I spent from 3 am Christmas Eve until New Year's Day curled up in a fetal position suffering the ill effects of Smaug. It sucked every bit as much as it sounds.
I dearly hope each and every one of you fared much better. In spite of Smaug, though, we shared family time that was special, and I will always treasure. It could very well be our last holidays with my eldest nephew before he is deployed. He graduates and will be on active duty in 5 months.
It was also the first time I really experimented with dropping Nate a hint as to what I wanted and it worked well. While we were out at the mall, I told him I wanted to try on a pair of Uggs - I wanted to see what all the fuss was about. (I know, I know, I am so behind the times. The point is that I get there eventually. Although perhaps, in this case, by the the time I get there, the style train has moved on.) Anyway, where we were looking at them was quite budget-friendly, and I figured might be something good for a gift. Turns out he bought them online the next day, and was so excited he told every member of my family. Only hitch - they didn't fit, were too big. I urged my Mom to try them on, more so she could also see what the fuss was about. She's very hard to fit shoe-wise, and they fit her to a T. So Santa got her a little something extra this year, and to me, that was a double bonus.
Ok, but there is something specific I want to talk about.
This past August, Nate and I adopted a kitten, a little calico we called Callie.
Look, she even matches that wretched carpet
Its a long story, but we ended up only having her less a week. She became horribly sick the morning after we brought her home, and after a week in the hospital and then intensive care, we had to help her say goodbye to this world, it wasn't for her.
Nate and I were devastated, and although I don't want to cut short her story and the impact on Nate and I, now is not the time to talk about that experience at length. But I wrote about it here because I needed to give a little background. As part of dealing with her death, I was looking for a necklace I could wear as a way of commemorating her and her intense but oh so brief time as part of our family. And in looking for this necklace, I came across this amazing site:http://www.labelledame.com/. Many of you may be familiar with Kimberly's breathtaking work, many of it commemorating infertility, miscarriage and loss. **Now please note, when I stumbled upon her site, I was looking at the work she does for pet loss. As much as I love our pets, I would never equate the loss of a pet with the loss of a child, born or unborn. There is simply no comparison.
But it led me to her work concerning infertility. And as I was looking at her designs, I had one of those transcendent revelations - so beyond the stereotypical "Aha!" moment.
Since my last surgery, I have had such a hard time getting back into the exercise and healthy eating thing, and truthfully, that's just not like me. It's tough to work around Smaug, but ever since I was serious about having a baby, I have been dedicated to making healthy choices, all the better to be a healthier mother and have a healthier baby. And when I would ask myself, "What if I do all this and I still am not able to get pregnant and carry a healthy child?" And my response was, "Then I will be in better shape to care for whoever God gives me to mother." And at the time I believed it.
But since that surgery I really just couldn't give a shit about making healthy choices. I just didn't care. And I couldn't figure out why. I just figured it was some kind of funk I was going through, and that I would work through it in time. But as I was looking through Kimberly's designs on infertility, I was hit with the realization that the surgery brought about a very deep sense of loss, that my body had betrayed me. A sense that I was never going to be able to give carry and deliver a healthy baby. This hit me like a sucker punch in the stomach and left me quite literally gasping for breath and sobbing. Thank God everyone else had left the office for the day.
The design that resonated with me the most was this:
Here is the description that accompanied it:
Fertility Pendant NecklaceA waterfall of tiny gemstone beads dangle from a sterling box chain, delicately framing a perfectly tiny sterling silver sea turtle.
The gemstones contained in this necklace are moonstones and rose quartz. Moonstone aids receptivity, and will help to prepare the mother-to-be to welcome a new life into her body, and the new phase of life that comes with conception. It is an overall promoter of female reproductive health.
Rose quartz beads are said to help promote and support a new pregnancy and protect the tender new life from miscarriage. They are also a gentle stone, providing us with love and compassion, balancing our emotions through our often turbulent journey to conceive a much wanted baby.
Our turtle is a powerful symbol of both fertility and protection. A sea turtle lays anywhere from 50-150 eggs at a time, our hope is that she may bestow her fruitfulness on the wearer! In Native American culture the turtle represents strength, patience and the power to endure and persevere. All gifts that we need on our journey, while we wait until the moment we can cradle our miracle babies in our arms.
It took my breath away, and I had to have it - to me, it represented the combination of soul-deep loss and hope that has been my infertility journey so far. And so, without saying anything to anyone about the reasons, I ordered it, and have worn it almost every day since. It is my way of whispering to the Universe, to God, my soul's deepest desires, and it serves as an outlet for this mix of agony and hope.
Stay tuned for Part 2 . . .