I want to make sure I keep this space somewhat current. I am not sure how many readers are left, beyond the loyal few, but I also know that when I was dragging myself through the worst of my infertility days, it was the blogs like these that gave me hope; blogs like these, that began in such despair, and yet ended with such happiness.
I started this blog in 2006. EIGHT YEARS AGO.
I'm going to be real honest here. When I came to this blog, all of those years ago, I was one hot mess. I was barely making it through each day. While I tried to make light of my insanity, I was probably hovering uncomfortably close to the DSM-IV definition of street rat crazy.
And adding honesty to brutal honesty?
This blog saved me.
It was a turning point of sorts. It was a place for me to vent. A place for me to receive support. A link to others out there with stories like mine. Or maybe not like mine at all, but yet all too familiar. Perhaps we all had somewhat different stories, with varying degrees of tragedies, but we all had a similar theme. We were all mothers-in-waiting, families incomplete, broken-hearted, empty-armed, and searching for reason amongst insanity.
Before I started this humble blog, I felt alone. Most of my friends had abandoned me in search of more cheerful pastures. Looking back now, I cannot say that I blame them. After all, most conversations with me centered around the rather uncomfortable topic of death. I was either miscarrying, pregnant-but-about-to-miscarry, or recovering from a miscarriage for two years. TWO YEARS.
And, unlike some people, perhaps more stoic than me, I refused to remain silent. I would not let my precious babies slip from my womb with no more than a plop in the toilet and a rift in my heart. NO. If you were going to know me, if you were going to walk that path with me, you would know about my babies. About my nine angels and their all-too-short, difficult-to-define lives (difficult for others to define, I had no issue with defining them). They didn't have birthdays. They had empty, meaningless, never-fulfilled due dates (meaningless to others, yet with all of the meaning in the world to me), scratched out ultrasound dates on a calendar.
The agony of infertility is something I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy. It was my waterloo. It altered me forever, defined me for years, and, even today, when with my three RLBs piled on me as I type this, it has shaped the mother that I am.
These babies are here today. They are five, three, and one. They love me with a ferocity and purity that humbles me to my very core. I love them with a ferocity and purity that they will not understand until they are parents themselves. They are miracles, as are all children. But I do sometimes wonder if my foray into the dark world of recurrent miscarriage hasn't made me just a bit more aware of the true wonder they are. It certainly has made me a grateful Mama and at times, when my patience wears thin and I find myself longing for just one moment to myself, I remember all of the countless moments that I had to myself, where my heart ached for just one moment of this. And I dig deep within me, and pull out just a tiny bit more patience. Not that I am perfect, mind you, in fact, far from it. There are times when even recalling the dark days of infertility can't bring out an ounce more patience, Mama is DONE. And I have learned to accept that is okay, too.
Parenthood after infertility is a bizarre world. I am certainly no longer what you could call an infertile. Nope. I have been a "melon belly" three times over. I have had three births. Three newborns. Three infants. Now I have two preschoolers and one toddler. My arms are stuffed to overflowing, my heart exploding in love. Yet I still feel the ache of those precious babies that I will never hold in my arms. I wonder, too, about the embryos we will never use. My babies are all very similar in appearance (though very different in personality), so I feel as if I almost know those babies I will never hold, because I am graced with the opportunity to hold the ones that I do. It is at once a comfort and a bit of a heart ache.
I am also done with having babies. I will never again have another pregnancy, newborn, sweet nursing session, or a first birthday party, or all of the moments in between. And although three is definitely the right number for our family, there is a wistfulness in knowing that the baby years are behind me. I waited so long and so desperately and now they are over. I am very excited to see what the future holds, as each day brings some new adventure.
Being a mother is everything I thought it would be and nothing I imagined all at once. It is all encompassing, all consuming, uplifting, and humbling. I learn from them far more than they will ever learn from me.
Whenever I sit or lay down (which is actually a rather rare occurrence) these three babies of mine gravitate toward me as the moon pulls the tide. And I have a rule. There is always room in my heart and on my lap, and we all shove around and get comfortable, our limbs and hearts a web of love. Then I say it out loud, "I am covered . . . "
And Will and Emma chorus with me, "In kid."
I am blessed, grateful, amazed, and humbled, to be covered to be in kid.