Sometimes I forget how long I’ve been grieving. Eva is where our trying to conceive journey ended, but it began four years ago.
Living with infertility and loss is a silent grief that society doesn’t recognize because the children that we dream about are not always visible. And the tiny ones were not even recorded in snapshots.
There are many of us who have had multiple losses that compound the grief. It’s not clear where mourning for one child ends and the other begins—it’s all a giant, jumbled mess of crushed dreams.
Three years ago this Labor Day weekend my miscarriage started. Mourning that child was the pinnacle of pain. There was no way it could feel worse. We had tried for a year to get pregnant and it lasted six weeks. My body clung to that tiny embryo not wanting to give it up. I grieved deeply for that lost soul for months, it’s evident on my journal pages with drips of tears forever imprinted in the blurry ink.
And then I lost Eva. In the hierarchy of grief, I thought I had let that baby go because I had been with Eva so much longer, and actually held her in my arms and stared into her eyes. Until the feelings came flooding back to me these past few days, of how very difficult this journey has been for YEARS. And that’s the root of my pain lately.
I have a distinct memory that replays in my mind of looking into the bathroom mirror and rubbing my pregnant belly as I told Eva, “We’ve dreamed of you for so long, please stay with us. You are our last chance.” I thought if I said it out loud then it all had to work out. It was our last shot, I mean, come on, it has to end well because this is IT.
I have longed for a second child since the moment my first child was born. I would stare at him in the same bathroom mirror and think, “I can’t wait to do this again!” And I still long for that child, yet I don’t know where to go from here. With genetics involved this journey got even more complicated than we ever could have imagined. Then there is the big question: Can our hearts handle another loss? We have an 8-year-old son who counts that miscarriage as a brother. Even though we didn’t know the sex, he thinks it was a boy. It’s all he has to cling to for siblings, two spirits in Heaven, it would be so painful to walk him through the loss of another.
Here we are. Paralyzed. Trying to practice acceptance, yet realizing, once again—acceptance is so damn hard to accept.