I wish I was over this hurting, this squeezing of my heart. I wish I was over the outbursts of sadness. Because the triggers are unpredictable, the emotional door slams in my face. I haven’t had one of these in quite a while, but today my emotions stole my composure.

Crushed ice background

Today, an old friend texted to say she was expecting her first baby boy…on what would have been my latest due date. Any phrasing of the news that left out the date, and I don’t think I would have turned it around so quickly to be about me and about my loss. I’ve prided myself on being happy for all my friends and family who continue to have healthy pregnancies followed by the cutest little 7 pound miracles. But today my selfishness got the best of me and, although I texted back a joyous response (that I really did mean), the next moment was all about me and my loss, my hurt, my world not being fair (which is a huge joke of a thought since I am so, so fortunate in life).

So, sometimes the crush seemingly comes out of nowhere. I was having a normal – or maybe above average day – and didn’t expect the tears to flood from my eyes today. I didn’t expect to have to expend the energy struggling with my emotions and needing to recenter myself. But wouldn’t it be inhumane of me not to remember the date, the lost joy I had for my family? So, here we continue. I know I am so lucky, but this just sucks. Life is often hard. Life moves on with or without us…so I’ll just keep trying to get unstuck.

And Then There Was Just Sweet Relief…

As I clicked on a draft to write this post, my eye caught my last post titled, “Bittersweet Relief.” A few short days later, I am truly writing about something with nothing “bitter” about it. A dear friend and soul sister of mine just gave birth to a very sweet, very healthy, baby boy.

She has three beautiful kids at home and, now, this little one she will take home in a few days from the hospital. From the outside, we probably look like two very different people considering our geographical location, family structure, and day-to-day activities. What people passing her at a baseball game or at the park may never guess is her family didn’t come so easily. Last January, as I was acknowledging Adam’s due date at home, she was in the hospital, giving birth to a sweet little girl, little Olivia, born many weeks too soon.

When I heard about Olivia, I reached out immediately, trying to see how I might help her tackle this crazy sadness and overwhelming disbelief she undoubtedly was feeling; I wanted her to feel less confused, scared, and alone. We were old summer camp friends and hadn’t talked in over a decade, but that made zero difference. Our paths had lined us up perfectly to take care of each other through some of the darkest, scariest months we had experienced. As the months passed, we were able to connect through sharing our grieving processes, our pregnancy fears, and little details about Adam and Olivia, whom we both agree must be connected now in their own way.

As I struggled through more miscarriages, she had the experience and compassion to understand what that really meant. As she struggled with hope and trust as the weeks of her pregnancy flipped on the calendar, I was there to do the same for her. Although our journeys are somewhat different, they are very much the same, and – today – we get to celebrate the pure light that comes after the darkness.

Today, I am going to celebrate the miracle she has (we have) been given. I feel a great sense of relief and joy. In the not hopeless days I have been experiencing, this is a great chance to pause and – what else – steal a little nectar.

The New Okay

I’ve been noticing lately that I am…okay. I can get through the day – and maybe even the week – without grieving Adam. I miss him, I think about him, and I remember him lovingly, but that heavy sadness that has plagued me hangs around less often. This is the new okay. 

I am okay if we never have a biological child. I am okay if we do and our adoption plans get postponed. I am okay if we have to wait three years to bring a child home. I am learning not to make too many demands on life, but how to still remain hopeful. I think this was always the master plan for this stage of my life. I needed to let go of my resume – whether professional or personal. I needed to learn that deviations from the planned path are not failures. I needed to learn that strength and beauty come from great loss.

There is something else that I’ve noticed, too. Although I do not think I am a jealous person, it has been emotionally exhausting to expense joy and celebration for others. Don’t get me wrong; I have true joy that bubbles up and out of me, and I am so thrilled for my friends and family in their happiness and positive turn of events. But, after the celebrations, I have to retreat and find rejuvenation. I have to come to terms with the reality of my own path at this time and renew acceptance. Each joy celebrated gets easier (my breakdowns or “comedowns” get less dramatic), and I need less time to re-energize. I just never knew that was part of the process until I experienced core-trembling loss. I am doing important “soul work” as my aunt and spiritual mentor says…and it’s hard, yet refreshing at the same time.

I trust that, as the moon keeps fading in and out of the hours, the new okay will turn into the new fabulous/stupendous/couldn’t be happier. I am my mom’s “Life is Wonderful” child and I have faith that I am making small steps to regain my place on the kitchen counter, making chocolate chip cookies, and delivering that phrase to her and all my loved ones who know my joyful and mischievous spirit.