Monday, August 20, 2012
Tonight I had the supreme privilege of being able to meet our friend's sweet baby boy. He's not even 48 hours old yet and there we were, my good friend and I, inviting ourselves over late at night to come and meet him. His mom (a good friend of ours) and dad (one of Bryan's classmates) were kind enough to let us barge in and oogle over him for a good long while and I couldn't be more grateful.
He was so tiny and sweet. We kept feeling his miniature little thighs, skinny little legs, papery little hands. And you really can't kiss a newborn baby on the forehead enough, you know? Your lips will never touch anything softer and you know that soon they'll get bigger and it's just not the same. He's not even mine and still I found myself trying to soak up every minute of his tininess. We took turns holding him, watching him trying to wake up and then drift back off to sleep again. And somehow, in some inexplicable way, it made me whole.
I've been trying not to bring it up, especially here on the blog where I've been whining about it for months now, but friends, things have been so hard lately. After eight solid months of heartache and hoping and feeling like maybe, just maybe, things will work out and then not having anything work out at all, my heart has been more than broken.
It doesn't help that anything that possibly could be a problem has been a problem. Okay, not real things like illnesses or "real" infertility or anything like that, but just horrible little details like trying to go and talk to the doctor and then almost not being able to see him because my insurance had changed. I know it seems like such a small thing to get upset over, but when your emotions are running at maximum capacity every minute of every day and then it's an especially emotional day anyway and then something--anything--goes wrong, it's everything I can do to keep from breaking down in the waiting room and bawling and feeling so picked on. I shouldn't feel that way, but I do. I shouldn't be so fragile, but I am.
Long story short, last week I thought my period was supposed to start and then it didn't start and I finally dared to think that maybe, just maybe, I finally really was pregnant. It had been everything I could do just to make it to that day--the day I was supposed to start my period--and I barely made it. Outside I was fine, but inside I was an emotional wreck. It was hard to concentrate on anything or get anything done and I was looking forward just to knowing whether or not I was pregnant more than you know. So when that day finally rolled around and I didn't start my period and all signs pointed to me really, finally, truly being pregnant--I can't even describe how relieved I was starting to feel. It all felt so unreal that right before we went to bed I made Bryan go and get the sticky note from the bathroom where I had been writing down the beginning and end of my period for the past several months just so I could make sure that I had calculated everything right and that I was indeed past my period and into the clear.
So maybe you can imagine my disappointment, my devastation, when I realized that I had indeed done the math wrong. I wasn't supposed to start my period for several more days.
Friends, I have been an empty shell since that night. It was more than I could possibly bear. It was beyond my capacity for dealing with. My heart was completely broken in two and could never be fixed. I simply couldn't keep dealing with everything. I had been holding my breath for weeks, just waiting to finally know for sure, and here I had finally gotten to "THE day" only to realize that it was just another ordinary day like any other, empty of any news or finality or hope. I went to bed feeling completely emotionally shut down. I simply could not do it anymore. Nothing changed, of course, and there was nothing to be done, but somewhere way down deep inside something broke and could not be repaired.
Those of you who haven't ever been through something like this probably think I'm completely overreacting and being dramatic just for the sake of writing. But those of you who have had similar experiences probably know exactly what I mean.
Since "THE day" that turned out to be "THE crappy day" I have not been the same. I had been holding my breath waiting to find out and then, in one fell swoop, all of the breath was knocked out of me. I was heart broken. I was emotionally finished. I had so much hatred in my heart for tracking my temperature every day and doing every little thing I could do and then feeling so completely, entirely, that everything was out of my control and I simply couldn't deal with it anymore. Yes, I kept on doing all those stupid little things anyway, but it was with a ruined heart. And deep down I knew that it would never be made right. I went to bed last night bawling, mourning the loss of everything I've been through in the past eight months, and feeling like my heartache would dull overtime, but never go away.
And then tonight the sweetest, most miraculous thing happened. Deep down inside where I was as broken as I could possibly be, something clicked back into place. My friend and I went to visit our friend who had just had her baby and we watched these sweet friends of ours cuddle and love on that brand new baby in a way that just opened my heart and healed my soul. I looked at their sweet little boy, so tiny and new, and held him in my arms and kissed him with my lips and instead of feeling jealous and all the more heartbroken like I was afraid I might, I felt such a quiet peace inside. He was the sweetest, sweetest thing. I kissed his forehead again and again and somehow each time I did it mended another part of my heart.
Somehow their new life brought a renewed and real sense of hope that someday I might have a new life too. The life of two kids. The life of another sweet, tiny little baby. The life of nursing and diapering and loving on a sweet, tiny little soul again. I admit, I didn't appreciate it fully it the first time around. Some people do, I think, but I didn't. I was so scared and so worried and so worn out that I didn't take advantage of it and appreciate it for what it was. Next time around, if there is a next time around, I am going to sit and hold and cuddle and love on that sweet baby for as long as I can.
I woke up this morning feeling empty and broken. I could never be filled or fixed and no amount of knowledge of the Atonement made me feel like it could really, truly work on my deeply broken heart. And now, miraculously, somehow I feel full and whole. Even though things aren't "fine" and "right," my heart feels mended and new again. I think Heavenly Father knew I needed that. To hold that sweetest, brand new baby and let all the realness of his life seep into my soul.
Despite my conscious efforts not to, I admit I had been letting bitterness creep into me and it was choking the life out of my hope. I felt justified by my pain and I was so tired and so emotionally exhausted that I didn't try to keep it out. And I think, in the teeniest, tiniest, deepest, darkest corner of my heart I had begun to seriously wonder whether all this heartache and drama and confusion and disappointment could really be worth it.
But tonight I held that sweet, sweet baby boy in my arms and I remembered something I had forgotten. It is worth it.
Posted by Katie Lewis at 12:53 AM