Friday, November 26, 2010

Blood in the Snow...

I's a gross title. 

But, there is a point to it all.  I promise. 

On Thanksgiving morning, Ty and I went out with Ferdinand for a hike.  We have, here in Montana, about 3 feet of snow in our local mountains...and in front of my house.  We bundled up in our winter gear for the expedition because, in addition to the fluffy snow, it was below zero.

We try to walk every day...or every night.  I'm not talking about little walks...I'm talking about miles of journeying.  This Thanksgiving, Ferdinand was now fluffy; grown out from his summer hair cut.  He looks amazing leaping through the snow, and Ty and I laugh and talk and talk and laugh for hours while we trek through whatever mother nature wishes to dish out.  The boys, content to ride sleds down the block at the school contact us via cell phone for simple requests like "can we make hot chocolate?" (yes, of course!) or  "Will you bring home burger king? ( can make grilled cheese though.) and "How much money do you get when you pass Go in Monopoly?"  (we lost the rules ages ago...).  With competent big brothers abounding, we don't worry when we take off on these walks that the boys do NOT want to come on...due to the expansive lengths of time we enjoy in the wilderness.  So, they stayed warm and toasty...happy with their sleds in between bouts of hot cocoa and grilled cheese while smelling the roasting turkey that weighed in at 28.7 pounds. I was saying, Ty and I took off that morning for a nice long hike while the turkey self basted itself in homemade herbal butter.  We decided to trek around through the trees, enjoying the winter wonderland before us.  A natural high permeated the woods and we joked about getting lost in a Narnia-like atmosphere.

Deer walked through the woods with us.  They seemed completely unafraid of our presence.  It was as if we simply belonged there, just like them.  We watched them quietly, enjoying the full rack of horns on a prominent buck.  Even Ferdinand was quiet.  Watching. 

We continued walking and came upon a femur.  Yeah.  A femur.  It was large.  Not from a deer.  It was slightly bloody and it stained the snow.  My educated guess was that it had once belonged to a cow.  Recently belonged.  Ferdinand claimed it, and I let him keep it.  He looked so funny carrying a MAMMOTH bone in his teeth, trotting merrily along as if he was leaking pride from every crevice in his being.  I wondered what kind of animal had brought that bone to that wooded area.  Too big seeming for a fox. 

Maybe a mountain lion???

I shivered a bit.  Ty could feel that I was a little wary; my anxiety levels climb quickly now-a-days.  I've been trying to self monitor these feelings of anxiety, so I suddenly flung myself onto the ground to make a snow angel.  I find that acting foolishly and child-like often helps to offset my anxious feelings.   Flap, flap, flap!  I was determined to make a KICK-ASS snow angel.  Ferdi cocked his head at me, his blood stained bone in his mouth.  Ty laughed joyfully at my antics and blew rings of misty air into the sky as hot breath met frozen air.

I brushed myself off and looked at the snow angel. 

It was bleeding. 

Well...not really.  IT wasn't bleeding, but, apparently I was. 

My period had arrived.  And I, stupidly, was not prepared and had soaked through my winter apparel.  Soaked into the figure of my snow angel.  Where my blood stained the snow like crimson.

I suppose I should have been prepared.  I know my cycles.  I think I just....wanted to be pregnant.

But, I'm not.

Ty and I held hands as we walked away from the bloody angel.

We want a baby.

That's really all we used to need to know.

In the past, wanting a baby simply meant we would have one.

Time changes these things.

If we had never had children, most people would feel sympathetic with our seeming infertility; but...that really isn't the case for us.  We have beautiful sons.  Five of them.  We had, at one time...two years ago...thought we were complete...done...finished.

Simon and Alexander changed how we felt.  Losing them created a vast emptiness, and we realized that we wanted to fill that void.  We couldn't have them...but surely we'd be able to have...someone else????

But...a year and a half later of very half-assed efforts at prevention, and in the past 7 months, active trying to conceive...I'm starting to get that I may be...done.

Not because I want to be done.  Not because my husband wants to be done.

Simply because I am 36 years old.  And very possibly, I am at that 11th hour wherein pregnancy is no longer "easy" to achieve.

It's humorous really.  In a sad kind of way.  I get to have a monthly period.  A HEAVY monthly period, which deep seated cramping and a flow that no one would envy.  But...I don't seem to be able to get pregnant.  My eggs aren't meeting with sperm and creating a baby.  Even though there is ample sperm around.

Even so....I feel really grateful.

As I walked out of the woods with my husband holding my hand, I understood deeply that this man...this dear wonderful man who I love with every cell in my my life partner.  Babies grow up...they create their own families.  They do not belong to us.  We are entrusted to care for open doors for the future. I understood as I walked that even after my boys...almost young men....are grown and have lives of their own, that I will be holding the hand of this man for as long as life allows us to live.  This is my life.'s a good one. 

There is much to feel thankful for...including the blood in the snow. 


  1. I am sorry that there was no pregnancy this month but I find reading your words so nourishing - the way you are able to hold gratitude alongside the hurt.

  2. i am so sorry that you are not pregnant. i know your heart was set on it, but also am happy to read the peace in your voice about it in this post.

  3. Beautiful post. I'm sorry that it was not your month but I glad that you have such an amazing husband and all your boys in your life.


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