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Friday, December 14, 2012

FIERCE Friday: A mother's love

I want to tell you a story.  It isn't my story, it is Wendy's story, but it has one that has lived in my heart since the moment I met this amazing woman.

Wendy and I went to University together.  No, not the first time around, the second, so we have known each other for oh, about 6 years.  I met Wendy and her husband Michael in one of my classes.  We hit it off immediately and enjoyed many coffee dates over the next two years.  One of the things that Wendy and I had in common was that we were both 'mature' students.  Well, I don't know how mature we were, but we were definitely older than most of our classmates, by a few years anyway.  We were both married and enjoyed a fairly stable relationship with our respective mates.  That was why, when she unexpectedly found out that she was pregnant towards the middle of our last year, she was delighted, ecstatic even.  I shared in her excitement (I had a bit of baby-brain myself at the time) and much of our conversation centred around her burgeoning belly.

When she lost the baby, on the morning of a final exam no less, she was understandably devastated.  I was sick for her.  I felt so helpless.  I had had a miscarriage as well, about 10 years previous, but I knew that it wasn't the same.  She and Michael were desperate to become parents, this baby was so very wanted and so very loved.

Another trait that Wendy and I share is that she wears her heart on her sleeve.  She was very open and honest about her feelings, and from what I recall, it made some of her friends a bit uncomfortable.  In my own life, I have had a similar experience when bearing my raw emotions openly.  Our society seems to back away from vulnerability.

A short time later, I found out that I was expecting Chephren.  This was a slightly unplanned pregnancy as well but we were completely ecstatic.  Over the moon.  I was bursting with joy and excited to share my news with the world.  When we started telling our friends, my heart sank.  Wendy.  How the heck was I supposed to tell her?  I so desperately didn't want to hurt her, however I knew that I had no other choice but to tell her the truth.  She deserved to know and I wanted to tell her in person.  We went for lunch, and when I told her she was happy for me, although through her smile I could see her pain.

Right after we graduated, Wendy and Michael moved out to Chilliwack, BC to take teaching jobs.  Wendy and I stayed in touch, mostly through Facebook.  I was so glad to see her and Michael starting fresh, hoping that this would help with the healing they so badly needed.  I secretly hoped that they would get pregnant again, and soon!

Some time later, she found out she was pregnant again, and because I was finding out on Facebook, I knew that she was confident that this pregnancy would stick.  It did 'stick' and I watched her belly grow and her whole being glow through the pictures that she shared.  Around the time her baby was due, I was checking regularly to see if her miracle baby had made her way into the world yet.

When I found out about Luka, I was completely shocked and utterly devastated.  Trent and I held each other and cried for them.  For Luka.

Luka was born with a rare genetic chromosomal condition, Trisomy 18, and lived only three days.

I won't tell you what has happened since then, because if you are interested, you can read about it on Wendy's blog.

Part of Wendy's journey has been to share her story.  In my opinion (and YES, I know that this isn't the path to healing for everyone), Wendy's ability to stand in the truth of her story and share it with others is a tremendous act of SERVICE.  When we are suffering, so many of us believe that we are all alone, that we are the only ones.  In her darkest hour, Wendy reached out towards the light and in doing so, she has invited others to follow her back to the light as well.

I hope that you can see now why I chose Wendy to be featured on FIERCE Friday, however, the other part of this story is FIERCE as well....

You see, Wendy is pregnant again.  She has made it official on Facebook (no doubt a good sign).

To me, there is nothing more FIERCE than this act of surrender.  She has made herself completely vulnerable... again.  To some small degree, I can relate with this sense of vulnerability... as it is created simultaneously with the child itself.  As soon as you conceive a child, your heart is open, it is exposed.  You will forever walk around with a piece of your heart that lies outside of you, because it lives on in your child.

And it is SO worth it.  And yet as a mother I can tell you that it is BRAVE, it is COURAGEOUS, it is FIERCE.

Thank you Wendy, for sharing your story, for sharing your life, for sharing your journey.

So much love to you, Michael and that amazing child in your belly.  I can't wait to meet him/her.

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