The Opposite of Disappointment

Today’s Love Makes A Family theme is disappointment, a topic with which this blog is well-acquainted.  To say that we experienced disappointment in the time that we TTC and beyond would be an understatement.  We tried for years and never got pregnant, lost a baby at 10 weeks, I nearly died from pregnancy complications, then spent the first week of Christopher’s life hospitalized and separated from him, could not breastfeed and was forced to pump 8-10 times per day, suffered from debilitating PPD and PPA, only to find out that my body is a failure yet again and I probably should stop at one pregnancy.  So, um, yeah.  Disappointment abounds.

At the hardest points in our journey, I have always fallen back on this quote from Martin Luther King, Jr. – “Carve a tunnel of hope through the dark mountain of disappointment.”  Sometimes, it was nearly impossible to believe that things could turn out the way we wanted, but still, I held on to the hope that I would one day be pregnant, that we would one day be parents.  I even held a little worry stone engraved with the word “HOPE” (a gift from Mulberry) in my hand during every insemination, every IVF and U/S appointment, when I was in labor, and a couple of times when I was pumping, tears streaming down my face as I watched someone else feed my child from a bottle because I could not.  For many years, the opposite of disappointment was always hope. 

These days, I’m finding it hard to dwell in disappointment for very long.  Hope has arrived and he is pure joy.  Yesterday, Christopher was a ring bearer in our friends’ beautiful fall wedding.  As I watched him march down the aisle holding the ring pillow and clutching the flower girl’s hand, my heart swelled with pride.  He stood at the altar for nearly ten minutes with the wedding party, scanning the crowd the whole time.  When he finally spotted us, his eyes filled with tears and his bottom lip began to quiver – you could tell how hard he was trying to be brave and keep it together.  Finally, he couldn’t take it anymore and raced into our arms, murmuring with relief, “My Mama.  My Mommy.  My Mama.  My Mommy.”  It was like he was saying, “Oh thank god, there you are.  I was so worried.”   

As Christopher happily sat on my lap for the remainder of the ceremony and delighted the wedding crowd with his adorable random clapping and cheering, my heart was content.  Content with things being exactly the way they are, right now.  Perhaps the true opposite of disappointment is not hope, but contentment?

12 responses to “The Opposite of Disappointment

  1. Pingback: Disappointment «

  2. wishinghopingpraying

    What a joy he must be! I am so happy disappointment has, mostly, left the building and you are enjoying your life and family.

  3. Pingback: Disappointment | pajamamommas

  4. That story was adorable. What a wonderful little boy.

  5. What a sweet story! Thanks for sharing how you made it through all of the muck and found a place of such deep contentment.

  6. I have read your last several posts and cried and ached for all you have been through (and laughed my ass off at the delicious humor I have so missed). I haves wished that I was there for you more. Perhaps weird as we know each other really only through this blog and mine which has not been revived. But I feel and felt such a connection as we traveled the road if ttc/pregnancy/loss/birth and insane complications. I can’t tell you what it meant to read that the little hope stone has been there in times and places I couldn’t be. I have such love for you and Christopher and “S”.

  7. I’ve read this post several times, waiting for an eloquent response to surface but I’m just not sure it’ll come when the gist of what I want to say is: You’re just so f’ing cool and I want to be just like you. I *love* your perspective. It’s so different than mine (and why we would have been so great in our marriage of circumstance, if the chronic worrier in me didn’t drive you off within the first year). Instead of a HOPE stone, I put all of my disappointments in my pocket, large and small, and then I run my fingers over them constantly, turning them over and over and over, thinking my only chance of preventing them next time around is learning their every crevice and having MacGyver-esque plans for circumventing each one should I approach it again. It’s not only exhausting, but I miss a lot of good things around me while fixating on the hard weight in my pocket. Thanks for showing me another choice; a better, happier, and more graceful path to travel. xo

  8. Pingback: 10/10 Blog Carnival: Disappointment « Love Makes a Family Blog Carnival

  9. really beautifully written. thank you.

  10. So sweet. Congratulations on your perfect boy :)

  11. I love this! Thank you for sharing it.

  12. Ok, your post turned me into a blubbering snotty wreck of a woman – the part about his little lip quivering, trying to be brave – too much. I kept thinking of my own darlings. Thanks for sharing. I’m si glad that little man replaced all that sissappointment.

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