Forgive me if I post a little sap today. This time of year brings back a lot of memories and I thought I’d share them.
This September marks 17 years since my last miscarriage. Or since the start of it, I suppose, since that one (my twelfth) sort of began in September, two days after our wedding, and lasted for several months of questions and waiting and bleeding and a D&C and more bleeding and finally emergency surgery on New Year’s Day.
That was a very long fall.
I wrote this poem that fall, trying to hold on to the hope that I could ever become a mother. I thought I’d share it today.
autumn past quiet farms with their rows of trees, past the wide fields of blonde, spent crops, past the thin lakes where the pelicans drifted, we drive in silence, squinting at the eastern sun with its blood-red tints. i know this road by heart. each friday, and then mondays and wednesdays too, we made this trip. at first full of hope, then fear, and then acceptance. i have grown used to the needles, the tests, the death. for a month i have kept her anyway, waiting. and some say i handle it wonderfully. and some say to just try again. and some say to get my sh*t together and come back to work. the doctor says they don't know why. we drive on to the hospital. out the window, i watch the crisp trees shed their own deaths. for seven years these seasons marked my failures. i do not mourn their green. i am tired of grief. we drive on, past all that once grew. winter is coming, again. (Alicia Bayer)
Two and a half years later, we had our first baby. We were not sure if we’d ever have a child and then we had Victoria, then Anna, then Jack. We decided to be practical and stop at three, and then were delighted to be wrong when Alex surprised us and became number four. We were even more delighted to be wrong last year again, when I thought I was too old for babies and we thought we were being so careful, and baby Fiona blessed us with her delightful presence.
It’s fall, and I’m watching the pelicans drift on the lakes, knowing they’ll soon by flying off until the weather warms up again. Every time I look at those magical white birds, I remember that day so long ago. I am so amazed by my luck and my blessings.
I have never liked fall, but more and more it reminds me of that moment 17 years ago, watching the pelicans and holding on to hope in spite of logic.
And I’m so thankful for that change of seasons.