A Year Lived

2013 was a year unlike any other for me. I lived and loved more than I ever have, and alternately, I lost more than I ever have. Yes, I lost security and innocence and my first baby. I lost the feeling that things could be easy and perfect and smooth and clean. I lost a feeling of wholeness, as I know now that I will always be missing a sliver of myself, whisked away to some unknown and untouchable place.

I have lost. But I have gained the strength to embrace the world and live fully. Looking back on 2013:

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The year began with a lengthy drive to slightly warmer climates. A visit to family and happy moments spent together. Returning home, we embraced sunny days amidst the deep snow and deep cold, the kind of sold that stings the cheeks, the scours the lungs and breaks silence into a million pieces. We gathered with friends and family at home. We feasted, we drank wine, we indulged.

The year began with a lengthy drive to slightly warmer climates. A visit to family and happy moments spent together. Returning home, we embraced sunny days amidst the deep snow and deep cold, the kind of sold that stings the cheeks, the scours the lungs and breaks silence into a million pieces. We gathered with friends and family at home. We feasted, we drank wine, we indulged.

Bookstores, crisp snow, crisp wines and family. Early 2014 was calm and refreshing.

Winter gave way to spring, and with spring came the revelation that my weeks of flu-like symptoms were in fact, pregnancy. Early on in the stages, we traveled to Maui, one of our favorite places on earth:

We breathed in the frigid air 10,000 feet above sea level, atop a volcano as the sun broke over the horizon of cloud. We hiked tropical trails, amidst bamboo, blocking out the sounds of life, masking all noise but the eerie clack high above our shoulders. We gazed up at 500 foot Waimoku falls, feeling the mist on our faces and the squish of stream water in our boots.

We breathed in the frigid air 10,000 feet above sea level, atop a volcano as the sun broke over the horizon of cloud. We hiked tropical trails, amidst bamboo, blocking out the sounds of life, masking all noise but the eerie clack high above our shoulders. We gazed up at 500 foot Waimoku falls, feeling the mist on our faces and the squish of stream water in our boots.

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We basked in the sun, we embraced the waves in the early mornings, still cool, but before the resorts opened up, letting noisy tourists onto the beaches. We went off the beaten paths, found amazing food, amazing views, and endlessly bumpy roads.

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Upon our return home, winter lingered, but excitement grew through the still snowy spring. I navigated the unfamiliar territory of pregnancy, soon embracing the summer’s heat.

But with summer, came loss. We lost our baby on June 3, 2013. I was 17 weeks pregnant.

The rain fell for days.

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Eventually the sun would break through, the days would sting a little less, but that empty space would linger.

Eventually the sun would break through, the days would sting a little less, but that empty space would linger.

Weeks spent at home, recovering physically and emotionally, I returned to work before the end of the school year, in an effort to separate myself from what could’ve become an entire summer of grief. I began to find my footing, finding hope and calm in my days.

As summer break arrived, I indulged in all things soothing and happy, in travel, in nature, in friendships and family.

We took to the river and breathed deeply of the world around us.

We took to the river and breathed deeply of the world around us.

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We found our way to the mountains and to the water, lounging in canoes in the sun and bundling up against July mornings that felt like a November chill, all to paddle in peace, without another soul upon the water.

We found our way to the mountains and to the water, lounging in canoes in the sun and bundling up against July mornings that felt like a November chill, all to paddle in peace, without another soul upon the water.

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More travel gave way to beaches, books and tea. Wine and cheese and exploration

Johnston Canyon falls, a morning hike as the sun broke through the trees.

Johnston Canyon falls, a morning hike as the sun broke through the trees.

Camping breakfasts are truly the stuff of dreams

Camping breakfasts are truly the stuff of dreams

Family visits

Family visits

buried treasures

buried treasures

Mill Creek falls, post brunch, pre winery jaunt in the woods

Mill Creek falls, post brunch, pre winery jaunt in the woods

Wine and cheese with family, indulgence to the extreme

Wine and cheese with family, indulgence to the extreme

Three cups of early grey, and morning light

Three cups of early grey, and morning light

Inevitably, vacation must end, and we returned home. Summer’s end and fall’s beginning was absorbed in days of scorching sun, picking vegetables, watching storms, live music and yet more tea and more books.

lucky strike

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Fall fell, as it does, and I returned to school. Soon it became apparent that I was pregnant. Happily, yes, though apprehensive and often truly terrified, my husband and I clung to hope, and were rewarded with clear and crisp ultrasounds. A wiggly and active baby at 12 weeks.

A clear heartbeat at 13 weeks, at 16.

The space between fall and winter in the North is tragically short. Snow fell, blanketing the world around us, sending us indoors to the warmth of the fire, cozy blankets and cups of tea. Drives to town became treacherous, though we grew used to wobbling away on the ice.

The space between fall and winter in the North is tragically short. Snow fell, blanketing the world around us, sending us indoors to the warmth of the fire, cozy blankets and cups of tea. Drives to town became treacherous, though we grew used to wobbling away on the ice.

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Family would gather in our home for the holidays. We would laugh and smile and embrace those rich traditions that surface each year.

Now, pine needles swept up, snowfall warnings almost daily, and the last, luscious days of my winter break to embrace, I am nearing 21 weeks. I feel movement all the time, little ninja kicks and karate chops, a wonderful reassurance of the life inside of me, waiting to meet the world. On January second, we are booked for another ultrasound, with hopes of getting another glimpse of this little one and finding out the gender.

In January, I could never have guessed I’d be here today, inexplicably on my second pregnancy, my belly swollen and twitching often. I could never have predicted the loss I would face, nor the community of women I would meet online, this world of pain and hope, and a necessary hand outstretched to lift up the next grieving soul.

I could never know, after that aching loss, how fully I would live, how deeply I would breathe and how truly I would embrace my days. I couldn’t have predicted that I could be here, now waiting to meet our little one in a few short months, hoping all is well, holding on to the positive and trying to distance myself from fear. I could never have known I’d be here, today.

I could never have know how different I’d be.

What will 2014 bring?

“For last year’s words belong to last year’s language
And next year’s words await another voice.”
T.S. Eliot

 

 

 

 

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9 Responses to A Year Lived

  1. Kate says:

    What a year for you! I am so happy to hear about your healthy pregnancy thus far (and to the end!) I am so sorry for all that you have lost, but I am smiling, looking through your pictures and reading about the new little life that you will soon meet! Happy 2014!

    • CGsaysstuff says:

      Thanks so much, Kate. Hoping all the best for you in 2014. We are clinging to happy moments. Found out our little one’s gender today. I’m on top of the world right now.

  2. This pictures are gorgeous. Loss is painful, but it looks like the clouds are parting for you. 🙂 So glad I decided to follow you when I came across your link somewhere this past week. Prayers in 2014!

  3. Bee says:

    Oh wow I just read this and I just want to hug you xxx I’m so happy your belly is alive with new life and i share your pain of losing your little angel. I hope I’ll be lucky like you one day xx Enjoy your beautiful new journey xxx

  4. Lisette says:

    Your photos are so beautiful. They make me homesick, you look to be in a part of the world where I’m from.
    The post is beautiful too. What a year it has been for you. I’m so hopeful for 2014 and for you. Hugs xx

    • CGsaysstuff says:

      Thank you, LIsette :). Many of these photos are from within the province, but not exactly where I live. I am hours away from the mountains, but it makes for a nice vacation spot 🙂
      Sending you hope for 2014 as well, and following your journey with hope, as always.

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