I've debated about sharing this with anyone aside from my best girlfriends, my husband or my shrink. But because we're hoping that this film, Blessed, opens up more space for us to talk about infertility and miscarriages, to share our true feelings about wanting a baby and not getting one. We want Blessed to help heal, so I felt I had write this blog today.
When I got pregnant with Lanee Bird years ago, I got this image of a baby boy with dark curly hair playing on a beach. An ocean beach. He was laughing and so filled with love. To be honest, this is the image that stopped me from having an abortion. I was broke, feeling alone. I had told some of my friends and got mixed and even somewhat hurtful responses. I did tell my sister who was fully on board to help me any way she could and I'm forever grateful for her. But that was it. I had no idea how to move forward so ending the pregnancy made sense. I thought.
Because I was broke, the only thing of value I had was jewelry, a tiny diamond love ring and a turquoise bracelet I was too afraid to wear for fear of losing it. But I thought I would have to hock them to do this and that only compounded the confusion and pain I was feeling.
But I had these dreams about this little boy. A toddler on the beach. I was in Minnesota and had never even been to an ocean beach so that was strange but the dream kept showing up. One morning, I woke up from that dream and said, "I want this baby". I was still broke, having dropped out of college, no real future, alone in some crappy shithole apartment and yet, when I decided to keep this baby I quit crying. I took deep breaths and tears stopped. It took a little bit for me to accept that maybe God thought I was worthy so he granted me a baby. I questioned that because I felt ashamed for getting pregnant, knowing full well I would be a single parent YET, I felt such joy and love for this child. It couldn't be bad because I was feeling love like I never had before.
That image of that little boy stuck with me throughout the pregnancy. I came up with boys' names but yet, I didn't plan for a boy. During the ultrasound I couldn't see the sex because my child was waving her arms like she was playing a drum, spinning around. She knew to hide what I was questioning so that the moment she was born and the doctor said "It's a girl" I FELT "She's exactly what I wanted!!" It was time for Lanee Bird to come into my world because the huge awesome job of being her mom, of raising a girl, meant I had to define what it means for me to be a woman first. It meant that my daughter came along as cause, reason and purpose and that's exactly what I needed! I've learned so much being her mom and I love her more every single day.
I didn't think about that little boy for a long time. Sure, I'd tell the story that I thought I was having a boy when I was pregnant but he didn't show up in my dreams until years later. Lanee Bird was 15, I was getting married and my new husband and I were talking about having a baby, a dream that I had tried like hell to put to sleep. It was then that the image of that little boy came back to me. And...we're in California, now, so I know the beach he'd play on.
Here's the secret I'm divulging to you all.
I see him sometimes in the backseat of my car. He's in his carseat, kicking the back of mine. I see him in my rearview mirror, all cheeks and laughing. I have had dreams of him running through our house, not this one, but the one in our future. I see him racing through a beautiful art gallery, shrieking for Lanee Bird at one of her shows. He LOVES his big sister more than anyone in the world.
I feel like he's with me all the time and maybe he's waiting for me to make him real.
That's been so hard, those feelings, because I can't get pregnant anymore. I went through menopause at 43. And it's just dawning on me now, as I write this, that for a long time I felt like he died. Like the child in my future had died.
In my film, Blessed, Mary Beth says "maybe that one had to be a spirit because this one needs you more..."
Maybe I wrote that for myself. Maybe she's talking to me and out there is a child who will need me more. And more.
I have a spirit baby and that's why I wrote Blessed.