2016 has been a whirlwind for our family. We welcomed our biggest blessing yet when Emery was born in May. Since then, our perspectives and priorities have drastically changed. The person I was this time last year- a wife and teacher who was extremely type A and overly planned in all aspects of her life- would crawl in her skin to see me now. Yet, as I write this, I am perfectly content with my grades still not entered in the grade book, less than 8 hours of my entire break so far spent on work, no plans for my classes next week but way too many pictures of the baby and so many smiles and memories to cherish from break.
I really thought 2016 was going to end on a high note for us. We found out in November that we would be welcoming baby two in July and we couldn’t be more excited. I loved everything about being pregnant with Emery and was so happy to experience that again. We know we aren’t done having kids and can’t wait for our family to be complete. We told our family and friends. I told my students. I even spent half of a Sunday designing the perfect Christmas cards to announce baby two. Little did I realize when I pressed the order button that those cards would end up sitting in a box tucked away in our office closet.
Jump forward a few days later. The feeling of seeing an empty gestational sac- one without a baby, a heartbeat or anything that resembles a viable pregnancy is one of the toughest feelings to describe. In a moment that is typically filled with so much love, awe, and amazement, it suddenly becomes filled with despair, sadness and disbelief. While I followed up with multiple tests and lab work, and a week of waiting to confirm what I already knew, I had to figure out how to still find beauty during this pain and how to move forward.
The topic of miscarriage is still very much taboo and I get it. Everyone handles loss differently and it is very much a loss that a woman primarily suffers through alone. For me, part of the healing is talking about it. I’ve been fortunate to have so much support in family and friends and that in itself is beautiful. My faith and relationship with God has become stronger and that is beautiful. I find myself cherishing the moments with Jared and Emery more, and that is beautiful. While some days are tougher than others, I find beauty in knowing that I am that much stronger for making it through.
What does 2017 hold for us? I used to wish I could answer that. The old me would already have now until March planned out, written down and ready to go. The old me would have a hard time losing control. But that is the old me. If 2016 has taught me anything about myself it is this:
Don’t try to control everything;
Spend more time making memories and less time spending money on material items;
Don’t ignore your health, both mentally and physically. If you aren’t healthy you can’t take care of others;
Remember that balance is about enjoying all that matters;
and, lastly, find beauty in pain.