And now, the guilt.
I didn’t go to church today. For weeks I have struggled with this decision and after much prayer and advice from an expert, decided not to go. Last year we were still in Minsk for Easter. I had already had the embryo transfer and I remember sitting in that beautiful, Belarusian church, praying that my babies were implanting. My mind kept wandering to what it was going to be like the following Easter. My husband and I would be at church with our precious children, they would be wearing beautiful, smocked, Easter outfits, our biggest concern would be keeping our infants quiet throughout the service. Last year I had so much hope.
This year I just couldn’t bear the thought of being in church, listening to the glorious music, and seeing the adorable children, all dressed up in their new attire. It wouldn’t have been fair for me to be there. I know I would have cried and it would have been uncomfortable for them, for my husband, and for me.
Before you pass judgment or ask yourself how I could have known that for sure I would cry, I’ll share an experience I had in December of 2007. We’d been invited to a Christmas party at the ambassador’s residence and I was really looking forward to it. I had many friends who were also attending, and I was looking forward to watching my friend “C” sing Christmas carols with a group from the embassy. I’ve always liked Christmas, Christmas music, and I was thrilled that I would be spending Christmas with “C” in Belarus that year.
We arrived at the party, said hello to friends, and found a place to stand toward the back of the room. There were many families with children in attendance and it seemed only fair that the children should be close to the front so that they could see. Looking back I’m so glad that we chose to stand where we did. The group began to sing and it was just lovely. All was well until they started into Silver Bells and hit the line about “children laughing”. There I was, looking over the many, beautiful children, so festively dressed for the party, I heard those two simple words, “children laughing”, and I lost it. I remember turning to look at my husband, tears streaming down my face, and frantically digging through my purse to find a tissue. I’m sitting here crying just remembering that day.
Fortunately I was able to pull myself together reasonably well and enjoy the rest of the party. My friend “C” was very kind and throughout the remainder of party would announce (just loudly enough for other people to hear) that everyone was having such a tough time with allergies.
Please keep in mind that my meltdown at the Christmas party happened before we knew that we had to do IVF and before we had lost babies. I just know in my heart that church is not where I’m supposed to be today. This morning we enjoyed a nice breakfast, then watched the live coverage of the Easter service at the Vatican. I desperately hope that next year our situation will be very different, but for today, we are home.
And with that I need to get into the kitchen. I decided to serve deviled eggs as one of the appetizers for our Easter dinner. I’ve never made them before so wish me luck!