Happy Mother's Day, fellow Mommy Patriots!
I hope that your Mother's Day is blessed with lots of love and those wonderful little goodies made with our favorite little hands - those are the best kinds of presents.
For me, the path to motherhood was a difficult one. At the age of 22, I was diagnosed with endometriosis, and was told that I would never be able to have children. So I got a second opinion. And a third. And a fourth. And even a fifth. All the same prognosis.
But I refused to take no for an answer.
I endured operations, procedures, and experimental therapies. My husband endured me going through massive amounts of fertility drugs, bless his loving, infinitely patient heart. I left a path of destruction during the hormonal highs of those drugs and cried a river of tears with each unsuccessful cycle and heartbreaking miscarriage.
But finally, finally, we gave it up. We had taken all that we could take, and resigned ourselves to the fact that children were not in our future. It was an agonizing reality. And so I thanked God for the blessing of my beloved husband and let my dreams of motherhood go. We had each other, and that was blessing enough.
It was a heartbreaking decision to stop trying, but after four years of a hormonal rollercoaster that had left me depleted both physically and mentally and my husband yearning for the calm, rational woman he had married, it was time to move on.
And so we stopped the injections and the rounds of doctors and rejoined the world.
Six months later I was driving home from work, and I was upset because one of my co-workers had "accidentally" found herself pregnant. I cried on the way home, because of my jealousy and frustration over women who so easily found themselves in a situation that I just could not attain. The pain was still so raw that it was hard to breathe when I heard the news. But I kept it together and congratulated her with a happy smile - until the ride home, when it hit me like a sledgehammer and the tears came.
Why couldn't that be me? Why couldn't I be one of those girls who suddenly realized she was...oops... three months late? But then I took a deep breath, counted my blessings, and dried my eyes. What would feeling sorry for myself do? We'd done all we could do; it was in God's hands now.
That night I came down with a stomach bug. A few days later, still suffering, I had an epiphany.
I suddenly realized that I was...oops...three weeks late!
I could barely breathe. Could my stomach bug possibly be something more? I still had some EPT's under the sink and so I took a test. And another. And then I cried. With tears streaming down my face, I walked into the livingroom and handed my man one of the tests. He looked at it, looked at me, and told me to go to the doctor and have him do a test.
The next day, I went to the doctor. I came home in tears, and my long-suffering husband wrapped me in his arms and kissed me tenderly, bracing himself for more bad news.
"We're pregnant," I whispered, clinging on to him for dear life.
"What?" he sniffled, sure he had heard wrong.
"We're pregnant!!" I shouted, and then I covered his bewildered face in kisses and waited for the news to sink in.
I was put on strict bedrest and almost lost her twice, but eight months later I delivered our daughter, healthy, beautiful and the most perfect miracle I could have ever imagined. I cry now just writing about it. How is it possible to feel such joy without your heart bursting out of your chest from it?
Three years later, our second daughter was born; that pregnancy, too, was a complete surprise and an utter joy, and our family was complete.
For me, the trials and tribulations of motherhood happened before the children were born. Everything since has been a piece of cake by comparison (although we have barely dipped our toes in the teen years yet, so I might be overly optimistic in my thinking).
Sometimes, in my constant immersion in the political scene, I get that same sense of futility that I got towards the end of the fertility treatments.
When I do, I step back, take a deep breath, and remember that sometimes, when things seem the most bleak, hope waits just around the corner.
Sunday, May 9, 2010
Happy Mother's Day, fellow Mommy Patriots!