I have not written much about it here but there have been many moments during this pregnancy that were spent mourning the loss of friends and/or their children. A dear friend's miscarriage, two mothers lost in childbirth, a baby lost to SIDS just before her one year birthday. In so many ways it has been a challenging time and a powerful meditation on the reality that all we have is this moment, that nothing in the future is guaranteed. I tend to become overly goal focused, gazing forward instead of sinking into what I have right now. I have been slowing down, sharpening my focus, hugging Cora closely and imagining a healthy baby sister for her while making donations and sending as much love and support as I can to those surviving losses.
In the midst of these experiences I have been reading about two fellow blogging mamas who have welcomed new babies into their lives in the last week (Here and Here). I have been reading along with these ladies the duration of our pregnancies and it is very exciting to watch them welcome their babes. I find myself staring at newborns with a disbelief that we will have one soon. The last few months have been such a gift, an extreme understanding of living in the present has pervaded me thanks to all those who write about their experiences. In this way the world of blogging weaves a tight web and the connections we create with people we will most likely never meet are powerful and uplifting.
More then anything, what this journey to parenthood has taught me is that when you dream of creating a child you are always "rolling the dice". To hope to bring a child into the world is to pull your heart out of your body, set it on a dish and know that at any moment it can be smashed to pieces, but the risk is always so very worth it. I remember all those years ago, before marriage, before children. I would think about my future as a parent and just assume that once I was ready it would happen so perfectly and easily. I wonder what I would say to that girl now.
I think I would say forge ahead with courage, that this is going to be one hell of a heartbreaking, soul searching ride. That your heart will shatter in ways you did not know possible, that you will come to understand that you will never fully understanding suffering...yours or another's. You will rise again and again through searing pain and continue to fight for your beliefs and somewhere in that rising you find a strength you did not know you possess. You will learn that loss has touched almost every one you know. You will stand your ground when all you want to do is pack a bag and run. You will eventually realize your greatest hope. You will look at your child every, single, day and see a miracle.
Every. Single. Day.