Sunday, January 27, 2013

Even though I walk through the valley

I have used the analogy that life is like a roller coaster quite often, as this post, and this post, and this post, and this post will attest. The parallels are obvious, you get some highs, you get some lows, you get thrown for a loop quite regularly, sometimes you are exhilarated, some times you want to throw up, sometimes you are terrified. As of today I have a new roller coaster analogy.  Sometimes momentum is not enough to get you up the next hill after you've swung through a deep chasm, that's when some added strength is needed, you need that chain to help pull it up to the next peak.

Fertility has been my 7 year long roller coaster ride. The same roller coaster every time, waiting to be able to finally get off and move on to the mother of all roller coasters (haha?). I finally got so sick from the ride I got off of it in 2010. And I say, 'I got off' because I truly felt like Sean wasn't on that ride with me anymore by that point. I think I stopped letting him in the cart with me somewhere along the way. He hadn't really been there for his enjoyment, it had been all for me. And that's a huge part of why I felt sick of the ride, I had no one beside me to share the experience with. But then, almost 2 years later, I felt like I could be ok trying to get back on again....IF Sean was desiring to share the ride with me. And he was! And having him beside me as we started along these tracks again was invigorating, the lows were spent in anticipation of the highs, and in the loops we clung to each other and felt safe throughout. It was more than centrifugal forces keeping us glued to each other, there was a new, industrial-strength bond holding us together and it made the ride so much more wonderful than before, more than I had ever imagined.

Our ride took us to a pinnacle we hadn't reached, together, before.  Maybe it was the exhilaration, maybe it was the high altitude, but we were euphoric.  This was it. Until unexpectedly the ride dive bombed into a spiral downwards. Gravity had no mercy on us, and as we sunk into the lowest valley I had that familiar sickening disassociation of leaving my heart and stomach to free fall behind me.

At first I tried to do what I had done before. Yes. Before.

I had hit that pinnacle, and then sunk to that valley 4 times before. Some times I told Sean after the fact, some I didn't tell him at all. Each time I tried to spare him, or maybe myself. I had trouble understanding what had happened and the abyss it left me in, and I didn't want Sean to have to feel it too. But I also worried he wouldn't feel it at all and that possibility hurt even more. I didn't really tell anyone else either, not sure if sharing would make it more real, or less real, so I swallowed my screams and chugged back up the next hill as best I could.

But this time, I was NOT alone in that cart. I could not hide my despair from the mirror who was glued to my side. And then, I knew I didn't have to. Every thing I felt he felt too. That made it easier and harder all at once. I didn't have to wonder if this was normal to feel so much pain. But I did have to see the heart break on the face of the one I love most. When we hit the bottom and embraced, it was the most beautiful intersection of pain and love I've ever known. And even though the abyss was still there, I had an anchor.

The momentum of life barely allowed us pause, and the push to move forward was persistent.  But we were resistant.  We did not want to leave that grief behind so quickly and easily. We resisted the pull of God, trying to draw us closer to Him. I saw Him on the next peak, and while I was grateful I could see there was another peak, I wanted Him to come down to my valley. I wasn't ready to move out of it yet. I still felt my insides had not yet come out of free fall, my heart had just landed with a thud and it felt 10lbs heavier. I still felt this hollow pit, but it was more than that, it felt vacant where just days before it had not. How that was possible I wasn't quite grasping. The physical vacancy was infinitesimal, but add to that the weight of love, joy, hope, anticipation, and I began to feel my expansive abyss was not only external but internal as well.

It is exhausting, resisting the forward momentum, masking the resistance. And the weight of two heavy hearts in that cart just made it seem so tiring to face chugging back up the next hill. The uplifting would have to be external. We finally realized that the least we could do was stop tiring ourselves out by pretending we're fine. When we did that, on that next peak God gathered those we reached out to and used their hands to start pulling that chain and lifting us up that hill. And once that was taken care of, He came down to the valley and shared in our grief.

It's been four days since I miscarried a 26 day old baby.  For 10 days I claimed my promise from God. For days I watched pro-life friends share the development of fetuses under a month old on Facebook, and I dared think of a tiny heart beat. For 6 days Sean and I began to hope enough to plan how we would get to share our joy with all of you. We revelled in this amazing 10 year anniversary gift for us. We were excited this child would get to share it's birth celebrations with it's daddy each year. We rejoiced we could share this experience with some of our best friends who announced their pregnancy only a month ago. We planned out a baby dedication that included every person who has prayed along side us for that day. Mostly, we just basked in caring for each other in a new way, sharing something indescribably special, just between us two. It's a lot to mourn.

We haven't always had people in our lives we could trust with the chain. They've spoken empty words leaving me/us more hurt than before we shared, we thought they might be uplifting but trusting the chain in their hands they let it go and we slid back into the valley. But it's different now, as we've stepped out in trust we've been blessed by such love and comfort from those God has placed in our lives. I wanted to share here too, knowing what blessing and healing has come from our vulnerability and willingness to share the bad as well as the good. And, we need more hands on the chain. I know those of you who read my blog have previously proven yourselves to be uplifting and so I trust you with this.  We're not quite out of the valley completely, your prayers are appreciated.

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