The photographer that came to take pictures the first time we were all able to be together sent us the rest of the pictures. When I got to this one, all I could do was cry. Not because I am looking at my baby, but because of what you probably don’t see the first time you look at this picture.
My husband in the background.
***Trigger Warning: Birth, Miscarriage, and pregnancy mentioned in this post. Please protect you heart and skip this entry if needed***
When we sat in the RE’s office in July of 2008 we never could have imagined the journey that was before us. We never could have foreseen the damage it would do to our faith, our hope, and our marriage. The years of bitterness and resentment that I will never get back. The people I let down because I just couldn’t be what they needed at that time because of the pain in my heart for my own short comings.
There is no sugar coating it. My body failed me. Time and time again. From the fiber of my DNA, my blood, my ovaries, and then my shitty cervix. We lost four babies and almost lost our little girl. The thought takes my breath away completely. There is no rhyme or reason why I went into pre-term labor when I did and every medication they gave me couldn’t have delayed in long enough to save her had it happened just 8 weeks before that when this all started.
The one thing that hasn’t failed though, is my husband’s unconditional love and support. Many nights I spent crying, begging him to leave me so he could have the life he deserved. So many times I couldn’t be the wife he needed because of the depression and anxiety that infertility and loss caused.
When I was admitted at 21 weeks he sat next to the bed and said, “I am ready to get off this roller coaster”. And so was I. We told each other that night that if we got this baby girl here safe that we would never go through this again. Then when I gave birth to our daughter at 28 weeks he told me he had a bad feeling something would have happened to me during child birth had we had her full term. I had been having the same feelings.
In this photo, I see a man who has fought harder that anyone would ever realize for this moment. This was his release. The moment that he knew our pain was finally over.
I will not be one of those people that tells you that having a baby didn’t erase all those years of pain, because in many ways it did. I understand that not all people have the same resolution but for the most part, I have moved on. The moment I heard my baby cry, I wanted to forget all the bad things we endured for her to be here. I don’t want to forget the losses, but those are a different part of my life now. They were necessary for us to get to here. Every loss taught us something different that helped save my little girl’s life. And even without her, each loss taught me something about myself. A piece of me that is irreplaceable. It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done but I want to give myself permission to let go of all that pain, and move on with the pieces of me that remain from that pain.
Now, I want to get to know myself again. Learn about all these new and old pieces and how they fit together. Learn how to love my body again. Forgive it for the years of failure and thank it for holding on just long enough to bring me my miracle. I want to renew my relationship with God, and forgive Him. Yes, forgive HIM, because I have been angry at Him for far too long and forgot many times to trust Him in this journey. I want to move on.
I want to finally be able to help answer the question that I see so many women ask at this point, “Where do I go from here”? I want to figure out how to take all the pain and experience and use it to help others. I want to learn how to remain in the community that has supported me for the last 10 years.
I see so many women with “survivor’s guilt” leave because they don’t know what else to do. I want to find out how to stop that. We all connected because of a common goal and we have to stop acting like when we reach that goal we have to disconnect from all the amazing women who helped us along the way.
Last, but certainly not least. Thank you. Thank you for the years of love and support. Thank you for forgiving me even when I didn’t deserve it. Thank you for sharing in my joy even when it caused you pain. Thank you for teaching me how to look at the world through another set of eyes.
I hope you will continue down this journey with me moving forward…