Friday, December 31, 2010

The End Of A Decade...

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.
xoxoxo

17 comments:

  1. i was so caught up in the year 2010ending i didnt even realize its a decade!!!

    as for Luke not being here had Matthew lived, i cant imagine how that tugs at your heart. we were just starting our baby making days and Anthony wanted to ttc right away to "get that boy".....so much has changed for you and I in just one year!!

    I wish you the BEST LUCK in the world on your delivery and i cant wait to meet that little diamond we all loved named Luke =)

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  2. I have those same feelings. Jackson would not be here if Wyatt had lived, either. It's very hard to come to terms with.

    Every year is a part of who we are. All the pain and joy. I'm trying to embrace that. Trying.

    I can't believe that next week is the week!!! I'll be thinking about you!! Our boys will share a birth week like you said. XOXO

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  3. I had also failed to realize it was the end of a decade until you mentioned it. My mind has been on so many other things. I have also struggled with the same things you mentioned. The fact that we never would have pursued embryo adoption and had the opportunity to parent the child I am now carrying if Lily hadn't died, what a life altering course her life took us on and it really does rattle me to think of how much our lives were put on a different course because of her.
    Thinking of you guys as you look towards the new life that soon awaits you and the new routines that will soon become a part of your daily lives. Looking with hope towards 2011 and praying that Luke's birth is smooth and blessedly uneventful. Happy New Year!

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  4. Beautifully put, wishing you the most joy and happiness in the new year.

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  5. Sigh. It all makes perfect sense. Sometimes "perfect sense" hurts even more than we think it would. When we try to make sense of it all, we get angry that it's so certain and full of fact ... and that HURTS! And when we try to do the opposite and imagine things as our hearts want them ... it HURTS! Sucks. Makes me realize that no answer is good enough, so I just have to rely on God and what I know awaits me with Him. It's the only cushion I have.
    Always in my heart & thoughts.
    XOXO

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  6. I enjoyed hearing your thoughts...it is hard to wrap my mind around how God works...One day all our questions will answered and the puzzle pieces will all fall together. I don't see it now or even know if I want to know how the death of my baby fits into a puzzle, but that is where faith and hope takes over.

    So excited about Luke! Stalking your blog and facebook as the days progress!
    Lots of love and prayers!

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  7. I feel the same sadness when I see sisters. I so wish Nora had hers here to play with. I wish I could watch BOTH of them grow up. Sigh.

    Thinking of both of your boys and wishing you TONS of health and happiness in 2011. Looking forward to meeting your party animal in a few days. I have a feeling you're in for some long nights. :)

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  8. oh Lori !

    Sometimes real life is much more complicated than the most sofisticated fiction...
    And we just dont know why some things happens ...
    I love how you express your feelings .
    Im so sorry you will always miss Matthew and that nothing can replace him.
    Luke is a joy and blessing and his own person as you already have noticed just by how he behaves inside you .
    It is so true that you add to your family with a new baby after loss , you can never replace one with another .
    We who lost babies know this and its a painful insight.
    Life is strange many times but I am so happy that you will soon open a new chapter and I look forward to read how you get on .
    I pray for a normal delivery for you and I am so happy that you soon will get to know your second son.
    Love Angie

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  9. Can't believe the time is almost here! I can't wait to see this little man of yours (as the two of you create such beautiful babies:)
    xoxo
    Kelli

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  10. Sweetest Lori,

    May GOD richly bless you in this New Year. All I can say to this post is AMEN! There are countless things you say that resonate with me. However, the one that clings to my heart is that we will always long for ALL our babies. Until our last breath.

    I woke up thinking of you today :) Sending you subliminal HUGS and words of comfort and asking God to hold you tightly. I'm anxiously awaiting Luke's arrival and will be waiting for the announcement.

    Much Love
    xxx

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  11. I have gotten answers from the Lord and understood things that couldn't be understood until the proper time. (I don't know if that makes and sense.)

    Over time, God has shown me things that have just astonished me! He is so awesome and truly reigns over all of the earth. Over our entire lives.

    During certain struggles, my mom has reminded me that Ezekiel wouldn't be here if Isaiah had not went to be with Jesus. It really is one of those subjects that's not worth trying to figure out, just as you stated.

    Take Care and Happy New Year!

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  12. As usual, your post gives much to think about and stays on my mind for long after reading...I wouldn't even try to comment this time. "Following" for close to a year, each post has taught me something or given me a different perspective. I look forward to reading in 2011...especially with your newest "inspiration."

    It truly seems like just last week you were sharing Miney's first photo (and what an adorable embryo it was)...and now you're hopefully settled into a hotel minutes away from the hospital, not too uncomfortable, and imagining how amazing things will be in less than 48 hours. Ramping up the prayers and so excited for you.

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  13. Dear Lori -- your emails are always so true, and totally makes sense... And yet what makes full sense in the brain, once we come to a realization, doesn't always mean it makes it any easier on the heart...in just 2 days your Luke will be here with you... and I can't wait until that day... and i know, someday, but pray no time soon, you and all your boys will be together in one place... But, for now, the new decade... let it begin with Luke... :) can't wait to "meet him" on the outside... I keep thinking about how incredibly brave you are to have gotten this far, and am sending you huge huge wishes and "i know it will be OK's"... for the next step surely has got to be an incredibly scary hurdle in your mind and heart -- his delivery... may it be safe, peaceful, happy, and oh that touch of his skin on yours is going to be something beautiful and yes, a miracle at it's finest... enjoy enjoy enjoy...

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  14. Lori - So well written. As for the end of a decade, I hope this new decade brings your whole family joy, love, and peace. Thinking of you for tomorrow, my friend. Love, J

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  15. I do so well at conveying your thoughts in a beautiful way! It is hard to understand God's ways...what a blessing you are going to have tomorrow!! Hugs & Prayers!

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  16. What a beautiful and true post! As I passed another EDD anniversary I thought about the same, how my first two pregnancies could not have both happened and succeeded and here I am far enough out that this pregnancy could have happened after either, but it wasn't to be. I follow your thoughts completely and I agree. While we'll never know the why in this lifetime, there is no doubt a reason and all of our children are blessings! Can't wait for an update tomorrow!!! Love love love you, John, Matthew, & Luke!

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