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Slaying (and Making) Dragons

By April 21, 2016Blog

I only had a few days of unfettered jubilation over the home pregnancy test that showed positive, before worry beset me. Call it intuition, but I just felt something wasn’t right. And as much as I wanted this baby, whom we had been trying to conceive for nearly two years, I couldn’t help but feel a growing sense of doom. I went for test after test, all of which showed up just hanging on the low edge of normal. At eight weeks, we had an ultrasound and saw our little butterfly baby’s heartbeat. I thought surely my doubts would be assuaged by this very hopefully sign. But when my symptoms changed a few days later, I scheduled another ultrasound, this time to discover that the baby’s heart had stopped, and the fear that had haunted me for 5 weeks was true: I had miscarried yet again.

That evening, as I sat in a state of mingled numbness and tears, I got a message on Facebook asking me to make an adorable little amigurumi dragon for my cousin’s new baby. Thinking life must go on, I accepted the order, and the next day, began pulling the yarn together for the project.

Now, the pattern for this dragon isn’t particularly difficult, and I thought it might be a good project to carry with me through the experience at the hospital and subsequent recovery rest time. How little I knew of the depths of grief this miscarriage would pull me to!

I made–and remade–the head for the dragon twice before I set it aside in total frustration. I could not keep track of my stitch count to save my life, and therefore could not get the shape correct! When I was gifted a ticket to Florida for some rest in the sunshine to recuperate, I found some lovely soft cotton yarn there, and decided maybe a new start with new, shiny and delicious yarn would be just the ticket for making this dragon. It *sort of* worked.

When I got home, I found I could actually count again, so I finished up the head in a few hours. But I just had no heart to make him. He was a reminder of the empty feeling, of the quiet slipping away that was too profound for words. And yet, he was also a reminder that miracles do happen. He was a gift for a baby boy whose mama and daddy had wished for and waited for, and I wanted to infuse him with love and hope, because I know from experience what that wishing and waiting is like. Here he is, eyeless and seemingly begging to be finished.

Just as I have had to make it a discipline to get through each day without falling into self-pity while still honouring my journey of grief, I used this little dragon as a tangible piece of that discipline. I worked on him every day–just a little bit. One round, one piece, or simply just adding some stuffing; slowly but surely, his parts were filling my project bag.

Today, he got assembled. He’s a little rag-tag. Turns out, my stitch counting was still a little off on some things. But that’s what this journey has been about for me. I’ve thought some days I was feeling at peace, hopeful for the future, when something simple and mundane would pick the scab on my heart and drench my face with tears. So, in all his adorable imperfection, I’m happy to be sending this dragon to a sweet little boy with all the promise and potential in the world. I hope he feels the love and hope that his gift brought to me.


Author ilex

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