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:
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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