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Monday, May 18, 2009

Show and Tell: Balancing the Past and the Future

I wasn't going to do this as a Show and Tell post but somehow I convinced myself it just might be welcome. With the conflict that has erupted in the ALI community recently, it seems like you have to tread very very carefully, even on your own blog. I don't want to hurt anyone's feeling by talking about my pregnancy, and I certainly don't want to diminish the pain and sorrow others have felt or are feeling right now. But please don't run away just because I lucked out for once and have a viable pregnancy...

What I want is for everyone to step back and remember a moment of pure joy. A moment where they felt that everything was alright in the universe. That brief second of peace.

When you find that moment, doesn't it amaze you how hard it is to hold on to? How bittersweet it can be for those of us in the ALI community since joy often is coupled by sadness of some sort. Maybe it's that someone in our Community beat the odds by getting pregnant but then lost it. Or someone has discovered that they have other battles (like cancer etc) to fight as well as IF or RPL. Maybe it's that they have come to the conclusion that they cannot have children of their own and make the very difficult decision to live child-free. Or maybe they have left the community or are taking a break because of misunderstandings and they need space now to deal with it.

I don't know about anyone else, but it breaks my heart to see this last one happen. I'm not going to get into details or debates and I'm certainly not opening myself up to being fodder for someone else's misunderstandings. I have felt the hurt of a random comment, whether it was intentional or not, so I understand how things could spiral.

What I would like everyone to ask themselves is, if we step back from the situation for a moment, is it actually how we think it is? When we step back from anything and allow ourselves a moment of perspective, we often realize how easy it it is to misread things, even our own lives and memories.

And this is how we come to my Show and Tell for the week. It's a late post and I don't know how many people will read it, but I felt the need to talk it out.

This weekend is a hard one for me. It was the May Long weekend (in Canada) last year when I had finally realized that I was in fact pregnant (despite a neg hpt probably taken too soon) and losing my first baby. We were up visiting my husband's family because it was his Grandfather's 80th b-day and the family was throwing him a surprise party. I had been spotting for 10 days straight after having a "normal" period. Something wasn't right. I knew this instinctively. In fact, I had myself convinced that I was pregnant after probably a couple days after conception. I felt ill and off. I have since learned that my fibromyalgia makes me so in tune with my body I often don't need a hpt to know I'm pregnant. But the test was negative, so I brushed off my instincts.

So we went up to see his family and participate in the festivities. Meanwhile the cloud of doom hovered over my head. I couldn't shake the feeling that I was miscarrying. But I couldn't do anything to confirm it until after we returned and I went to see my Dr.

The party was great. Family from all over Western Canada came and I got to meet a whole set of the family who hadn't been able to come to our wedding. It was a great day. But it had it's bittersweet moments. Like when one of his cousins announced that she was 12 weeks pregnant.

Smack! Just what I needed at that moment.

But when I look back, yes I remember that weekend as the prelude to the day when the cramps and bleeding started, but I also remember it as a beginning. It was the first moment when I realized just how much I wanted and was ready to be a mother. To start our family. Such moments are so defining, it's hard to describe. But they change you.

One year and three pregnancies later, I have come full-circle. I lost my first two babies. They weren't just two pregnancies, but life-altering presences that will forever define who I am. Just as this little one wiggling inside me does. Do I forget the pain of losing Alex and Kenneth? Certainly not. And those who brush away a loss as "just something that happens" are denying themselves an incredible opportunity to grow and evolve as a person.

Does it hurt like h*ll? You bet. I have experienced many losses in my life but the loss of my babies cuts deeper than even I know. Please don't ever think that having a so far successful pregnancy now changes that or makes me forget what it is like.

But there is joy. There is always joy. If we just step back to see it. Everyone is capable of finding their joy, even if it lasts only a brief moment.

Sometimes that moment is just the spark we need.

I truly believe that the beauty of our Community is our ability to be there and support each other, through the good AND bad. There have been times when, rationally or not, I've felt that my voice now that I'm pregnant isn't as welcome in the Community. I think maybe it's not that it's not welcome but that it's been fear on my part. Fear to feel happy and joyful about what's happening in my life. That others couldn't go there with me. Some may not, but those who have stayed on the sidelines, cheering me on, constantly remind me of the beauty of shared human experiences.

We are never alone.

Don't forget to drop by and see what the rest of the class is rambling on about...


Melissa said...

what a beautiful post :) it's a reminder that IF will affect your life even when you make it on the other side.

Lori said...

What a year you've had.

I, too, hope for elasticity in the ALI community to weather this rare storm.

You have a good heart!

Another Dreamer said...

Very beautiful, poignant, post.

Kristin said...

What a beautiful, moving post. I am so very glad you made it past the loss of your first two babies to conceive and carry this little one.

WiseGuy said...

Actually, I am amazed at this thing that has happened...I caught wind of the conflict very late. By the time, somebody had already deleted their blog. I can't believe that what could have been handled maturely has spiralled like this...

L, "weren't just two pregnancies, but life-altering presences"....I so understand what you are saying.

I hope ALI community rebounds....there are conflicts everywhere...but conflicts need not be dysfunctional at all!

I am glad that there is Bean today. Wishing you lots of happiness.

And you are really full of wisdom, my friend.

Dora said...

What a lovely post. So well said. Thank you.

Lollipop Goldstein said...

A gorgeous post--not only heartfelt, but beautifully told.

MrsSpock said...

Well said! And I love that sparkler cake.