in another world--and think, "That should be me. I should have that."
But I shouldn't. I couldn't. Luke would not be if Matthew lived.
There's no use in even trying to convince me of otherwise--if Matthew had lived, we would NOT have done another round of IVF.
Yes, if Matthew had lived, we would not have 'prevented' any subsequent pregnancies, but honestly, after all the years of trying and all we had to go through just to get Matthew, seriously? Doubtful it would have *just* happened all of a sudden.
And if...IF it did...miraculously...it STILL wouldn't have been Luke. When we did our second IVF cycle, we did ICSI. Which means that the sperm used to fertilize one of my 16 eggs was HAND-CHOSEN. Not a random swimmer to an awaiting, freshly dropped egg. A PURPOSEFULLY picked little sperm PURPOSEFULLY joined with one of the 'hostile' eggs that made it to that point.
It was Luke. He was purposed. And since I firmly believe it was the hand of God that stood behind each and every choice and decision that went into the creation of Luke, it is also my firm belief that Matthew couldn't have lived and still those choices and decisions and purposes exist.
Again, I know this will rattle some. Trust me, it rattles me. It makes my heart hurt. It makes me wonder all sorts of things. It makes John suck his breath in just a bit and ponder how to respond to it (Matthew's and Luke's souls could have existed in any bodies is about as close to something I can wrap my arms around as he can get).
I just don't see any other way. To rationalize that God can do anything and if He wanted me to get pregnant, naturally, with Luke and all his specific DNA, on April 29, 2010 takes away some of the miracle I get in my belief that He blessed us tremendously with the successful IVF cycle.
To rationalize that we were meant to receive the blessing of a successful cycle and the healing properties that were given to us in that means that I have to accept that blessing as a result of Matthew not being alive.
I'd say it was a no-win...but I just can't do that either because regardless....I am the mother of two precious boys. One who waits for me in Heaven and one who is kicking me right now and I pray I meet and hold in just a few days. Two sweet little boys who without a doubt were meant to be. Given to me to love and cherish and mother, even though each child presents (and will continue to present!) unique situations in which I'll do so.
This year was truly the most difficult year of my entire life...and yet, I can't imagine how much more difficult it would have been without the joy and hope that has come with Luke. I told John that I felt like so much of Matthew's 'personality' was similar to mine...and there are some days I just miss that connection that I feel like he and I had. Luke, I feel, is very much his daddy's boy! He lives for food, likes to live the good life, and seems to even have a bit of fun poking at mommy! Matthew seemed very rule-oriented. Luke, not so much! I'm just grateful that I have had the joy of learning about and bonding with another little boy--a very different but just as precious little boy...and in a year that truly has brought me more heartache than imaginable, it has also given me renewed hope and restored happiness.
What do you say about a year like that? Wish it good riddance for the sorrow or wish for another year in which you can have more of that exhilaration and joy?
I don't know the answer, so I won't bother trying. I do know that we are looking forward to 2011 being one filled with a happiness and contentment that only God can provide, while we continue to figure out how to enjoy those blessings while we still ache for our Matthew.
Wishing for and praying for a gentle and joyous year for all.