This is going to be hard for me to write. It's one of those things that I wish had my voice and facial expressions going with it so my heart can really be seen. I am afraid it is not going to come off the way that I want it to.
That said, if you read it and it stings, I'm sorry. I don't want it to. I want to write it because I am so encouraged. Though I don't think that makes sense.
So...this goes back to Nancy Guthrie's retreat last weekend...by the way, I didn't list any of the information you may need if you are interested in her retreat. I promise you, if you have lost a child, you will probably feel a lot of trepidation about 'doing something like that' (we did!) but you will never regret that you went (we SO don't!)....if you are interested in it, click HERE to go to her site. You can get information about her books (which I admit are sometimes hard to read but only because they are convicting and truthful, and that's often the case when we are convicted and being told the truth, huh?) and the Respite Retreat and more. So, so, SO worth it.
Anyway--when we got there, there was another couple there. Young and adorable. Actually, ALL the couples there were young and adorable! However, one couple was expecting.
I really, really, REALLY was sort of uncomfortable about this. I can't even explain why, but any of you who may read this and suffered infertility, or lost a child, (or both, like us) and are trying to have another child (or even if you aren't) probably understand what I mean. It's certainly NOT personal--heck, we just walked in the door and didn't even talk to them! Jealous isn't even the best way to describe it (although that's the closest word, I guess) because it's not their new baby YOU want. It's more that pregnant women just remind us of such happy hopes and promises...and what you don't have any more. How hard it was to get there and how you don't have a clue of what to do with yourself now that it's gone...I don't know. Like I said, hard to explain.
In any event, I guess being where we are in the process of trying to bring Matthew a brother or sister, and being at a retreat where we were going to be purposefully and determinedly grieving over Matthew sort of made my "DANGER" flags go off and me realize that I should probably keep my distance...if for no other reason but that I didn't want to upset this poor pregnant woman--and I felt that I might just by not being able to handle my emotions very well.
And let's face it. I was jealous. I wanted to be able to talk to her about the absolute joy of being pregnant and even as I type and tear up, I knew I couldn't talk to her about her pregnancy without being a sap. I want to be pregnant again too. I want a baby brother or sister. I want to see the glimpses of Matthew I never got to see and I want to know what it feels like to hold my newborn in my arms. I admit it.
Now--I should clear this up. There are lots of mommies I have *met* who have lost children and are pregnant again (or have just given birth!!!) and I am absolutely tickled to death for them. Truly. I check in on them all the time (sorry if you feel stalked!) and try to encourage them as much as I can because I just know how hard things have been for them and want them to be able to enjoy the blessing that pregnancy is. I don't EVER want them to think that they have to walk on tiptoes with me or their pregnancy because I think that EVERY pregnant woman deserves to bask in every second of the joy that they can.
But...I don't have to spend the weekend with them. I don't have to personally and constantly see their beautiful bellies get bigger and if I am having a rough moment (or day), I can check on them a little LATER...when I am feeling back to where I can be encouraging again.
Lindsay was there with me all weekend.
Now, I have written that I met and fell in love with some amazing and wonderful children that weekend. I cried and cried for such tragedy I listened to. My heart broke for the sheer despair that I would have felt if I was any one of those other parents.
And when I listened to Jeremy and Lindsay tell of their sweet Ayden, it was no different. I was just broken for them. Their first and precious little boy died of SIDS. They are both teachers and had just gone back to school and their amazing and beautiful boy died.
And for the first time in several months, I was SO glad another woman was pregnant. Not one ounce of jealousy, not one ounce of envy or wistfulness--just complete and total happiness that this dear couple was given another miracle. They had been through so much (as I know we all can relate to) and their beautiful boy just beamed in every picture--I could not imagine how on earth they were able to have tasted something so precious and then to have lost it. I was just so incredibly grateful to God for giving them another miracle.
Not because their new little boy, Collen, will ever be able to replace Ayden...impossible. I was grateful that they were given some new hope...and another opportunity to taste the joy of a little one in their lives. I'm so thankful that in a world that is SO UNFAIR (I know, I know...life's not fair!) they were able to have a little bit of what we would think would be 'fair' come into their lives.
Like I said, I realize this will not come off the way I want it. I don't even know that I can put how I want it into words. I know life's not fair...friends, don't I know! And I know that we don't always get what we deserve. I know that God doesn't give good to the good and bad to the bad. I know that we don't get what we get based on what we want or feel like we need. But darnit! I was just SO GLAD THAT FINALLY I could see a glimpse of FAIR up-close. What happened to Ayden wasn't fair and nothing would make it so, but that they were given another pregnancy to celebrate was as close as I think anything else may come.
So, I'll say it. If anyone deserves to be pregnant (and here's where I KNOW this doesn't come out the way my heart wants it, so if you've never lost a child and are trying to get pregnant or are pregnant or just given birth, please, please know that I really am happy for you--having Matthew was the most amazing thing in the entire world and it's much like faith in God, when you have it, you are SO joyful when others do too!), well...I just think it's those women who have suffered the loss of their precious children.
And my heart leaps...literally LEAPS for joy over it!
So, thank you, Lindsay--for allowing me to share this. I really struggled all week because I felt like I owed you an apology for not really reaching out to you and being super excited for you when we first got there. I hope you know how much I truly am! I think it says something that in the group picture, I'm standing beside you--I'd have put my arm around you but I was already worried you thought I was a nutcake.
I also want to thank every other parent there...I hold Hope and Gabe and Savannah and Brendan and George and Russell and Steven and Mikey and John and sweet Annie Jane and Magdelena and little Sophie and of course Ayden so close to my heart!!!
We DID have another appointment this morning. Things are moving very, very, very slowly. Just the way I like it. NOT. There were about 15-17 follicles today, about 9 or so measuring almost 10 mm, and Jackie said I'm going a hair slower, but I have more eggs that are about the same size than I did with Matthew's cycle and she thinks it's a beautiful cycle. Sure hope so! Getting up this flipping early as often as we are is tough! How in the world did I do this when I was in school last year? I don't know what my estrogen is, but my lining was 9.2 so and I have 9 follicles that are as big as they are so I imagine it's pretty good. Probably a retrieval this Sunday or Monday.