We heard sad news today. I’m not pregnant anymore. I’m sorry not to ease you into that. I think we all know by now that I have to just say it straight.
A few months ago I was talking to someone I love. She is a very private person. We were talking about her small circle of trust. I found myself feeling a little insecure. I have always admired private people. I even married one. I find private people to be so dignified.
I was rolling this conversation with my private friend around in my brain, and then I had a thought that was so clear it felt electric. The private people in my life are private, because that is how God made them. Private people can own that about themselves; they don’t need to try to act differently than what comes naturally to them. They shouldn’t.
The same is true for me.
I bounced this theory off of Scott, and he said he couldn’t agree more. He even said he really likes the way God made me. Which, really, was a big relief.
Honest to goodness, I feel like God gives everyone a purpose on Earth. It’s a real sweet thing to know what your purpose is too. I have a strong feeling that one of the reasons God put me on Earth is to be transparent. I don’t know how I know it. I just do. I feel like God has whispered in my ear, “Just tell your story; I will handle the rest.”
I can’t tell you how many times this instinct has been confirmed through people God put in my life. So, I’m owning it. I’m admitting to you that I am not private. Sure. there are things that happen in my family’s lives that I am sensitive enough to know I shouldn’t share. But, as for my part of our journey, I am an open book. I will freely share happiness and pain and all the learning along the way. I know that stuff isn’t for me to keep to myself. I’m sure of it.
Here is my latest learning.
We had an ultrasound this morning. Olivia came with me, because this pregnancy news has definitely affected her more than anyone in the family. She has been staying even closer to me than usual. The Doctor told us the baby died, then she showed us a picture. Anyone who has seen that picture knows it’s not a good thing to look at. I was 11 weeks pregnant.
The Doctor was really very sweet. I don’t envy her at all. I know she has to deliver that news more often than she’d like. I was strong. I didn’t cry. When you are 43 and pregnant , it occurs to you that your body is not up to the task.
I also was strong because my daughter. She sort of crumpled a bit when she heard the news, and that was another thing I didn’t want to see. I held her for a little while while the Doctor explained our next steps.
We drove back home then, and our hearts weighed a lot. Olivia is almost as tall as me now, but she isn’t too big to crawl on my lap and cry her heart out. We called the boys, because we knew they would want to know. They took the news like men, quietly and without complaint. Gosh, I love all these people.
I told my family and a few close friends right away. Some of those women I love have walked this road before me. Scott and I agree that one unintended positive consequence of our current circumstance, is being able to feel empathy for those people we love in a new way. A better way. The same is true for our children. Our children now have new words in their vocabulary; they have had their hearts hurt in ways I am certain will make them stronger, more mature and more sympathetic as they grow into the adults God intends for them to be in this life. I guess all that makes this whole thing sound like something that should make me feel thankful.
I am thankful. I am sad, and I am thankful. It has been years since I’ve been under the illusion that a good life is a life void of pain and sadness. Thank goodness I know it too. Yes. Thank goodness my life and my faith in a God, who I believe is intimately involved in the details, has led me to a place where I know a good life is having a heart that accepts. A heart without bitterness. A heart without walls around it. Walls keep a heart from being honest.
A good life means accepting what I’ve been given and trusting that with every hard thing there are lessons to be learned, courage to be gained and friends to be encouraged. A good life means remembering that for every hard thing there are a hundred good things. A good life means focusing my attention and thankfulness on what I DO have, instead of what I DON’T have. To me, that is a good life. I have a good life.
I want to thank you again if you’ve shared a kind word with me. A lot of good people have. Those kind words are something I DO have. More things to make me thankful.
I’m sorry I had to tell you a sad story. I didn’t wan to tell it. I like happy stories better.
I think that now the five people in my family are going to take some time to be together. We’re going to do what we do when we’re sad, and experiencing some grief. We’re going to talk to each other, and speak honestly about how we feel. Some of us might even cry a little bit. And, for sure, I mean I know this for sure, we’re going to keep laughing. We will always keep laughing, because, I forgot to say that laughing is another essential ingredient in my good life.
I’m weepy and vulnerable right now, like I’m drunk. Only, I’m not. I promise. Some idiots decided we shouldn’t keep alcohol in the house, and that seems like a really dumb idea to me right now. I’m just a little drunk on sadness, and that’s why I want to tell all my friends (real life and virtual) that I love you. I’m not afraid to say it. It’s true. Thanks for being another essential part of my good life.
My sister-in-law, Haley, sent me this song a week ago. She said she thought of me when she heard it. I thought it was beautiful before we heard our sad news. Even more so now. You might enjoy it too: