Bittersweet Perspective

My experience being pregnant has been greatly impacted by my experience caring for someone as they died.  The reality is, my experiences in any part of my life are colored by grief.

It’s true I work hard to keep that connection alive.  Could I ‘move on’?  Could I compartmentalize my two lives?  I suppose.  That might be how some people choose to experience grief, but it’s not what I’ve chosen.  I’ve chosen to embrace the bittersweet perspective that is a gift of grief.

When my first husband was diagnosed with cancer, we were told if he was lucky he might have 3 or 4 months to live.  The doctor said if it was him, he would quit his job.  He asked, where do you want to spend your time in these months? Before you die and are gone forever.  He didn’t say that last part, but I sure heard it in the office that day.

It was shocking, it was numbing, it was paralyzing.  That day is so clear in my head, that memory doesn’t fade.  That office, with Jason next to me, hearing the doctor ask, where do you want to spend your time?

Now that Jason is gone I still ask myself that question.  Where do I want to spend my time?  Who do I want to be surrounded by?  How do I want to fill up my life?

I spend my time more thoughtfully at work now, consciously prioritizing energy for the things that mean the most.  I’ve let go of lots of relationships, and become picky about who I let in to my life.  I take life at a different pace, try to resist the urge to fill every moment, and let myself be still more often.

Those moments are such a gift now.  Embracing this bittersweet perspective has allowed me to be fully present in my life.  As my husband and I looked at our baby on an ultrasound, I found myself thinking…BE here Amy.  Be RIGHT here, right NOW. Seal this experience into your heart, FEEL this moment for all it’s worth.

I hope I never let go of that bittersweet perspective.  I hope I carry it with me forever, especially as I add the element of motherhood to my life.

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Dear Baby #2

22 Weeks

Dear baby,

We know now you are our son.  We know you are a boy, we even know your name.  When your dad and I talk about you, we say ‘What will we do when he…’ and ‘How will we know how to help him…’ and  ‘What do you think he will say about…’

There is a sweet video of your dad and I cutting into this cake and revealing your gender.  Until that moment I thought you were a girl!  I had dreams about you being a girl, and I guess because I am one of three girls, and your Aunt Jill has Blythe, I just thought I would be a mom to a girl.

But then we saw the blue, and everything changed.  With each day that passes now, I feel more and more connected to you, and especially now that I know you are a boy.  I lookIMG_3329 at your ultrasound pictures and I can’t wait to get to know you. I can’t wait to talk to you and see what your perspective is on this world.  I can’t wait to see what you bring to it, how you make an impact with your life.  I also can’t wait to enjoy the simple things with you and your dad.  I can’t wait to have our little family sitting at dinner together, or walking to the library, or running late for church.

You are a gift to us, little boy, and you don’t even know it yet.  Just like your dad was a gift to me a few years ago, now you are a gift to the two of us.  We are so thankful for the chance to get to know you, and to love you, and to be your parents.  We’ve waited a long time for you, but you are a gift worth waiting for.

Love,

Your mom