Friday, July 31, 2009

Looking Back

So I do have in mind a series of “Reflections” posts, but this seemed a fitting place to start…just a general look back highlighted by a particular annual event that was held recently.

A little over 2 years ago (why does 2007 seem like a decade ago?), we had a small gathering of friends up in our neck of the woods. It was planned for awhile, and the unfortunate timing of it left me licking my wounds (although let’s be honest, when was I NOT licking some sort of wound from 2004-2008). This was a group of friends from college, some of whom we used to see regularly, some rarely, ALL who were successfully procreating in some regard. Several kids at the gathering, but most difficult were two pregnant friends…who were due within a couple of weeks of when I should have been due with that latest miscarriage (which thankfully ended up being my LAST miscarriage). Nothing bothered me more in those days than to see a large belly, a doting husband, all the anticipation and excitement of a stage I could never reach…and didn’t know if I ever would. To see “where I should have been” was always the sharpest knife to me…especially since all around me were “should have beens”…a toddler running around (could have had one that age), a new baby barely learning to sit up (could have had one that age), and the bellies (SHOULD have been there at least, right?).

So this is what we looked like in 2007.

When I first saw the picture, I wrote it off as us being tired (we were playing in a tennis tournament that weekend and were truly exhausted). But reflecting on it now, I see such tremendous sadness in this picture. The worst of it is that I don’t look the saddest. I see an image of myself fighting through it, putting on a smile. But Patrick’s look…I know that one well, and it hurts me to my core that he was ever in that place…because I still feel like it was me that drug him down that hole. I could/can handle my pain, but to remember what it put him through…well those scars ache a bit still.

But on to happier busier times. In 2008, we had the second annual gathering. What a difference a little over a year makes. Here we are, one chubby little chicken, and a teeny tiny bun in the oven. All that aching/wanting to be either the mama or the pregnant lady at these gatherings and here I get to be BOTH the same year…LOL!

Can you see the terror on my face? Patrick looks absolutely content, and I swear my face is saying “Is it too hot out here for her? Is that bug flying towards her? Did I just start spotting? How am I going to handle another baby?” all at once. : )

Flash forward one more year to our third annual gathering in 2009. Our amazing family all looking in the general direction of the camera, two fulfilled albeit tired parents, and two unbelievable, miracles in their own right, children. Yes, I’m still neurotic about germs, schedules, crying, etc, but hey, I’m getting there. The fact that all 4 of us made it out of the house this put together is a true testament to how far we’ve come ; ) So here we are…this is what the other side of hell looks like…and it’s absolutely wonderful.