This morning, as I am up before the sun I have some thoughts I want to share. I am currently sitting in my bed, holding my almost 7 week old close to my chest nursing him. Ironically I stumbled upon another blog by a woman who lost her son. Every time I read blogs like this or news articles….or even think about days as a nurse where I’ve lost a patient – I hold my babies a little tighter and think “oh my God, thank you for allowing me this chance to be a mommy to these babies.”
Some of you know and some of you don’t, but Andrew and I struggled with infertility for a while. It was by no means as hard and long as some, but remember each story is our own and our own stories come with pain no matter how insignificant our hard times may seem to others. For two years we tried to get pregnant. Nothing. We did everything…. timed sex, ovulation charts, surgery, oral medications, injections, and finally artificial insemination, four times. I remember month after month crying every time I would learn it was another month we were not pregnant.
I went into self-preservation mode. I didn’t like talking to other people about their newly conception. I didn’t want to see growing bellies and glowing faces. I remember one day, I was a manager on a nursing unit and a sweet friend and staff nurse came in to tell me she was expecting. I just had my first failed IUI. She told me, GLOWING. I could see all the love, hope and excitement on her face. Then I felt it. I smiled, hugged her and gave my sincere congrats….but I still felt it. I tried to fight it but she saw it too. Just as she said “are you all right”, I burst into sobs. No, I wasn’t alright. Yes, I was happy for her, but my gosh, I wasn’t alright and my gosh did it hurt.
Long story short, every day I prayed. I promised God that if He gave me a baby I would never ask for anything again. I promised to never get angry. I promised to be a perfect mom. I promised to never take one day – no, not one second for granted. I honestly thought I would be the most patient, loving, PERFECT mom ever.
I started speaking to many friends who never could get pregnant. I found comfort in them. I hated hearing people say “don’t worry, it’ll happen.” I knew it may not, I was realistic. One day I was talking to a friend and she said something to me that would stick with me forever. She spoke about her two adopted kids and said “I knew I wanted to be a mom more than I wanted to be pregnant.” Yes. Yes. Yes. This was not to forget the fact that infertility hurt. This wasn’t to downplay the fact that I felt like ‘less of a woman’ for not getting pregnant, but it was right. I wanted to be a mom more than anything in the world. I became okay with adoption. I knew pregnancy wasn’t going to happen and I had just started to accept that. I began to do research and take the necessary steps to “pick out” my baby. Four days after I received the adoption packet in the mail to get started with the process, I peed on a stick. “Ta-da!” Pregnant!!!
I knew how lucky I was and I thanked God and promised to NEVER take this for granted.
Skipping a bunch of fluff to get to what I think may be my point…..For all of you ladies (or dads) on your journey to becoming parents….you look at moms like me and judge silently. You think to yourselves that you will never bitch or complain about your kid. You will. You will one day, God willing become just like us normal parents. For a while I felt so guilty about the times I just felt as if I was over this whole parenting thing. Never in my life had I ever been so exhausted. How could something that my heart broke for, exhaust me so much?
Then, it hits me….A normal parent will lose their temper, raise their voice to their kids, wish desperately someone would just offer to take your kids for a weekend, a day or even a few hours. A normal parent DOES look at their kids and often will think ‘what am I doing wrong, what can I do different?’ And this is okay!!
So, right now, as I hold my baby boy close to my chest….I will be so thankful God gave me the opportunity to love my kids through their imperfections and know they will love me through my imperfections – kinda like the way God loves us.
Hang in there mommies. We never were given a handbook. We are doing the best we can. It’s okay to just be tired sometimes and it’s okay when sometimes you look at them while they are sleeping and (kinda) joke saying “I love them more when they sleep”! And for those of you who haven’t embarked upon this crazy journey we call parenthood, or still haven’t hit that stage of screaming terrible twos or the four year old who tells you that you’re a bad mommy (and I hear it gets worse with age) …no doubt, you will. You will most likely feel guilty for it later, ya know, not loving every second of being their mommy or daddy.
Truth: you may look at me and think my hands are full, but you should see my heart. Every night I tip-toe back into Abigail’s room to give her one last kiss as she sleeps; I touch the screen on Jackson’s monitor (I don’t dare attempt to open his door and wake that beast) and smile as he is still all cuddled up with his passy and blankets and I snuggle Benjamin on my chest a little tighter as I kiss all over his newborn head. I love my kids more than life itself, so much that it actually hurts and I am so thankful for the opportunity to be their mommy, but some days – sometimes – I love them more when they are asleep!!
Abigail 4 years, Jackson 20 months, Benjamin 6 weeks
January 20th, 2015