A Breakfast Eye-Opener

022816 Looking out window

Chatting with J about this infertility blog series, I started talking about how it hurts to feel like an outsider when others start swapping pregnancy stories. I feel like I’m watching a scene from behind a glass: eagerly gazing out, nose smushed up on the window, and longing to get outside. But, the door is locked to me.

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Remembering Pippin Cat

Pippin header

On our honeymoon over ten years ago, I told J that I wanted to look at cats when we got back home. Our lease permitted them, and now that our lives seemed settled, I wanted a pet. So, the day after our honeymoon, while J went to work, I headed to the humane society to check out cats.

Looking didn’t last long. I saw Pippin, or rather Malone as he was called then. Our eyes met. We bonded. Boom. I fell in love with him. We snuggled. We played. I put a hold on him, and dragged J kicking and screaming to meet him later that day.

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Love (Or Like) in the Small Things

Sitting in a coffee shop writing a few weeks ago, I glanced up to see a man lightly brush his companion’s shoulder as they sat side by side on stools facing out the window upon the street. A quick and small gesture. She glanced up, met his eyes, and a smile passed between them. Delighted recognition. Noticing their brief reverie felt like trespassing. And as quickly as the touch came, the moment passed and they went about their respective computer work. Even as they went back to their own tasks, a little thread of contented connection lingered between them. It was a sweet scene to witness — not saccharine nor an obnoxious public display of affection.

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A Light Shines in the Dark

I find it odd how I can look back fondly on some seriously awful moments in my life.  At the time things were wretched, and yet I look back in gratitude.  My second miscarriage in May 2010 for one.  I was absolutely devastated at the time (and as my blog posts from back then show).  And yet, looking backward, that’s one of the moments in our marriage that makes me so incredibly grateful for my husband.  Every time I think about back then, I am reminded of how much I love him.  Life could have gone a different direction.  But it didn’t.  And I remember the second miscarriage more sharply than the first and third.  And the main difference was intentionality.

I told J as he came home that I didn’t want to live that night as though it was a normal one.  I wanted a Dairy Queen ice cream cake. I wanted a fire in the fireplace, even if it meant our house would smell like pioneer village for days afterward.  I wanted to sleep on the air mattress in the living room in front of the fire, and to binge watch McLeod’s Daughters (an Australian TV show — one of my favorite shows of all time).  I didn’t want to go about our normal routine as though the world hadn’t imploded.

J picked up a Dairy Queen ice cream cake on his way home.  And that started one of our longest running inside jokes.  The clerk kept asking if J wanted writing on the cake, and J thinks to himself — What am I going to have him write — “Happy Miscarriage?!?!?!” No.  No, I don’t want writing on the cake.

J came home and told me the story, and we cried and laughed.  And laughed and cried.  Till our faces were soaked, and we nearly peed our pants. Now whenever we go to Dairy Queen or have cakes decorated, we joke back and forth over whether the slogan should be “Happy Miscarriage.”  I would seriously die laughing at some point if he actually got me a birthday cake with that on it.  (We have a macabre sense of humor in this house.  No. No, it was not a happy miscarriage.  And that’s what makes it funny for us.).

And even though he hates the air mattress, he slept on it with me by the fire.  We lay there shell-shocked watching the antics of Tess and Claire on Drover’s Run till the fire died and we passed out from exhaustion.  It helped.

J’s participation in grieving our loss and acknowledging that life didn’t go on as normal for a day bonded us together.  We both still look back on the time we spent together as a highlight in our marriage even though it was one of our darkest moments.

In the past few months, as I’ve begun letting go of the dream of biological children, I’ve realized that I’m falling in love with my husband all over again in a way that is deeper than I thought possible.  I can’t imagine another person I’d rather walk with on this journey of life. And I feel amazed that this  infertility journey has bound us tighter instead of splitting us.

So, today, this week, this month, I am feeling grateful.  God is good.  I am blessed.  Even if I can’t have biological children, I’m blessed.  Life is good.