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“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.” — Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities

Funny, I used this quote in a post a couple of weeks ago, but I can address it again, because life is often a tale of contrasts, extremes — sometimes all in one day.

Early in our marriage, we became pregnant, and at about 10 weeks, I miscarried. That was sad, and certainly moreso for me because hormones were already coursing through my body. I had already began having problems and was on bed rest when I lost the baby. (That was in 1976 — I recall because it was the Bicentennial Year and that was a special time.)

Fortunately, fertility was not a problem and soon I was pregnant again. This time I made it to four and a half months — but again, not without problems. I had been on bed rest for about a month, and I then I lost this one too. Because it had died in utero, I had to go into the hospital and actually deliver it. Boy that was a difficult time. This time, because I had actually felt the baby move, and begun to look pregnant, both my husband and I were much more upset.

The ironic thing (and I hope I’m using the word correctly), at the end of a month of being confined to bed, and assuming this would continue, I quit my job — one I loved, with people I was close to.

So when I lost the baby, I was childless, jobless, and unsure if we would ever be able to have children. But there were some good things that came out of the second loss: the doctors were able diagnose what the problem was, and felt confident that if I did get pregnant again, they could “fix” me so that I could carry to term; and secondly, I had to accept that however much I regretted that I didn’t have a job anymore — the job didn’t define me. I had to reassess my life, think about what else I could do, and stop trying to control everything. I found some peace.

As luck (fate, or God) would have it, a few days after I applied for unemployment benefits (to which I was entitled), I got a call from my employer to say they had an unexpected opening in the same department and would I like to take it on. I did, and enjoyed that, even after I became pregnant again, had a small surgery to keep the baby securely in, and worked until I was 8-1/2 months pregnant. Everyone was happy for me — and my company threw me the biggest baby shower I’ve ever been to; it was bittersweet, because I had to leave my job again, but this time on the best and happiest of terms.

I had my first baby in June 1978 and three more followed in 5-1/2 years, all by c-section, until I was advised to have  no more. I still had more blessing that I had dreamed of 7-8 years before and plenty of ups and downs in the process.

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