My Shop is Closed

8 Aug

photo

(via Ramshackle Glam’s Pinterest Page)

ser·en·dip·i·ty
ˌserənˈdipitē
noun
noun: serendipity; plural noun: serendipities
  1. the occurrence and development of events by chance in a happy or beneficial way.
    ***
    Yesterday, I read a post that brought me to tears. My girl Jordan over at Ramshackleglam wrote the most beautiful piece entitled, “Not So Brave“, about the impending (like, this week) birth of her second child, a daughter, “Goldie”.
    In it, she wrote,
    But that’s why I’ve been spending time every day looking at these photos: because seeing them reminds me that there’s something much bigger waiting for me on the other side of the pain and the exhaustion and the everything-that-might-go-wrong, and that’s that no matter what happens, I know this: I get to fall in love. Again. I almost can’t believe it. I know there’s “a baby” coming…but my daughter? That doesn’t feel possible; it feels too big and too forever to be real.

    So maybe being not so brave is okay. I mean, it’s okay to be scared of falling in love. It should be scary, shouldn’t it? Because you can’t control it, and you can’t stop it, and once it’s there it changes everything.

    And she wrote, so eloquently, about the exact sense of overwhelming anticipation and fear and excitement and love that I was trying to describe when I wrote the hardest words, my post about my inability to bear more children. And her post moved me, because it was addressing the exact thing that I mourn the most. The magic.

    I mourn the magic.

    ***

    This week, I had a doctor’s appointment at the hospital. It was the hospital where I gave birth to both of my children. The hospital, for me, is haunted. I drove into the garage and pictured myself, just a year ago, walking through the darkness, cradling my giant belly in my hands.

    I entered the building and right past the outpatient lab. I looked inside and pictured myself 12 weeks pregnant, after having been shocked at my Sequential Screen Ultrasound when the tech told us that he saw “something between the baby’s legs”. It was in that lab that I called my dad and told him that we were having a boy.

    I walked to the East medical office building and took the elevator, the elevator that I rode every month, and then every week, to check on my babies’ heartbeats while they were still inside me.

    And being in the hospital…it hurt.

    ***

    This past week, I experienced two competely different, but equally meaningful experiences:

    I geared up (with true, sincere happiness, mind you) for the impending births of several babies whose gestation I have been following and celebrating.

    I saw photos posted online of newborns. I saw tiny heads in those tiny striped hats. I saw people become parents.

    And simultaneously, I experienced having to tell at least five different people that I would no longer be bearing any children of my own. I had to tell a doctor and a nurse. I told several people who asked me while I was pushing my son in his stroller around town. Sometimes it was met with skepticism. “Oh, well you never know.” with a sly smile.

    But I know.

    ***

    So here’s where serendipity comes into play. I read Jordan’s post with a pang. And I thought about how I could could write about my own, still sad, feelings, while still being so happy for and proud of her. But I was scared. I thought it would be therapeutic, but I was nervous about taking the first step.

    And then, coincidentally, she emailed me. We exchanged notes about her daughter and mine; we talked about some milestones, about trying to get my daughter’s ears pierced (hashtag fail) and how much she has to look forward to; I told her about the black, knee high suede fringe Minnetonka Moccasins that I will be sending her little girl’s way. And that made me happy. And she wrote about feeling “Not So Brave”, and, in turn, she gave me the courage to feel OK about not holding it together. About admitting that I am still in pain.

    And then she posted the Hemingway quote. Not only was it the perfect quote, but it was my guy, Hem.

    And so I am letting go.

    And so I am writing hard. I am writing about what hurts.

    I am definitely still wading through the mire of grief stages. I am still bargaining, thinking of ways for me to add to my family.

    Sometimes I have dreams that the doctor was wrong. That I can, actually, decide to “try” again. I can wait, with a quickened heartbeat, for two lines to appear on a stick. I can see a little teddy bear flickering on an ultrasound. I can find out if the baby is a boy or a girl. I can feel kicks and feel nauseated and feel the baby being pulled from inside of me as I hear the doctor say “I see a hand! I see a foot!”

    But that is not my story.

    My story may, someday, include more children. Probably not, but maybe. But they won’t be coming from my womb.

    Write hard and clear

    The shop is closed.

    So for now I will enjoy my babies and appreciate them more than they will ever know. I will celebrate the births of my friends’ children. And I will try to bust the ghosts when I walk through the hospital halls.

    My shop is closed. But there is great joy ahead. There are memories to be made. Milestones to face. Dance parties to have, hands to hold and heartbeats to listen to, as I rest my head on my babies’ chests at night. There are lullabies to sing and lives to live.

    My shop is closed,

    but so, so many doors have yet to be opened.

     

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