AUTHOR: Carolyn Savage | POSTED: 09/24/15 10:33 AM
CATEGORIES: Blog, gratitude, IVF, Logan, perspective, Resilience, thankful
It’s been six years. Can you believe it?
It was just like today. Cool, sunny, with blue skies and fluffy white clouds. I remember opening the windows in my bedroom that morning wondering if today would be the day. I tried to relax and forget about the kerfuffle surrounding my pregnancy.
When the phone rang and I saw it was Sean I thought he was calling to check in on me. When he spoke, however, I could hear the hurt in his voice. “Have you seen the paper?”
“No, ” I replied. “I told you I’m not reading the paper or watching television until this baby is born. I can’t take the stress.” Our story was the front and center of the current news cycle and not all of the journalists were getting it right. It was frustrating to see the details of what was happening to me…to our family…getting botched. So, I promised to stop chasing my tail trying to correct everything and just concentrate on the health of my pregnancy.
“They went to the bishop for a reaction. He said we’d committed a mortal sin by using IVF. That no good could come out of the commission of a sin.”
That did it. I am convinced you can hear blood pressure rising. It makes a buzzing sound in your ears which feel like they are burning off of your head.
I grabbed my cuff, wrapped it around my arm and noted the reading. 145/95. Time to call the doctor.
I’ll never forget the moment right before he was born. I closed my eyes and waited for the hurt. Not the hurt of the actual delivery. The hurt in my heart. I knew as soon as they cut the cord, he was no longer mine. I was scared.
Scared of what was coming next.
I’d prepared for the moment. I’d worked long hard hours with a wonderful therapist who helped both Sean and I reframe the moment. “Don’t look at it like a loss. Look at it like a gift. A gift you get to give another family. The ultimate gift.”
So that’s what we did.
“Here he comes.” I could feel them digging inside of me. Trying to get a grip on the little gymnast that was doing anything and everything to evade their efforts. When they finally lifted him out I clenched my eyes shut.
Here it comes. The hurt.
“Do you want to see him?” Those were the words that snapped me out of my trance. Then I heard him cry. A loud, beautiful cry. My eyes flung open as my instincts took over.
“Of course. Yes. Yes. I want to see him.”
Then came the gift.
You see, when they held him up over the curtain something magical happened. As I stared at my baby I realized it didn’t matter that he wasn’t mine. It didn’t matter that I wasn’t going to get to rock him to sleep, walk him to his classroom on the first day of school, or usher him through his childhood. This wasn’t about loss.
It was about love.
I knew in that very moment that I loved this child the same way I loved my others. His birth was a triumph. His life was a gift.
The year after Logan left was tough. Actually horrible. I was struggling trying to figure out what to do with my experience. I wanted so badly for something good to come of the whole thing but I was flailing. Looking back on it now I realize that I was dealing with a nasty case of post partum depression. I wish I would’ve taken more time to figure things out—the whole “something good can come of this” sentiment could’ve waited.
I still get little twinges in my heart when I think of Logan. And, make no mistake. I think of him every day. But time really does give way to polished perspective. Because of Logan I am better able to find my way through tough stuff—and we’ve had some tough stuff.
I also continue to concentrate on being grateful. A wise man once told me, “If you keep your eye on gratitude it’s hard to stay depressed.”
Although I take issue with the notion that clinical depression is easily combatted with attitude, I understand the sentiment behind his statement. So, I walk with gratitude. Actually…sometimes I stomp. I’ve learned I can be grateful and angry at the same time.
I still go to mass every Sunday even though Drew explained I was pretty much excommunicated. At least, that’s what he told me one day after his high school theology class, “You know, Mom, no one has to actually tell you you’re excommunicated. You just are if you commit a mortal sin and don’t seek forgiveness.”
“Hmmm. What do you think about that?” I asked as we casually drove home from school.
“I think Jesus would be okay with you saving Logan’s life. Religion and it’s rules are man made you know.”
He went to St. Johns Jesuit and was taught to think.
I love the Jesuits.
So, it’s been six years. Six years of unexpected blessings and hardships. Six years of happiness and challenges. And, six years of gratitude and perspective. To say that Logan was a gift sounds kind of cliche—but he was. He was not only a gift we gave to another family, but also a gift we received that has guided us.
We are stronger because of him. We are wiser because of him. We love more deeply because of him.
He is my half full cup.
Happy Birthday, Little Man.