I dropped the blog, there’s no doubt about it. It’s no excuse, but the past few months have been fairly tumultuous, with a massive eastward road trip, the passing of a very dear family member, and the misery of a first trimester. What has gotten me back to the keyboard is, of course, music.
But not in the obvious way. Music really does come in all shapes and sizes and conducts its therapy in the most unexpected, yet appropriate ways.
You see I am no longer in a first trimester…or a second for that matter. This go round has reached a far too premature end, as have so many other pregnancies. The other day I proceeded home from my first ultrasound visit having received the news that no heartbeat could be found at a gestational age when there most certainly ought to have been one. Nothing to be done about it, but to make a choice…let it ride or turn to modern medicine to mitigate the unfortunate circumstance. But it was a choice that didn’t need to be made immediately and so I was left with my thoughts on the subway-ride home.
It wouldn’t be entirely honest to say that I was heartbroken – having been through a miscarriage before (around the same time in fact), I approach the first trimester with skepticism (much as I did in Amelia’s case) and keep the “new baby” excitement locked away until a more appropriate time – like after a successful birth, for example.
But I was sad, disappointed and frustrated. It was a welcome and remarkably well-timed antidote to the passing of my beloved aunt Annette. It assuaged some of the inherent anxiety that accompanies family planning for a woman over 40. And, let’s just be honest here, the only reason we can put up with the utter wretchedness that is the first trimester is that – conceivably – we will be rewarded with a helpless, but adorable baby at the end of it all. Once that outcome is no longer possible, the morning (aka all-day) sickness and exhaustion becomes that much more brutal. Especially when there is a toddler to entertain and simply sinking into the couch is no longer an option. Indeed, the cast of the Muppet Show have been playing babysitter for the last several weeks. “Mahna Mahna” is now firmly ingrained in Amelia’s verbal and musical vocabulary.
But back to my brooding subway-ride home. I walked in the door of our house to see my wonderful mother sitting on the sofa with her darling granddaughter and my heart leapt. I had only a sliver of a moment to sit down and fill my Mom in, before my daughter got comfy on my lap, gave me a kiss and started to laugh about something the dog was doing. And this is the music I am speaking of; the joyous sound of a 20-month old child laughing with mischief and glee. Never before have John Denver’s words, “you fill up my senses”, held so true for me. Her laughter was infectious and I reveled in her joy from head to toe. I literally forgot the sad news I had received less than an hour before and my whole being was engulfed in the beauty of the child in my arms.
I did not compose this post for therapeutic reasons. That was clearly the realm of my daughter’s jubilant personality. No, this recording is simply to bear witness; both for the simple appreciation of the brilliance that I see in my daughter even at the most trying times and for the possible benefit of other women or families who may be facing similar circumstances. At the risk of diminishing the gravity of the situation, miscarriage – in all it’s varying methods – is incredibly common; more common than most of us know and that understanding is very powerful when you are the one facing that situation.
That knowledge, along with the loving support of my wonderful husband, the magic that is my daughter and the warm companionship of our sweet pup, has enabled us to weather this small storm. Whatever the future brings, I am eternally grateful for this child and the music she brings into my life and I have never been more certain that music – in all it’s forms – is a living, breathing gift.