Please Remain Seated

"Your vehicle has momentarily stopped. Please remain seated. Your vehicle will begin moving shortly."If you've ever been to Disney World, you might have heard those words when your ride stopped in its tracks for some mysterious reason. There you sit, often in nearly complete darkness, perhaps perched on the edge of a precipice or tilted at an odd angle, waiting for some unseen technician to push the button that will send a surge of electricity and jolt you into forward motion. I'm in that vehicle now, stopped in the dark.

My intention in this blog is always to illuminate life in its most positive way, to write about things that move me, inspire me, experiences that help me grow as a woman, a writer, a person. But the truth is, that life in general is not always positive, that difficult things happen and sometimes cannot be made rosy, must simply be lived through and learned from.

Last week, I wrote about the exciting new ride our family was embarking on, about the baby my son and daughter in law were expecting. Yet, this week, that ride has stopped, the forward progress halted before the ride had barely begun.Statistically, I know that more than 60% of women will suffer miscarriage, and that the vast majority of them go on to have healthy, happy babies, often rather quickly afterward. Intellectually, I know that when a woman miscarries early in a pregnancy, it usually means the embryo was "flawed" in some way, could not sustain life. Practically, I understand there are griefs far greater, sorrows much deeper, disappointments much harsher to bear.

Emotionally, none of that matters.

It takes so little time for a mother to endow her baby with an entire world of possibilities - whether that baby is still only a tiny bud yet to flower, or a freshly born, squalling bundle of life. While your body is suffused with hormones, your mind is flooded with hopes and dreams, anticipations of what this child will be like, will do in the world. It happens in a heartbeat, a finger snap, the few seconds it takes for the line on the stick to turn blue. You are a mother.

A friend wrote these words to me:

"Attempting pregnancy is to accept the whole spectrum of possible outcomes. It's emotionally terribly risky, as is parenthood itself. You leave yourself wide open to fate; your children hold your whole life in their hands, for good or for ill. You're open to feelings and experiences that are like nothing else in life. In the end, the early miscarriage may play out in a positive way for them -- they'll have far more perspective and depth than so many whose pregnancies occur as a matter of course. It will make their baby even more precious, even more of a miracle." I believe this is true, that Brian and Nantana have already taken a deeper step into being parents than they realize, have already risked and suffered, have experienced a taste of the challenge and joy of having children. When this ride is once again set in motion (as I believe it will be very soon), they will be stronger parents and stronger partners when it reaches a safe and natural conclusion.

For now, we shed tears, take deep breaths, and remain seated.