Monday, May 11, 2009

Mother of all days

Back home a few days later, with a head full of memories and camera full of glorious photos from our trip, we made arrangements to get a new wedding ring made up for Steve. He felt more complete and I was glad to see him happy with the replacement. It was not the same. But it was new, so somehow also represented a new beginning with the awareness we now had of our very real challenges on the road to conception.
At the same time, Steve surprised me with the insistence on getting me an eternity ring.
“Are you sure?” I stammered. It seemed far too generous to buy a piece of jewellery for no apparent reason.
“Yes,” he answered, squeezing my hand warmly after I had tried the ring on. It was exquisite and complemented my engagement and wedding bands perfectly. “It’s our resilience ring,” he continued. “It will always remind us of everything we’ve come through together.” He was a man of few words but he certainly knew how to explain himself when he needed to, did Steve. We stood and smiled at each other, eyes glistening. It felt like there might just be more positive times ahead.

This exerpt of the book is from 2002, the time when Steve bought me a beautiful almost crescent-shaped diamond eternity ring, with five small pointed diamonds on it. In my mind, four of the diamonds were representative of our four lost babies to date. The fifth diamond, I decided, would be our "lucky" one.

It wasn't. The fifth diamond represented another miscarriage, at seven weeks.

So then, when I confessed to Steve after we'd had Ella that those little diamonds had, for me, been reminders of our babies, he joked that Ella was the "big diamond" (the one on my engagement band). When we lost the next baby after losing her, I remember us joking one day "Well, hey, we can still move on to the ten little diamond chips in my wedding band" [what is it with us and diamonds? I'm not exactly dripping with them and don't even really wear jewellery, but just that one finger has inadvertently become a tiny fortune's worth] but it was a rather humourless joke. I didn't exactly relish the thought of another ten miscarriages.

So I sort of stopped the diamonds:babies ratio after that.

The next most precious piece of jewellery arrived yesterday. In the shape of a Mother's Day gift that I received from Steve Lauryn:

A white gold "E" pendant.

I already love it like I've had it forever. It helped keep me mindful of Ellanor all day. Of course, she was close in my mind because it was Mother's Day, after all. But this was the first year that wasn't bittersweet. I didn't feel even a touch of sadness. I'd like to think it was partly to do with having this pendant around my neck. This symbol, on display, without me having to keep the 'pause' button on our story in case any random stranger sees our beautiful little toddler and asks if we have any more. Now I know that people will know. When they look at me, they won't be able to miss that there is a very special person in our lives whose name starts with "E". Even if they don't ask, don't think to ask and don't even realise the significance, they'll see it. And this brings me great peace and comfort for some reason.

The other most precious little gift I received was from the sweetest little heart in this home:

How excited was the LGBB to give me a present she'd made "with the kids"!! I adore it and want to clutch it to my heart. But... it's a bit pointy and hard and not very rewarding. So I've hung it up in a very prominent place instead so we can treasure it always.

This Mother's Day thing is not in my list of extremely important days, it may surprise you to know. I shall write about this in another post later in the week.

Regardless, yesterday Steve, the LGBB and I had the loveliest day together, not pulled in any other direction but whichever easy flow that the day took us - late rise, a play in a bush park, a bite of lunch at a patisserie, playing around the house, then I went to the cinema and checked out a movie by myself last night as a final treat.

I hope that all the mothers reading had a gentle, easy day yesterday.

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