one for the books

I wish I could do what I did last year, and cleverly point you to this blog’s most popular posts from 2011. But last year was different. And this year? Well 2011 has definitely been one for the books — i.e., a new exhilarating book with a surprise twist ending. Truly a momentous year for us; a trifecta of Major Life Events we never thought would happen.

After more than 20 years together, we finally bought our first home this past spring.

After more than seven years of infertility, I somehow inexplicably became pregnant. While I didn’t make it to term, I did manage to deliver a live healthy baby at age 42.

And finally, after letting go of the idea of expanding our family and coming to peace with it, we were miraculously able to give our precious daughter a little sibling.

The rest of the world is in apparent upheaval. So are other aspects of our lives. But for our family, this was a stellar year, in a holy crap-I still can’t believe it-how did we get here-sort of way.

For us, the year began with a lot of uncertainty, after being given notice that we would have to move. While we had grown accustomed to living in limbo — through infertility, treatment and adoption — this was different in that we always had a roof over our heads. We wanted stability. We were worried we’d have to move before we were ready. Moving is expensive and time consuming, and with a toddler, it’s downright difficult. In twenty years, we had only lived in two homes. We didn’t want to have to move again. January came and we were tired and stressed. We were packing, though we didn’t know where we were going. Interest rates were rising daily, which threatened our ability to qualify for the loan we needed. It was a very unsettling feeling.

On another front, I had been recently diagnosed as perimenopausal. While I had happily stopped paying attention to my cycles when we stopped trying to conceive in 2008, I knew it had been a while since I’d had a normal period. A few months later, after I realized I was actually unexpectedly pregnant, my last period was presumed to have begun on January 11 (1/11/11). I thought, how cool, “the power of one.” But then I vaguely remembered my last cycle actually began on the 13th, which was my Nana’s birthday. She would have been 92, yet she had been gone 13 years. Now, I know that my last cycle ever began on my Nana’s birthday, two weeks into the new year, and resulted in our daughter.

Just a few weeks later, as I was reflecting on the five year anniversary of our son’s death, I somehow conceived a child. In fact, she must have been conceived within hours of this solemn anniversary. When I wrote the five year post, it was as if I had said all I needed to say. I suppose I had found a certain peace or acceptance that no longer needed processing. There were simply no more words.

I think about the origin of life of our littlest one — which is how this year began, amidst the tumult of such a stressful time — and I think of her connection to my grandmother and her big brother before her. Aside from the sheer improbability, it feels pretty magical to me, the circle of life and all.

That spring we moved and I wrote very little. I was so exhausted I wondered if I’d ever be able to blog again. Packing and unpacking took a toll, as did my new commute. Jaye needed a lot of extra love and care. I felt sick and tired and needed to sleep every chance I got. I didn’t know it then, but I was in the first trimester and it was was kicking my ass.

I turned 42 and I felt old. Then I realized I had spent nearly half my life with Mac, my soul mate, and I felt grateful. A month later we celebrated our 15th wedding anniversary.

We settled in and celebrated Jaye’s second birthday and I felt so grateful. Every night I’d tell her so as I shared a bit of her story, and it’s true. There is something about being entrusted with the care of a precious child that makes you feel so incredibly fortunate. Now, as she grows into this amazing little person, all I can do is marvel in awe and be thankful for the privilege of being her Mama. Even in the toughest moments.

Soon after that, we discovered the unimaginable — i.e., that I was actually carrying a real live baby — and the next few months were a blur. Denial took hold for so long that I was nearly five months pregnant by the time I finally took a test. I know, I know. Emotions ranged from terror and confusion to shock, angst and fear, and later, anticipation and joy. It was a short but eventful pregnancy, high risk with weekly monitoring and not one but two hospital admissions before a team of doctors decided to deliver her at 33 weeks and 3 days, in a harrowing procedure during which I think it’s fair to say I could have died.

The twenty days our youngest daughter spent in the NICU were among the longest of my life. When we finally brought Baby Z home, it was a joyous day.

By the time she reached her due date, we were settling into our new lives as parents of two babies. We still look at each other in disbelief and remark, wow, we have two children. In fact, I’m linking to these old posts not to direct traffic to the blog, but because I want to remind myself how it actually happened. After the first ultrasound I remember tweeting that I felt as if I had just discovered the winning lotto ticket, but was afraid that someone was going to come claim it from me. No way could I have been that lucky.

These days are precious and wonderful and challenging in so many new ways. Life has continued to offer us one change after another. This time last year, I was a happy mama who never in a thousand years would have imagined holding another babe in my arms today. We have so much to be grateful for this year.

December is a wonderful and crazy time of year, with the holidays, year-end frenzy, social and family gatherings and birthdays. Shorter days, longer nights, sparkling lights. It’s when Mac and I celebrate our “years together” anniversary (this year makes 21!). It’s when we met Kaye before she asked us to be our daughter’s parents. It’s a special time of year, for reflection and celebration.

It can also be a tough time too. May the new year brings you all closer to your dreams. Meanwhile, wishing you a peaceful holiday with time to enjoy what you love most.

Peace out~

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~ by luna on December 22, 2011.

11 Responses to “one for the books”

  1. What an incredible year you’ve had, Luna! Wishing you and your family peace and much joy over the holidays.

  2. I tell you you have quite the year! amazing and wonderful, may the new year stay just as wonderful, but without the moving and more children etc. Just normal wonderful! Happy Holidays!

  3. Great post and an amazing year. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and your family.

  4. Happy New Year, Luna!

    May your 2012 be just as marvelous as this year but far, far less eventful.

  5. I am always so delighted when I see a new post, I’m a long time follower (I believe shortly before you met K) and I have marveled in your journey, your writing style and your family. I seldom post, but I had to say how happy I am for your expanded family and how having recently move back to the general area I love hearing the places as well as the people in your posts. I am so truly happy for you, Mac, K, Jaye and Z. May you all have joy and peace this holiday season. And may we have gratuitous baby picture posting to see how the adorable Z has grown? Hey it’s a good time of year to wish. 🙂

    Chris, formerly of AZ, now able to breathe again in California.

  6. What a year! I seriously urge you to write a book because it’s such an amazing story (and since you’re not busy with anything else right now 😉 ). Either way, it’s wonderful that you have it all written here to inspire others and leave a trace for your amazing girls when they are older.

    My 2012 be full of peace and happiness for the whole family!

  7. Crazy year. I think absorbing our adoption in all of its intricacies has been monumental for me let alone a baby… On another note, here’s to us, the over 40 mamas of babies and toddlers!

  8. Happy new year, Luna! It’s been quite a ride, hasn’t it?? Thank you for sharing it with us!

  9. Ah, I have finally recuperated from the holidays and a nauseating start to the New Year to finally read your post properly. You’re right – it’s been a crazy year for you – a wonderfully crazy, rollercoaster ride – and you let us all in on it – bodhisattva woman. You SHOULD write a book – but I expect you won’t have the time for a while. But until then, you’ll have these posts, two beautiful little girls, and an amazing hubby to enjoy. You inspire me.

  10. Your story is amazing. I hope for this moment (though I know trials and difficulties and hurts will come and are a part of life) that you feel like you are living a fairy tale.

  11. […] of constant nourishment. Though we knew it would be tight for a while, Mac and I celebrated the end of the year with reflection and gratitude. In the spring I contracted to do some consulting work with my old […]

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