Sometimes I’m haunted.
Haunted by dreams that died, by possibilities that passed on, by hope that turned to heartbreak.
I often say that if we are only able to have one child, we certainly got a great one. Jadyn is an amazing girl, full of creativity, joy, and wonder. She’s bright, friendly, and caring, and even when we’re frustrated as parents, we’re so grateful that God allowed us to be her parents.
The path to parenthood was not easy. I’ve written before how it took 4 1/2 years of trying before Jadyn came along. There was a miscarriage at the one-year mark. We were thrilled when we found out she was on her way, and then arrived healthy and with no complications. When she was 2, we went through two more miscarriages within 6 months. Almost 2 years ago, after we had finally moved past the idea of having any more children, we found ourselves unexpectedly expecting. We’d only begun to hope again when that pregnancy ended at 10 weeks. Since then, nothing.
Most days, I believe I’ve once again moved on beyond the hope of more children, but every so often I go through a season where I’m haunted again by whispers of past losses. Usually it happens when I’m surrounded by people with happy news of pregnancy, gender reveals, or birth announcements.
I find myself in such a season once again.
It’s interesting. I thought by now, with my 43rd birthday just a few months away, I’d have finally written it off completely. After all, I’m well into the dreaded “advanced maternal age” when it’s a greater risk to conceive and carry a child. I believed each announcement from a friend would make happy for them, without the aftertaste of longing in my own heart. I expected that if I hadn’t “shut the door” to it by now, I’d at least have remodeled the room in my heart that was reserved for this hope. Instead of a nursery, maybe an office, library or art studio.
But that room is still haunted. Faint giggles and coos of a baby sister that Jadyn keeps praying for. Images of infant toys for the son Paul has never known.
And when I’m brave enough to be honest with myself about it, I realize I haven’t released the ghosts. Maybe I never will. I might remodel that room in my heart, but the whispers may always be there.
So I celebrate the wonderful life I’m grateful to live, and the beautiful joys my friends experience. And I’m learning to live with my ghosts.