Whoever said it was a wave of grief couldn’t have been more accurate.
The water is calm, all is calm, you’re walking the shoreline picking up shells (texting a friend, wrapping a present, doing your nails) feeling the sand under your toes, watching the sea gulls swoop down low, wading in the water admiring the different shades of blue (going for a coffee run, reading a book, doing last night’s dishes), and then out of nowhere with the sun still shining above, a wave hits you and takes you under (someone asking about your recent loss, things looking different than expected right now, people comparing their own losses, remembering the money you saved for the transfer, thinking through the years of waiting and planning for this, the anticipation throughout the FET process, more hard appointments and bloodwork to come after my D&C surgery, Noella telling people there are no more babies in mama’s belly).
The waves were easier to navigate these past few weeks because Shawn was unexpectedly home with me, and it’s a storm we’re learning to sail together.
I remember the day we found out there were three viable embryos from our IVF cycle with Noella. This was news we had waited a long time for, both in the sense of our marriage, waiting and hoping to hear that a baby was on the way, but also in the process of that 4th IVF cycle, we waited all day every day for a call that would tell us if we had any viable embryos at all. I was inside our townhouse in Cheyenne, Wyoming, setting the table for dinner while Shawn grilled outside, a blanket of snow under his feet. The nurse called to give me the results saying that three of the four embryos we had were viable! She caught me off guard when she asked, “Do you want to know the genders of your three babies?” “One minute!” I said. I flew open the sliding glass doors that led outside to where Shawn was grilling. “Three of the four are viable!!! Do we want to know the genders?” I asked. Shawn said excitedly, “Sure!!” I held the phone to my ear and told the nurse, “Sure!” “Are you sure?” She asked, laughing at our quick and nonchalant process of deciding if we wanted to know the genders of our future-babies.
We were floating on a cloud for a long time after that. 2 girls and a boy!!!!!!!!!!!
But God had different plans, which has been both something incredible (the arrival of two girls in two very amazing, but different ways), and the loss of our boy/girl twins.
The waves crash in unexpectedly at times, and they knock us down and it hurts and it’s confusing as we navigate this storm, these losses together. But there is a different kind of wave that can swoop us out to sea, but this time we’re relaxed and lounging on a tube, ankles crossed and face toward the sun. It’s the wave of joy for the very life we’re in. Strange, isn’t it? The next thing we know we’re bobbing up and down, enjoying the ride, a little girl that we prayed for on each of our laps.