Sunday, January 8, 2012

Permanent Mark


Jim and I had bought Cade the eight Harry Potter movies for Christmas and decided to watch the first movie with him, tonight. It seemed like a relaxing thing to do; I'd managed to spend some time with the girls in the back yard, earlier, and I was tired.

But there's a part of the movie, toward the end, that made me cry, and not just a little. It's the part where Dumbledore explains to Harry that--when his mother sacrificed herself for him--she left a permanent, protective mark of love in his skin.

I thought about my little baby. I know (s)he really is gone, now, because I underwent another ultrasound, yesterday: this time, with the gentle head of the department. She turned the screen toward me and traced--with her finger--what needed, yet, to leave my body. I could see with my own eyes: there's no longer a gestational sac, let alone a yolk sac.

Watching Harry Potter, tonight, I wondered: does my baby in heaven know of my refusal to take from God any opportunity to perform a miracle? It's been twenty-five days, now, since that first, unpromising ultrasound, and my physical ordeal continues.

I'd wondered several times, this week, if--knowing what I know, now--I'd do it all again the same. I've lost time to limbo. I've lost time in East Tennessee, with people I love. I'll carry certain unsettling images with me for the rest of my life.

But--watching Harry Potter, tonight--I realized: I did all the right things. Don't misunderstand: I don't think my choices better than anyone else's. I do think I was true to myself.

I'm trying to say: for the first time in my life, my body failed to do what I asked of it. But my spirit has done exactly what I've asked of it, and I've required more of my spirit than ever before. Each of the past twenty-five days has felt like a year, and I've groaned in my spirit. I've tossed and turned in my spirit, and I've bled and broken in more ways than one.

But I can go to sleep, tonight, and dream of my baby's bearing a permanent, protective mark of my love in his or her skin. My sacrifice can be neither undone nor stolen. And that's something just on the jagged edge of personal peace.

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