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Entry Five, August 15, 1997

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Learning to Open My Heart

After a few more rounds of fertility drugs, we were able to conceive again. I was beside myself with joy, and with anxiety. Would I miscarry again? I walked on eggshells through my first trimester, and was almost obsessive in my attempts to do everything I knew to ensure good fetal health. We made it into the second trimester, and I was elated. This finally was the child I had dreamed of my entire life. My beloved husband and I would have a child, we would be a family in the way we wanted to be.

I started to feel love for this child. However, as determined and optimistic as I am, I am a very cautious person too. One of the issues I have struggled with, as a result of some of my early challenges, is a difficulty with fully opening up my heart. Even though I've been happily married and have the most wonderful friends in the world, I tended to keep my emotional vulnerability well protected, and to keep a part of my heart safely tucked away. I had worked for years to be more open, more trusting, more communicative. I had made great progress, but sometimes felt as if I was trying to chip away at the Great Wall of China with a toy hammer and chisel. And now I felt this overwhelming love for this child! It warred against my self-protection, it warred against my need for emotional safety, it warred against my need to remain protected and closed. This part of me said "Wait until you know the child is safe and okay before you emotionally invest in this." As I struggled, I realized that one never really knows for sure that one's child will be safe and okay. I realized that if I were to wait for that sense of complete certainty, that I would never emotionally invest in this child of my dreams. In one of those rare and magical moments of synchronicity, as I struggled with these issues, a song came on the radio by Billy Joel. His words were something like "And if my silence makes you leave, then that would be my worst mistake. So you can share this room with me, and YOU CAN HAVE THIS HEART TO BREAK." In that moment, my mind and my soul worked in harmony (sometimes a rare thing for me) and the wall that surrounded my heart broke down. I gave my heart to this wonderful child, knowing that the child would probably break my heart in many ways, as children do. Again, it was one of those moments of magic, when your heart and soul melts and changes. I fell in love with my baby.

I'll tell you more about my pregnancy with Nicholas next time.
Kay Grames

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