The tax man cometh. And so does a date that I am dreading. For me, tax day and Thanksgiving will always be sad reminders of the loss of my two babies. For the past couple weeks, I have been reminded of my pregnancy last year through random associations. I remember being pregnant while doing Stations of the Cross; I remember going to buy Easter candy at the store and putting something back because the thought of it was making me nauseous; I remember having to package all of our tax materials and get them off in the mail just a few short hours after learning that our baby's heart was no longer beating. I will always associate the Pope's visit to the U.S. last April with the day I lost my baby. Amazingly, my husband was able to shake the Pope's hand the next day, which felt like a gift straight from God after what we had been through.
All of us who have gone through IF know the feeling of dreading a date. Sadly, we have sometimes lost the joy of celebrating our birthdays, anniversaries, or holidays because they remind us of another year that has gone by without the gift of a child. Child-centered holidays and family get-togethers can carry a particular sting for us. I've often heard it said, "don't let the devil steal your joy." This is easy to say, and hard to live out. Although it is inevitable that we will reflect on our childlessness during these milestones in life, I think we can ease these sufferings by not allowing ourselves to dwell on IF. Yes, these are valid emotions and they need to be dealt with; but we should not let ourselves obsess in our sorrows without spending time rejoicing in the meaning of the day. This can be challenging depending on where we are in our cycles, who we are with, etc. Trust me, I know.
I have had some rough Mother's Days, but last year was not one of them. My husband had learned a few tricks over the years which certainly helped. He got me a card, made a special breakfast for me, and took me out to the mall for the day. In the past, I have cried throughout mass and then moped the remainder of the day. I never asked to do anything special and allowed myself to wallow in my sadness. Sadly, I was thinking more about myself then about my own mother and mother-in-law who have been such amazing influences in my life.
Although April 15 will be a sad reminder of the loss of Gabriel, I hope that with God's grace, we will be able to rejoice in the joy of knowing that we have a baby interceding for us in heaven instead of feeling sorry for ourselves for the pain we have endured.
"My days are passed away; my plans are at an end, the cherished purposes of my heart." Job 17:11
"Those who sow in tears will reap with cries of joy." Psalm 126:5
"Consider it all joy, my brothers, when you encounter various trials, for you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. And let perseverance be perfect, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing." James 1:2-4
- How have I dealt with holidays and milestones that are reminders of my infertility?
- Have I explained how those days make me feel to my husband, family or friends so that they can be more understanding of me?
- Are there any steps I can take to make those days easier to bear?
A Prayer for Healing
Lord, You invite all who are burdened to come to you. Allow Your healing Hand to heal me. Touch my soul with Your compassion for others; touch my heart with Your courage and infinite Love for all; touch my mind with Your Wisdom, and may my mouth always proclaim Your praise. Teach me to reach out to You in all my needs, and help me to lead others to You by my example. Most loving Heart of Jesus, bring me health in body and spirit that I may serve You with all my strength. Touch gently this life which you have created, now and forever.