Wednesday, May 9, 2012

People-Shaped Spaces....

So many things going around in my head.

Finally got an under-5 quantitative HCG level.  Officially un-pregnant.

A month ago, today, we saw the baby for the last time.  Yesterday, I should have found out for sure if it was a baby boy or girl.  Today, I wait for test results I feared wouldn't come, and feel that with each day passing and no results, I was right.

Today someone told me their 18 year old sister was pregnant.  Surprise.  Due in October.  On my due-date.  Isn't that always the way?

MercyMe's The Hurt and The Healer constantly plays in my head.  Plays in my car.  Plays on my iphone. (I just tell Siri to play it and she DOES!  Admittedly, that rocks!)  Reminds me that I am alive.  Pieces of me have died, but I am alive.

And grateful for a beautiful life.

I go between crying with no warning to giggling hysterically at something that Luke does.  He is so funny, that boy.  I have, have, HAVE to do a catch-up post on him, but I'm too busy hanging out with him to have time to really do that post justice.

I'm anxious and optimistic about the upcoming transfer, but really feeling like if it doesn't work, I just may be done.  I told John I'd go for one more fresh cycle, for him, but would only be for him.

I saw something in my FB newsfeed today that sort of resonated with me. "A grandchild fills a space in your heart that you never knew was empty."

Of course, it's not the grandchild's the space in my heart that I never knew was empty.

That's what's been getting me.  Before Matthew, I KNEW there was a space in my heart that was empty.

In truth, though, I only thought it was one space.  I didn't ever dream that I'd be lucky enough to have more than one child, though I certainly, certainly would have loved to.  After so, so many years of infertility, though, I just figured if I was blessed enough to just have one...I'd be beyond thrilled.

And that one was Matthew.  Of course, I dared to dream when they told us that we had one embryo frozen from Matthew's batch, but that poor little embryo was a slow-growing one from the get-go and I maintained realistic expectations that Matthew would be the only child we'd have.

Fine with me.

Until we lost him.  How?  How?  How could we go through life without even trying again to bring that sweet joy of parenthood—parenthood we actually get to experience with a living child—into our lives again?  I know many of my close friends and family thought I was done with IVF after Matthew died.  I know why...but thankfully, as devastated as we were, the joy of his life and the hope for more joy was just sweeter and more motivating.

I didn't realize there was even a Luke-shaped space in my heart, but now, I can't even imagine how I ever lived before him.  I never knew HIS space in my heart was empty, until he came and continues to fill it every single day.

He has brought such joy to our lives; we felt like we'd be nuts if we didn't at least *try* to see if we could bring in more of that joy...another precious gift to love and raise.  A sibling Luke would get to live with and with whom he could grow.

But I didn't feel like I had another empty space in my heart.  I had Matthew's.  I had Luke's.  Good enough.  John and I kept telling each other that another baby would just be icing on the cake.

That was until we got pregnant.  When I saw that pink line start to form and get darker, I realized there WAS another empty space in my heart.  I never even knew it was there.

It hurts.

It's one thing when you don't even know the empty space is there.

It's another when you not only know it's there, but you are acutely and painfully reminded how it's still empty, just in a different way.

After this transfer, I don't think I even want to know about any more people-shaped spaces. I know that sounds awful, and to think that I'd have missed out on Luke if I wasn't willing to discover his 'space' in my heart really stings.

But finding out about spaces that don't get filled on this earth is wearing on me.  I feel like before we did IVF, we were very clear on where we felt God was in the whole process.  Laying it so strongly on our hearts to go for it.

Not feeling that much more.  Maybe that's the pain and the fear of more pain talking, and don't want my life to be lived with that as a guide.

I don't think so, though.  I think I've discovered about as many people-shaped spaces as I'm supposed to.


  1. <3 Know that I'm praying for you, sweet friend!

  2. In my own way, I understand that. It hits home SO strongly, and yet, how can I say that to you when I have 3 children living at home? After my miscarriage I felt God opening me up and making me completely vulnerable ... to trust Him even being acutely aware that devestation could be waiting on the other side of a positive pregnancy test. I HAD to try again and fill some of that aching. So thankful we did and that Ellis finally came along ... but the magnitude of your losses and the depth of love you have had for each child from the get-go ... sigh. I don't know. It's like a rubberband, I guess. Your soul and heart are stretched and retracted several times. It stretches out at the positive test, retracts at the fear of hearing a heartbeat ... stretches at the heartbeat. Over and over. The retractions, I know, are not from NOT trusting or not loving, but just from the natural worries of a mother. Is it okay to be SO blessed? Am I jinxing something by being so positive? Atleast, that's the inner-dialog I was having. The slightest guard is up when you've experienced loss. Sometimes it feels like that rubberband is so worn down and frayed, it will break at any second.
    You and John, obviously, are allowed to feel however you two need to feel and every decision about your family is one that only you both can make together. But I just want to encourage you that SO many people want to gather up around you. SO many people ARE praying for the goodness the the Lord has already shared with you and what He has coming. There is more ... I know it. Not because I was given a prophetic word or because I want to comfort you (which of course, I do)but because I am always, ALWAYS reminded in my prayers for you, of how beloved you are. He wants every kind of shape in your heart filled. He knows you make the God shaped hole full with your faith and love for Him ... He knows you, friend. He knows your contentment and your joy having Luke, and that you can not be found wanting. But He still desires to fill you up! He has big plans for your family. I don't know how, but He does. I know the big plans that are still to come in no way deminish or take away the pain and grief of 2 children gone ... I just hope you give yourself the grace and the joy that you deserve with any decision you make. Let yourself feel peace in every part of you and know that you will be supported and loved through all of it.

  3. Praying for you Lori. My heart aches for you.

  4. Praying for you and your sweet family....<3 Evonne

  5. Yes. This is why I even hesitate to consider trying having a third living baby. Right now I am totally content. But if we start down that TTC road, I know the anxiety and sadness will start to creep in. And if we are blessed with the pregnancy, I know the 9 months will be full of fear. The end is WONDERFUL when it works out perfectly. But it is that hope that carves a space in your heart. And it does sting tremendously when things don't go the way we wish they would.

    I totally understand why you might move on after this FET. I don't blame you one little bit. While it is sad to think about no more children, there is something freeing about the thought of putting the TTC/pregnancy portion of my life behind me. And just *being*.

  6. This post got to me. Solely because of the fact that I am very well aware of the void that exists in my heart. Voids that I've been desperately trying to fill. Yet 2 miscarriages later, all I'm left is an ache for what is missing. The void that I'm aware of hurts so badly that I don't even want to begin exploring whether other voids exist. That would only exacerbate all of this.

    Holding onto hope for you with this upcoming cycle. May we both be able to fill those spaces in our hearts.

  7. So true, I know what you mean about not wanting anymore holes.

  8. Sweet Friend,

    I wish I had the right words of comfort, but I don't, never will, but forever know that I CARE. Today, as I strolled Lleyton, I pondered thoughts of growing our family and trying to give L a sibling and my heart grew very heavy. I will forever associate Mother's Day with the loss of our Christian. Even though my heart is SO FULL each day by GOD'S MIRACLE it does still hurt...I suppose it always will. And on that same walk I thought of your Matthew, I saw his sweet face and in that moment I knew my peace in loss was in KNOWING that some day I would see my sweet Christian's face in HEAVEN. It sees me through when the seas are rough.

    Here's wishing you calmer seas and a Happy Mother's Day. And I will be lifing you in prayer this next cycle.


  9. I think of you and your family every single day.

  10. Lori,

    I love the honesty of your posts, whether talking about the pain of empty spaces or your absolute joy at something your beautiful son does, I can almost feel the emotion raidate off the monitor! I come to your blog every few days to catch up and have only commented a handful of times, but say a prayer for you each time I read. When I came a couple of weeks ago and read of your miscarriage I cried at the injustice of it just didn't seem possible that you and your husband should have had to endure the loss of yet another child. When I miscarried 11 years ago in March of 2001 my Mother-in-law was battling cancer and I remember saying to God "Ok, I will let you have my baby, but you have to let Mom stay with us!" When I became pregnant again in November of that year I whispered to Him "I don't want to sacrifice another baby...can we please keep both?" When my MIL passed away in January I remember feeling such guilt, as if by being allowed to keep our baby, I had caused her death. What power I thought I had! We don't know the ways of the Lord, and after being a peds oncology nurse for 15 years and being witness to so much suffering and loss, and reading blogs such as yours and others, as well as suffering my own loss over the years, Lord knows I have a lot of questions I want to ask the Big Man upstairs...but I have also been witness to miracles in that same oncolgy dept. and I have my own three children that I watch everyday as they are growing and getting older (now 12, 9 and 8!) and I am constantly amazed at the miracles they are to my husband and I and I know that without the pain that has come in my life the joy would not be quite as sweet.

    I am hoping and praying that the next "people shaped space" you carve out in your heart is filled with a healthy baby for you to hold, one who keeps you up at night and sleeps all day, one who learns sign language like her big brother and giggles whenever Luke looks down at her, one who has a head full of blond curly hair and and has you popping TUMS like they are candy all throughout the pregnancy, but most of all, one who loves to be held by Mommy, just like her big brother.

    Praying for you in Perrysburg,

  11. Lori I think you are doing an amazing job of working through your emotions and feeling with total and complete honesty.. and I admire you so much for that.
    My heart aches for the pain of so much loss, and it relates so very well to everything you are saying. Sending so much love, light, and hope for the road ahead.