On the Eve of Valentine’s Day 2008, Bob and I went to one of our bi-weekly Wednesday perinatal echocardiograms to find out how our baby girl Molly was doing. Her cardiologist, Dr. Cuneo, shared with us that our daughter’s heart had begun to fail. She told us that if we wanted to take the aggressive route to try to save her, the time had come.
We were prepared and decided I would start taking the medication Dr. Cuneo prescribed in effort to give Molly a better chance to survive, though we understood how unlikely it was that she would be born alive or live long after her delivery.
Six years later it is surreal to revisit my words from that fateful day in our life. It is bittersweet to read about the glimmers of hope we had after our discussion with Dr. Cuneo that day. I remember how much I struggled to balance the reality of our circumstances, that I was carrying a very sick baby girl, with the hope that we might get to bring Molly home someday.
Abby is now the same age that Sean was back then. In light of that connection, this year I find myself day-dreaming about our life and our children both then and now. Abby’s life as a four-year old preschooler is so similar and yet also very different than what her big brother’s was like in February 2008. Though we tried to maintain as much normalcy as possible, for Sean’s sake, our life was far from routine.
Sean’s early childhood years coincided with our five-year journey through secondary infertility and loss. We wanted so much to have another child and to give our son a sibling. Six years later we feel so blessed and lucky to have Abby in our family, along with special memories of our Molly-girl.
In a few weeks I am helping to lead another CRHP women’s retreat at our parish. I will be giving a witness on reconciliation, in which I share about my experience learning to forgive, ask forgiveness and make peace with my regrets. I’ll talk about how our family building journey, especially losing Molly, changed the way I perceive God’s role in and influence over my life.
I used to believe that everything happens for a reason. Now I think that we can find and/or make some good come from every challenging circumstance we find ourselves in, but that God is not a micromanager.
It’s hard for me to wrap my brain around the idea that six years have come and gone since I was pregnant with Molly. As with so many things in life, in some ways February 2008 seems like yesterday and at the same time feels like it was so very long ago. I feel grateful to have this blog to be able to revisit and reflect on what I was thinking and feeling during such a difficult and uncertain time for my family and me.
Though it can be painful to go there, it also reminds me how strong and resilient we are — bereaved and blessed.
I am able to see how far we have come and to appreciate the good that has grown from our journey through secondary infertility and loss. Our struggles have made us more compassionate, as well as allowed us to use what we have learned to minister to others whose lives have not gone as they hoped, dreamed or planned.