Today, I could have been planning a first birthday party had I not miscarried the second time. I had loved this baby so much. I had a sinking suspicion I would miscarry from the beginning, as many of us do when we have miscarried before, so I tried to be as alive as possible with him for as long as possible. We went flying, even though it made me a little sick. We celebrated anniversaries and went to weddings and "played" with his cousin. I took weekly pregnancy pictures even though I would never post them because of infertility trauma, but they would be joyful memories just for me, Aaron, and our baby boy if he lived. He didn't. But I believed love, especially that kind of fierce, buoyant love I had for him in the face of my fear, was not wasted.
Today was another first birthday in an alternate timeline. Today was another day still without a living child
to derail me from the series of anniversaries of loss that march
throughout the year. Today was another day to choose: would I see grace, as faint as it can be, or would I only see the waste of loss?
Because today I am morning the loss of another of his siblings, a loss that was so
early by then many women don't know they are pregnant, much less have
had multiple sonograms as I had. This loss was expected after poor test results
from the beginning and was physically very easy, but she was my Easter baby.
She was genetically viable and our only successful IVF implantation but
for some other reason she was dead just like all the others. And my
love for her feels like it *was* wasted and unredemptive and such a
betrayal. It doesn't have the joy that my first and second had, in spite of the fear and loss.
Today is a day of loss. But it is also a day of choice. I may not choose to hope for a baby. But I do choose to do
sun salutations and drink coffee with a friend, to celebrate a
parishioner's ingenuity in making a lost sheep prop out of a lawn
reindeer, to swap stories and recruit a volunteer over lunch, to talk
scripture and theodicy with another friend, to laugh with colleagues and
church family at vacation Bible school volunteer training, and to eat cupcakes with
my family. I choose to see the grace that is around me. For I am loved. And that love will help me to keep on loving.