Most days I choose to see the possibilities. The room that could be anything. The furniture longing to be purchased. The perfect space for friends, grandparents, and, someday, sleepovers.
But some days, when I’m truly being honest with myself, I see the empty space. The hole meant to be filled by one last little one.
Some days I stare longingly at the perfect spot to place the crib, just to left of the window, where the morning light filters through the soft white plantation shutters.
Some days I rock quietly in the glider, the one that I could never quite convince myself to give away. Just. In. Case. Other days I catch a glimpse of it, frozen in time, and wonder just what to do.
By day, I enjoy each moment. I lose myself in play, reading aloud, and endless art projects. I listen to each word carefully, burning their little voices across my memory. I watch with pride and fascination while taking screen shots in my mind, every chance I get. I hang on tight as I watch them grow and change right before my very eyes.
Time escapes me, no matter how hard I try to hit the brakes.
By day, I build memories.
By day, I am reminded that my family is perfect just the way it is.
But when darkness falls, my broken heart emerges once again.
By night, I am flooded with emotions.
Images of the final loss threaten to crowd out the happiness I find within the day. Memories of the event leave me shaken to my core: The look of desperation on my husband’s face.
This can’t be happening…
The whispers of the nurses as they ushered me into emergency surgery.
We will pray for you…
The signing and more signing of last minute waivers.
You mean I might die in there?
The final goodbye.
Just. In. Case.
Some nights I lie awake, clutching my empty womb, while muffled sobs escape my aching soul.
Some nights, the empty space feels bigger than others. Some nights, it overwhelms me.
I am the lucky one, I tell myself. I am the one with two amazing children and a husband who loves me beyond compare.
I am strong, resilient, and always a fighter.
And yet, at times, the sadness creeps in. The what-ifs cause my heart to race while the you-should-haves force the tears to escape.
Sometimes the letting go is the hardest part.
Dreams change. Life moves forward. But emotions stay with us for as long as we allow.
So, for right now, that rocking chair is staying put.
Because sometimes you just need to dream…
Note: This post originally appeared on my other site, Practical Parenting, on March 8, 2012.