During the waiting period, while we hoped that our IVF had been successful and our embryos implanted, the image of two hearts became very meaningful to us. I recognized how quickly these embryos–nothing in the eyes of many–had captured us, had become a piece of us in ways I didn't expect. Insignificant as they were, they had taken hold of our hearts!
When we found out we were not pregnant and our embryos didn't survive, we were broken. I know not everyone can understand this, but we truly loved them, as much as we knew how. For two weeks, we had dreamed of a life with them, desperate for them to live so we could hold them and know them. When the bloodwork came confirming the negative result, the reality that they were gone, just like that, there and then gone, nothing to do to fix it, nothing to do to give them another chance with us, no way to go back and try it again, it all crushed us.
They are all we have ever had. Two tiny embryos less than two weeks old (perhaps only a couple of days old) are all we have ever had.
And so, we love them. We still love them. And we love thinking about them and those sweet days we had. As soon as they were gone, we knew we wanted a tangible way to remember them. I had an image of two heart-shaped stones that I wanted under our favorite elm tree. We began the search...and found nothing.
And then a week later, two wonderful friends sent us on a trip to Yosemite. It was such a special time for us, filled with lots of healing tears, a few days to be free with our brokenness. There, at a final last stop, we found the perfect heart stones, the sweet memorial we were hoping to have.
We returned home, and the next day was Mother's Day. That morning, Robby gave me a precious heart necklace, which he had ordered the day before our test result. I wear it nearly everyday. That same afternoon, his parents gave us a small smooth stone. One side has two tiny hearts carved, and the other side has the date they came alive. This sits on our dresser in our bedroom.
These three pieces are incredibly special to us. For us, our grieving process needed such memorials to recognize the importance of our embryos and their significance to us. They may have been the teeniest tiniest things ever, but they were, and still are, deeply loved.