I had high hopes for 2011. And it started off on a great note. We began the new year in Sanibel, Fla. (where we had gotten engaged four years earlier) enjoying the sun, shells and tasty conch fritters with my in-laws. We headed to West Palm Beach and spent quality time with husband’s grandma and my aunt. Then, on the morning we were heading back home to snowy cold Chicago, we got that positive pregnancy test we’d been hoping for.
I remember us going down for breakfast that morning so giddy with excitement, yet having to hide it so my in-laws wouldn’t be clued in to anything. There were a lot of giddy moments in the next few weeks. And a lot of frantic ones with each spotting occurrence. Of course those were followed by moments of sheer relief. And there was the moment following our 14 week appointment that slowly but surely, our shoulders relaxed, we stopped holding our breath and started to believe that this just may happen. And then there was THAT moment. The moment of realization that our hopes and dreams, not only for 2011, but our family, had been crushed. Again. And suddenly, 2011 went into the crapper.
It’s hard not to be cynical and negative looking back at everything. Hard not to look at the cluster of events over the past 9 months with anything but pure animosity and hatred. Hard not to think of all the should’ves without losing it. Hard not to look for something, anything, that could have been done differently for a better outcome. And so now, as I look at 2011 coming to a close, I’ve never been so eager for a year to end. Yet at the same time, I also realize that there’s nothing to say that 2012 is going to be good, or even better. No Magic 8 Ball to say, “It is decidedly so.”
There’s some people out there who would say, well there has to be SOMETHING positive that has come out of all this. And to those people I say…well, I guess I shouldn’t say that, so I’ll just keep quiet. No, I won’t. I can’t. You see, there’s nothing that has happened since that point that I wouldn’t gladly give up at the chance to have a healthy baby with us today. I think there’s a perception out there that after a significant amount of time passes (insert here what you deem significant), that we should just move on. Let me tell you, there is not one day that goes by that I don’t think about what we lost and the pain, anger and frustration that coincides with that loss, or any of our losses. And while it does get easier, it doesn’t go away. It never will. This is something that my husband and I, along with the entire community of “survivors,” will carry on with us for the rest of our lives. I’ve accepted this. And I wish you would too.
That said, I am trying my hardest to end the year on a positive note. And by positive, I mean not negative. I look back on what we’ve been through and realize that my husband and I are f’in rock stars. We’ve seen it all, in ourselves and each other and we’re still here, together, pushing forward, pushing each other, not giving up.
We’ve seen the best in our families and the best (and, in some cases, the worst) in our friends. We’ve been hugged, loved, fed and offered up more than we could’ve ever imagined. We saw support and love and new-found closeness from those we always knew cared, but never saw it so clearly. And we felt the sadness and disappointment from those we needed, who shied away from us because of fear or not knowing what to say or do.
We’ve met unbelievably strong couples through our support group who also qualify for the f’in rock star status. We have been consistently amazed and moved at their strength, courage and determination, and willingness to share their stories, their grief. While none of us chose to be part of this community, we are lucky to have others who just “get it,” without having to say anything. We’ve shared each others’ pain and have given one another some hope.
One of the most cathartic things for me in 2011, was the launch of Will CarryOn’s blog and Twitter feed. Since our second miscarriage, I’ve said that I wanted to be able to help others going through miscarriage and/or fertility challenges. I even considered, for a brief moment in time, becoming an ultrasound tech specializing in fertility (which is more than a laugh considering my feelings toward math and science). But this gave me the vehicle to not only help myself heal and process what the hell happened, but it introduced me to what seems like a whole world of people who are, or have been going through this. People who share their thoughts and feelings as freely and emotionally as some people order up a coffee at the corner Starbucks. People who give back, only expecting (hoping) someone will listen. And then if you actually get a comment…SHAZAM! You’ve reached and perhaps helped someone! At least that’s how I feel. And that’s why I look forward to continuing the process. To sharing my ups and downs, and hopefully our progress and successes. To gathering the information and resources to help us and those behind us. And to strive for not looking to right a wrong (I don’t live in a fantasy land…although sometimes I play there), rather not let a wrong define a lifetime.
The truth is, I don’t know what 2012 has in store for me, for us. It could include tales of pregnancy, adoption and baby, or *gulp* more loss (if I was superstitious, at this point I might say, kinna hora nit poo poo poo, slap your face, but…) What I do know, is that we won’t stop. Won’t stop trying to take away the taboo that goes alongside with talking about miscarriage. Won’t stop uncovering the people and resources to help the heal. Won’t stop trying for what we want, for what we know will be one way or another.
So, to 2011 I say, “Don’t let the door hit you in the ass on your way out.” And to 2012 I say, “Don’t slam that door too hard because you don’t know what’s behind you.” I doubt that 2012 is officially the year of hope and perseverance, but in our household, it is.