Friday, November 28, 2014

On Signs and Hope

I went for a walk one day last spring after I found out that I was pregnant with our baby Auburn. It was a beautiful blue-sky day, and one of those walks that felt like a prayer. Thank you for this new baby. Is this really our rainbow, though? Could you tell me for sure that this is our rainbow? Maybe give me a sign...yeah, I know. I probably don't get to just request a sign. I realize it doesn't really work that way.

Scolding myself for being so stupid, I continued walking. You've probably guessed where this is going. Two birds flew out of the trees ahead of me. I noticed them but didn't think anything of it until a third bird flew out and followed close behind the pair. Is this my sign that this little one is our rainbow who will be born 7 years after Asher? I wasn't convinced, but these three birds gave me hope. I held on to that image for weeks hoping that I could write about this sweet "sign" after we met our baby. Of course sometimes a bird is just a bird.

I'm wrestling with that "sometimes" word up there. It really is ok to hold on to signs or other comforts. It's ok to think that a bird is just a bird one day--that there is no such magic in our world--and then it's also ok to turn around and see a butterfly or a blue jay feather and think that maybe it's a little bit of love from our angels.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Determination

I wrote this some time ago, but it's time to post it for all the parents of angels who've been told it's time to quit.



I've been thinking about determination lately.

In life when we fail, we are told to try, try again. Practice makes perfect. Winners never quit and quitters never win.

The runner who trips just before the finish line is expected to rise--despite the 16 sneakers that he watched blur past--and cross that line.

You butchered a recipe? Fix the mistake and try again.

You're diagnosed with a disease? You're a fighter, damnit. You fight!

You treat a loved-one poorly? Apologize. Do better next time. Keep trying until you get it right.

Baby loss is one area where people expect you to quit. They actually tell you to quit.

You lose one baby and "God needed another angel."

You lose two: "Maybe it just wasn't meant to be. You should be thankful for the children you have." (If you are lucky enough to have them.)

A third? You must be stupid or crazy for thinking it's a good idea to keep trying. Determination has no place in baby loss, right?

Well fuck that. If you want an alive baby, you may have to keep trying even when you feel stupid and crazy for hoping that the next one will be your rainbow. But that little one is worth fighting for. So fight.