Let's say you were told you couldn't have children.
You were convinced it might not happen and you were open to adoption or other methods if it came to that. But you had to try. After being poked and prodded and hormoned up all over the place, you got pregnant. And not just pregnant, but pregnant with twins. The devil science really set you up. You were nervous your entire pregnancy, but mostly you were just elated and over the moon and only at the very end did you really complain.
Every week at the doctor you held your breath and hoped for the best. You prayed to whatever you pray to that your babies would be healthy and alive every time that ultrasound wand came near you. You just don't know. Those heartbeats were the only thing that could let you exhale until the next appointment.
You had two perfectly healthy babies at 38 weeks. They are now 15 months old and thriving.
After infertility, you are in this really delicate place. By definition I got the happy ending. I got pregnant and had babies. But I will always be someone who battled infertility. It doesn't go away. All's well that ends well but I will never forget what it was like as I know you won't either.
If you wind up having a baby or two through whatever means you wind up having them - from your belly or not they are yours all the same - you never ever take it for granted. Each day there are moments of absurd gratitude. It is not an overstatement to say that it is knee buckling and sob inducing as you just cannot physically process the emotions like a cool, calm, rational person. At least not yet.
When you've gone through infertility and all the emotions that go with that, you are a changed person. You are wary. You are gun-shy. You are probably a skosh bitter. You cry a lot. And not just from the hormones. You don't quite believe what has happened. If you are someone who actually got pregnant after being infertile, your whole outlook upon life changes. You constantly need someone to pinch you. Hard.
I've got my babies now. While I am extraordinarily giddy over my babies, I know the pain of some of those around me. I try my best to be sensitive to that, as we all should be. And yet, most people I know, even the great men and women who have battled infertility are so amazing that they are just happy for us. That is strength of character that I'm not sure I would have. I understand if people can't stand the sight or sound of it all. I get it.
My babies. My kids. Saying "my kids" is difficult because I still can't quite believe it. I get chills whenever I say it or type those words. MY KIDS. I hope that never goes away.
I will always be someone who was told she was infertile. I will always relate and commiserate with those who have never gotten their babies. Whether you wind up having babies, adopt or use a surrogate or choose not to have children in the end, we've all been through it. We are all in one tribe. The women and men who cannot have children. Those who have gotten pregnant and lost the babies before they were born. I will not pretend to know your pain. How could I? But you are always on my heart.
You just never know what can happen in life. I never say never. I'm a believer in hope and love and science. I'm a believer in other humans. They continue to surprise me. I'm a believer in gratitude and never taking anything for granted when you know you weren't guaranteed anything from the beginning. Everything is a gift and I'll be damned if I'm going to complain about any of this. No matter how bad a day is or how tired I am or how much I need a break, I can always flash back to those days when I was being shot up feeling angry and sad and hopeful and excited and scared and just hoping that it worked this time. That's what brings me back to gratitude in an instant.
If you are waiting to hear me complain about my kids or how difficult all this can be, it just truly doesn't happen very often. Not when you've been through it.
I know many who got a story they never could have dreamed of through infertility. I'm not going to say it is a blessing to be infertile. I will say that you just never know what your ending will be. I sure as hell didn't. Never in a million years could I have predicted this life beyond my wildest dreams.
I love you. I am with you. Just because I have my babies doesn't mean I am not still that same woman who was told I couldn't have kids.
I am supporting you and cheering you on and also crying really hard with you because I know.
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