It may look like an ordinary bench adorned with two cute little girls, but to me it's so much more than that. Today, I found myself coming full circle, to a point in my life that I choose not to think about often. Hospitals hold so much power over us. Life can begin and end in a hospital. It's a place that forces us to look at our vulnerability. Sometimes, we have to look back on a time that we were our most exposed, in order to see how much we've grown. I had that experience today.
I had to get an ultrasound to check on some things. I had to revisit a hospital that I haven't since having my four miscarriages.
I found myself outside with my two daughters waiting. As I sat on the bench, I thought about the many times I had sat there, without them. I remember sitting there wondering if there would ever be a "them". I was here at some of the hardest moments in my life. I also sat here at some of life's most wonderful moments. All of my oldest daughter, Haley's ultrasounds were done here. We had a few scares with her, but she came out on her due date, with no complications.
A little over a year later, I was back here again. I sat here for an hour one afternoon, with my legs carelessly drooped on top of husband's lap with the sun shining down on us, in that courtyard. It was a carefree time in our lives. Haley was 1 and a half, and life seemed perfect. The bottom fell out right after that moment in the sunshine. I came here and sat back down, that same afternoon, after being told that the 9 week baby I had been carrying had no heartbeat. I sat here trying to decide whether or not to get a D&C. I sat here frozen willing my body to move towards my car but my feet remained firmly planted to the ground.
During some even tougher moments, I found myself back here wondering if Haley would ever be a big sister. I wondered if I was pushing too hard for something that was not meant to be. I remember a cell phone conversation with my best friend, while I sat on this bench. "One day, this will all make sense. You will be holding another baby, and you will know why you had to lose so many babies to get this one. It will all make sense." I remember it not making sense, even after I had that beautiful baby.
I sat here during my blighted ovum miscarriage, which took weeks to diagnose and several ultrasounds. It was emotional torture. I sat here and prayed before each ultrasound. I prayed that the baby had grown. I sat here after finding out the baby had not grown. I sat here many times, before and after getting blood work. I switched doctors after that but the nightmares have since invaded other facilities as well. No place is safe.
Today, I sit here with such perspective. I have my babies. They are life's greatest gifts, and they were worth the wait. Both of them, and every perfect cell of their bodies are gifts from heaven. They were made from us and given to us, to treasure. I am grateful for their existence in this beautiful world. I will be brutally honest, and tell you that when my younger daughter, Sienna was born with an unexpected birth diagnosis of Down syndrome, I thought that this perspective would never come. I will even go so far as to tell you that I thought God was cruel. I, now, realize that he was sending me on a journey. I think he could have cut a little bit of time off that journey, but we did arrive at the destination, finally. The destination is not where I had planned on taking us, but I am loving it just the same.
Women are so tough. We fight through emotional and physical pain on a daily basis, without anyone knowing. I think of some of the situations that I worked and mommed through and I know that I am a serious fighter. I used to be a pretty big wimp, so I am glad the journey helped me evolve. That being said, I am tough enough, so I'd be happy if I never see this damn bench again in my whole life.