For as long as I can remember, people have used the adjective “transparent” to describe me; I wear my heart on my sleeve, and am honest and open about the things that are happening in my life (whether it’s good or bad news). This seems to constantly work against me – I don’t play “games” – but the positive part of this aspect of my nature is that I have no shame about my shortcomings, failings or hurts, which allows me to share them with others as they go through similar experiences. So, on that note, I can finally write about the deepest loss I have felt to date, and the hope that I find on the other side of pain and confusion.

Once I hit 30, as with so many women, my clock started ticking and I wanted nothing more than to have a little one of my own. So when the 2 blue lines *finally* showed up in our hotel room in South America earlier in the summer, I thought, woohoo!! and immediately told our friends there and called my mom. I still wasn’t going to blast it out on Facebook…yet.

The first ultrasound showed not 1, but 2 (!!) embryonic sacs and since Stephen had been praying for twins since the beginning of our marriage, we were both elated. We saw one heartbeat flutter and that was our cue to begin telling family and friends – the rate of miscarriage decreases to about 5% after the heartbeat is detected, so we thought we were in the clear. However, the next doctor visit brought the bad news. After the consultation in the office, a perfectly healthy physical and normal bloodwork, came the ultrasound…and the realization that one of the twins had vanished early, and the other, tiny heartbeat was dead. My own soul sank. The little immobile, jellybean-sized fetus represented my family. Gone. And what was worse, there was no medical reason for it. I am fine, my hormone levels were high and there was no reason to expect, like my mom before me, that I would have any difficulty carrying a healthy baby.

Then I realized I could either be bitter about it as I watched more of my close friends give birth to beautiful, healthy little ones, or know that there was a reason for this that was beyond my understanding. Every response that we make to the circumstances we face is a choice. So I choose hope, over and over again. As I stay emotionally connected and involved in the lives of my family and friends, and their children too, I am reminded that every baby is a blessing and there are still good times ahead.