Thursday, August 23

...just Stand.

andrea & ben, canon digital rebel xti

A few gentle souls in my life, including some on the retreat, asked how I felt being around Ben. I know they asked me this because as much as I love babies, want a baby and enjoy being in their presence, the past few years it has brought up a lot of emotions when I am around them.

When I walk by pregnant women and/or parents holding their babies, I tend to feel that longing so deeply and I just have to look away. Otherwise I know I am capable of bursting into tears, depending on my head space that particular day. Sometimes I'll find myself starring at them with tears welling...which is probably a bit disturbing for the parent(s) to notice.

Since Andrea and I have walked this journey to conceive together, I knew she would understand if I needed to take some time away or if I looked overwhelmed or if I burst into tears at any given moment. I knew she would be gentle and get it and that I would be loved through it. As would the other women present on this retreat since they loved and supported Andrea on her journey to Ben.

What ended up transpiring between me and Ben was completely opposite of what I was afraid of. I actually fell madly in love with him and wanted him to be around at all times. Even though my longing was still there and very strong, I actually felt at peace, knowing I will have my own miracle soon. It was just a knowing feeling I did not expect. I usually have a feeling of fear that it would never happen to me when I am around babies. Not with Ben. He was like this beam of light and reassurance for me...gazing into my soul with his big blue eyes gently encouraging me not to give up.

I found myself observing him and Andrea together. Observing him with the other lovelies...

ben & andrea, notice her yummy Joy Superhero necklace, canon digital rebel xti

Jen sipping tea...and making noises with Ben

Swirly was totally Ben's girlfriend during the whole retreat

I was allowed that space to just stare, to watch, to let soak the essence of him in without being worried what the others thought. As I said in my previous post...I was given permission to just be whatever I was in that moment.

And during those moments with Ben...I was hopeful. I remember more than year ago tearful phone calls with Andrea and here she was smiling, kissing and hugging all over her baby boy. It was such a sight to behold. A miracle. This will be me someday. I feel so sure of it.

On our last day together, we all went to Glide in the city. The service was other worldly. Full of acceptance, diversity, open minds and getting your boogie on. Totally how church should be. At one point, towards the end, a woman got up to sing a beautiful, heart~soaked song that had this message:

"When you feel you've done all you can... just STAND."

As she belted these words up to the sky, tears streamed down my face. My heart swelled and I had butterflies in my stomach. I felt warm all over. I was open and receiving this message. Yes Denise...just stand. Such a simple and powerful statement. At times I have felt like I have to do something, anything to control the situation. Lately I have been able to release and just be. This image of standing felt so right. Just standing.

For a while I was in my own little Universe...weeping, closing my eyes, wiping my tears, listening to the God that I know surrounding me through this song. I opened my eyes to see the lovelies sitting by my side
looking over at me with tears in their eyes. They wrapped their arms around me, held my hands, cried with me and each said to me..."This is for YOU."

I will never forget this surreal moment. I am crying just writing this. Feeling so supported, loved and grateful for this message. How can I express in words a moment that has changed my life forever?

It's easier just to feel it...


Anonymous Anonymous said...

These photos are beautiful. Like I said in my email, you are one of the best photographers I know. (And I know a lot)
So delighted to have some wonderful ben and me shots... what a gift.

Second, I admire how strong and tender you are at the very same time.

When I read your words, I love how deep, honest and real/tender it is, but I don't worry about you. Your strength and faith comes through in equal measure.

August 23, 2007 at 2:34:00 PM PDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

amen sista! know we are standing right beside you.
i sometimes struggle around babies and pregnant women too but i didnt feel an ounce of that with ben and andrea. like you, i felt more of the hope and the possibilty of love. i look forward to the day,and that day IS coming, when i will get down on the floor and look in the eyes of your sweet little one.

August 23, 2007 at 3:28:00 PM PDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

that was me by the way.
jen gray :)

August 23, 2007 at 3:29:00 PM PDT  
Blogger boho girl said...

mmmmm...that means so much you guys, thank you! xo

August 23, 2007 at 5:41:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Louise said...

Amazing pictures...incredibly touching post....you have amazing friends you are blessed!

August 23, 2007 at 6:07:00 PM PDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I came across Andrea's blog one night when my heart was so drenched in sadness over not being able to get pregnant.... my husband came home that night to me sobbing with joy for her journey and for knowing that these feelings of sadness are understood by so many. Reading about your walk along the similar path just adds to that sense of "its okay..... all good things in his time." Just stand sister.... cuz you've got a whole family of sisters standing right there with you.

August 23, 2007 at 7:07:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Swirly said...

Goose bumps, goose bumps and MORE goose bumps. This is a beautiful story and I feel so incredibly honored I shared these experiences with you. There were so many gifts from this weekend it is joyful overwhelm. The best possible overwhelm.

August 23, 2007 at 7:09:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Unknown said...

Such beautiful photos... The experience sounds like it was an incredible one and I just have this feeling of assurance that you will have a child of your own soon. The song you mentioned made me remember a gospel song I have heard before. I wonder if it is the same one. If so, it is called "Stand" and was recorded by Donnie McClurklin.
You can see it performed here on You Tube ---

August 23, 2007 at 8:16:00 PM PDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

you have no idea how HAPPY this just made me.

i fall more in love with you deni each day....

mcmermaid :)

ps amazing photos of everyone!!

August 24, 2007 at 12:48:00 AM PDT  
Blogger ::Bek Geach:: said...

You are so beautiful Deni.
I am doing a happy happy dance for you!

August 24, 2007 at 5:15:00 AM PDT  
Blogger Colorsonmymind said...

I agree ~ you are such an amazing photographer. This pictures are just breathtaking. I can't tell you how much I am excited to be photographed by you again darling.

The experience-yes I too have been amazed by the love I feel for my friends babies-it seems easier than when they are pregnant for some reason.

Especially when you connect with the child-heart to heart. It seems that love will just bring your dream to fuition quicker.

You are delicate and gentle and yet such a pillar of strength.

I am thrilled you got to connect with these women and them you.

I love you
Toe to toe

August 24, 2007 at 5:32:00 AM PDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, Denise. What a powerful experience! And your pictures are fantastic.
For a short time after my first loss, it was very difficult for me to be around children or pregnant women. That's hard because my best friend and I had decided to get pregnant together, and she did and still was. She was so good not to talk about it too much in front of my, but I finally realized I wanted her to. I wanted to touch her all the time.
I got to a place where I wanted, no needed to be around new life constantly. I volunteered my babysitting services to all my friends and family, and they let me, knowing how it made me feel so happy.
When I lost my second baby this past Feb. my very best friend, since we were six, surprisingly conceived, and actually found out she was pregnant the day I lost mine. She lives a continent across, so it was easy to hide from me. She kept it from me for 10 weeks, crying so hard when she finally told me.
I explained to her then that she needn't worry. I needed to be around pregnant women, to feel babies and smell their skin. I had several massage clients who were pregnant too. They actually made me strong. There is still pangs of longing when I see them, but that emotion is so fleeting. I need to know that someone, somewhere is having her dream. It gives me hope and keeps my desire.

August 24, 2007 at 6:51:00 AM PDT  
Blogger Julie @ Letter9 said...

Your photographs are always so beautiful. Anyway, I just wanted to say that I like how you seem open to all emotion, not just perfect happy emotion. That's really admirable and, I think pretty rare.

August 24, 2007 at 6:55:00 AM PDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

wonderful reading and images, thanks so much for sharing and for surrounding yourself with the love and support you need...


August 24, 2007 at 8:22:00 AM PDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My heart is so happy that you had these amazing moments of love and comfort, strength and message. ...just Stand. Hmmm, that sums it up so beautifully. More signs as you continue on this, your journey.


August 24, 2007 at 9:39:00 AM PDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

utter coolness...you are a blessed woman and you will make an extraordinary mommy...

August 24, 2007 at 10:56:00 AM PDT  
Blogger daisies said...

what an amazing wonderful experience ... i am so happy for you :)

August 24, 2007 at 3:04:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Amber said...

Just came to say hi. This was so beautiful, and full of grace. And yes, you are so good with the lense.

That song has moved me and touched my heart, as well.



August 24, 2007 at 8:42:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Erin said...

Wow. This made me cry. You are such a beautiful person and have such an open heart. I pray for your dreams to come true and desires to be fulfilled.

August 24, 2007 at 9:26:00 PM PDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Glide IS an amazing place. I will never forget seeing Andrea there Xmas before last...her tears and her pain...and hugging her and telling her that I really (truly) believed her little one was on its way to her. Ben is such a beautiful little miracle. I can't imagine your little miracle isn't winging his/her way to you...in his/her right time. I'll continue to hold that belief for you.

August 25, 2007 at 7:20:00 AM PDT  
Blogger Jamie said...

I'm sitting here crying right along with you and this is the first time I've read your blog. I can "feel" everything you were saying and feeling. My sister encouraged me to read your blog and I'm so glad I found it. We are not alone in this fertility struggle and it's so inspriring to know that. Thank you for the encouragement you have inspired in me today.

August 26, 2007 at 7:02:00 AM PDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your posts are so amazingly honest and eloquent. What a mom you will be someday... and soon, I think.

I come to your words and leave with renewed hope in the power of friends, true love and the art that is your life.

Thinking of you in Kansas.

August 27, 2007 at 8:00:00 PM PDT  

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