It’s 4:30am here on the west coast and I am awake, watching the royal wedding with the rest of the world. The bishop just finished his sermon on the power of love and now “Stand by Me” is being sung by the choir and I just want to cry all the tears.
Weddings make me cry. Young love and new beginnings make me cry. My enduring fascination and love for the royal family makes me cry. And pregnancy hormones make me cry.
I’m a mess.
A mess mostly because I’m just so thankful that I, too, get to know the power of love. All good things in my life began with falling in love with my husband and, now, we have three children whom give us more joy and love than we ever could have imagined. It’s a whole new level of love.
A love that will be taken a step further even as we prepare to welcome Baby #4 very soon. I’m exactly a week away from my due date and, given our journey and my lifelong dream of having a large family, it is incredible, and surreal, and magical, and bittersweet, and everything in between.
And though, as ever, I worry that something will happen between now and this baby’s lively entrance into the world, I am trusting it will all work out. And I am so excited to meet this child. Though closing this chapter of our lives is a mixed bag of emotions, this baby is the missing puzzle piece we’ve been waiting for all along. This baby will complete our family and, in this moment, I can hardly even believe this is real life. It seems that, no so long ago, I wondered if I would ever have one, or two, children. And now we are about to welcome our fourth. A dream come true. My own little fairytale. I will pop in once more after the birth to give the baby stats.
I’ve been doing a lot of thinking since the attacks on Paris last Friday. Feeling confused. Disheartened. Angry. Lost even. And I can’t help but wonder:
Has the world always been this scary?
What’s the point of it all — the point of anything — if we’re all just on a journey to our graves?
How can we possibly protect ourselves in a world in which a stranger whom we can’t predict and we’ve never done any harm to is willing to destroy us?
What would I do if faced with such a horrific situation? Could I be heroic?
How can we all be human beings and yet not all of us value human life?
How in God’s good name do we win this war?
I don’t have any answers, but I do know it’s become so much harder to hear these stories since having children. I just want them to be safe. I want to send them out into the world knowing that they will come back to me. I want to go out into the world with them, knowing that I won’t have to shield their body with mine to protect them. I would do that if I had to. I would do it in a second. But I don’t want to.
And I know there are no guarantees. We could die in a car accident tomorrow. A tree could crash through the roof tonight. My daughter, when she fell off her bunk bed yesterday morning, could have hit her head just right and it could have all been over. No guarantees. But the thought that someone, an evil someone, could walk into a restaurant, or a school, or a movie theater or somewhere else benign and mundane and intentionally take my or my child’s life? No…sorry…I can’t live with that. I just can’t.
I suppose it would be easy to succumb to the fear. Sometimes, I want to. I want to stay away from crowded spaces. I want to stop traveling. Avoid public transport. Go to our tiny little preschool and maybe the park (surely no terrorists will be at the park??) and home and that’s it. I want to hide away. Lock our borders. Build a moat around myself and my heart and keep all intruders out. But that can’t really be the right way, can it? No, the answer can’t be to hide away and turn inwards and live in fear of letting any foreigner in (and I’m not starting a political debate here; just talking about in our own individual lives). I think the thing we have to do is turn to each other. We are stronger when standing together, am I right?
I’m not sure what I hoped to accomplish by beginning this post. Even as I type it out, it sounds a little too Utopian for my taste. But nevertheless, if there was one message I wanted to put out there, it’s this: spread love. Go out into the world and give away as much love as you can. As we all navigate this minefield of terror attacks and school shootings and hate and even, dare I say it, the very personal battles and broken hearts we each encounter in our own lives, please don’t let the grief and pain and fear overcome the best parts of you. Love a little harder today. Forgive a little quicker. Look out for your neighbor. Wave at the jerk who cuts you off in traffic and smile at the b*tch who talks behind your back at work. Be good to one another.
And you can roll your eyes all you want, but it’s the only way, people. I don’t think love will solve everything. It never does. But it’s a good start.
She’s here, you guys! Today, only by the grace of God, we welcomed our beautiful little Skittle into the world. Eloise**Sloane**Lily (“Ellie”) was born at 2:32a.m. after an induction and 14 hours of labor, weighing 8lbs 13oz and measuring 21 1/4 inches long. She’s perfectly healthy. I’m recovering well. And Honey and Cupcake are smitten kittens. We just couldn’t possibly be any happier right now.
Thanks to all of you for all the support and love you have given over the past two years as we worked and prayed so hard to bring this little gal into our family.
I’m having a hard time navigating how to feel about this pregnancy and this baby. I know this is not a new concept for us infertiles, especially for those who have miscarried before. There are mixed feelings. Indifference. Ambivalence. We don’t want to get attached too soon.
After I lost Teddy Graham, I was determined that, in my next pregnancy (if ever there was one), I would not let my heart get involved too soon. I would not let myself hope, dream, plan, want. I would not allow myself to fall in love. In practice, I’m finding that much harder than expected. Quite honestly, I don’t even think it’s really in my nature. I am typically not very cautious with my heart. I have always fallen in love quickly. I have loved people who don’t love me back and I have loved people whom I shouldn’t. My husband and I both said the “L” word within three weeks of our first date. So is it any surprise that I feel as though I may love this little Skittle of a baby already?
I recently told a friend that I think loving is one of the bravest things we each do. And yet, is it really so brave when it’s out of my control? I feel as if I’m free-falling, with nothing to hold onto and no parachute to slow me down. Loving this baby is not a choice I have made. It has almost happened against my will.
I know it is a dangerous place to be, having seen no heartbeat yet, but I don’t know that I will ever be sorry for feeling this way. I very much loved Teddy Graham from the start, and I have never regretted that. And if I hadn’t let myself love him, would my loss really have been any easier? I don’t think so. In fact, I took great comfort in loving that baby because, after he was gone, I felt I had given him my all, everything he deserved except life, and what more could I have wanted for an embryo that was not meant to be?
I am the type of girl who believes love is never wrong and, the more love that exists, the better we all become. Cheesy, lame, ultra-romantic…but it’s me. And so I will love. I will fall. And if I crash and burn, so be it.