When I was going through fertility issues and especially after my miscarriage I was pretty low… mentally, emotionally, spiritually. Everything was raw. Everything hurt. All. The. Time. I thought it was the new norm, who I was going to be. Then I got pregnant. You’d think that would have solved it all, we’d finally gotten what we wanted, cause for celebration and rejoicing! But it didn’t. Instead I spent my pregnancy freaked out. Seriously, flat-out TERRIFIED. Ditto the first several months of Marcail’s life. I knew then how incredibly fleeting and fickle life and happiness were (are?) and that knowledge kept me from enjoying a lot of precious and beautiful moments in my daughter’s infancy. I was so terrified it could all be gone in the blink of an eye (again). Again, I just accepted that as a new, permanent, facet of my personality. But they weren’t. Don’t get me wrong, the raw, the hurt and the terror are still lingering about in my psyche and they do rear their ugly heads from time to time BUT they no longer rule me or define me.

Now… More than three years after the miscarriage, two plus years after Marcail made her grand entrance into our lives… I’m not going to say I’m grateful for my fertility issues or the miscarriage because I’m not. I would never. NEVER. Wish that kind of pain on another woman. But I have found that having experienced that pain, that kind of absolute, heart-wrenching, life-changing anguish has made me… A lot of things, i think: Kinder? More patient? Calmer? More willing to roll with the punches and look for a sliver lining? Definitely more empathetic. And it has allowed me to be in the unique position of being an understanding and sympathetic friend and counselor to friends (& lately it seems there are a lot of them) who find themselves in similar situations. Which I AM grateful for. I’m thankful that I can lend an experienced and thoughtful perspective to those of my friends who are angry or hurting or feeling a little lost. When I was going though these issues i was desperate for someone to give me that ‘I’ve been there’ comfort and (fortunately for them!), precious few of my acquaintances were able to offer it.

I guess you can say that I’m grateful that experiences I thought would break me, that had the potential to forever skew my perceptions toward bitter and angry have instead made me into a better person, mother and friend.

w/ gratitude and love,
-Crystal

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