Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Blueberry Baby

Almost from the beginning, I knew that this pregnancy was different. I can't say exactly how.
"Let's wait a while before we say anything to anyone", I told my husband.
What I really meant was, let's wait a while before we believe.

So I waited.

And there were signs.
"Spotting can be normal during pregnancy", the professionals all said. There was nothing I could do but wait.
So I waited.
And as I waited, my mind would wander.
And even as I tried not to, I would think, and hope.

"Your baby is the size of a sesame seed", the website I finally visited said, and I tried not to care.
"Your baby is the size of a lentil", I read the following week, and I tried in vain to keep my heart closed tight.

And still I waited.

"Your baby is the size of a blueberry", the next week said.
And something in me stirred.
I thought of my kids and our blueberry picking in the hot sun each June.
How we loved doing that. How they always ate more than they ever picked.
I thought of the sound the blueberries made as they fell into their always empty buckets, just the faintest little "tink".
I imagined holding one in my hand, felt how it weighed next to nothing, and I was suddenly struck by how fragile a blueberry is.

And how very much I wanted this baby to be.

And then the blood came.
And I knew that it was over.

I kept this pregnancy to myself because I thought that would keep it from hurting. I thought if I kept it from feeling real, then I wouldn't care when it was gone.
But I was wrong.
It still hurts.
It hurts a lot, actually.
And the only thing I avoided by keeping it to myself, by keeping it from myself really, was my joy. I still got all of the heartache, every bit of it, but I completely bypassed any of the joy. And all I'm left with is the heartbreaking realization that even while I tried to deny its existence, my baby lived.

And I completely missed it.

One of the sad truths about life is that heartbreak is going to find you. No matter what you do, you can't hide from it. Heartbreak is sneaky and sinister, and delights in surprise attacks. And if that were all there was to this life, we would never make it through.
But it's not.
Because there is also joy.
And joy is how we survive.
So go on and grab it. Grab the joy, wherever you can find it. Don't save it for special occasions, gathering dust like the good china. Don't wait to feel it.
Grab the joy.
Soak it all in. Then squeeze out every drop you can and spread it around. Share it.
Celebrate the joys, big or small, no matter when they come or how long they may be here for.
Celebrate them with all you've got.
Because those joys are what get you through the heartbreak. And when you're going through that heartbreak and you feel like it will never end, you need to know that there is another side.
You need to remember that once there was joy, sweet, sweet joy.
And that there will be again.

Most definitely, there will be again.

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