I am not sure what the future holds, but because of our 8 year battle through infertility and having finally come out the other side, I know one thing for sure and that is that I no longer care. Most of my thoughts and much of my emotional energy were consumed by creating and then completing our family in light of our infertility. At first, I was more than a bit surprised to find ourselves even needing to use ART. Then there were surgeries to plan and recover from, cycles to map out and the endless details surrounding them to keep track of. There were the myriad appointments and the endless waiting, for test results, for my period to start, to start stims, to check my non-compliant lining, for ER then ET, then beta, and either non-rising betas or to schedule a WTF meeting. There was the successful cycle that bore our first son and a pregnancy with all its complications all the while planning how quickly post partum we could try for a sibling. And the process, this time with the eventual addition of hand wringing over choosing an egg donor, commenced anew.
So wrung out was I that we had to take a year off in order to even know if we should proceed. When we decided to head down the domestic adoption path, it was easy to get distracted by all the details, but if I’m honest, no matter how hard I tried and no matter how all in I was, I never truly believed that adoption would bring us the child we were meant to have.
All this to say that for the better part of 8 years, EIGHT!, I was not able to always or fully live my life in the present; I was distracted and consumed by the future and its what-ifs. I always carried with me this vague notion of what it would feel like to be on the other side, to finally have our second child, our family building efforts complete giving way to family being. And, now, here I am. It is not like, in an instant, the pain, heartbreak, struggle, disappointment and frustration have vanished. No, I gather that those scars will take years to heal over. But, poof, in the instant I saw my second son for the first time, alive and out of my body, I exhaled the 8 years I’d been holding my breath. And, I mean it. My first thought about myself was, “I did it”.
Since then, I’ve marveled at what this kind of contentment post hard fought battle feels like. It catches me off guard. You see, the distraction of the last 8 years was familiar, something I’d grown used to, something I could count on. Now and all of the sudden, I feel like I’ve lost or misplaced something or left something behind. And, haven’t I? And its wake has been immediately filled by a setting in, a sweetness, a relief that is manifested in this baby boy. There is no more to do here but be.
And for this Type A woman, it may be the first time ever that I know to finally give in to being. I know how short-lived this newborn phase will be and I intend to suck the marrow from it. So much so that I can’t bear to have him sleep in the bassinet (an attempt to do so last night had me in hysterical tears that are being recreated just in the telling). I must have him on me. I actually told my husband that I was jealous when he got to hold him (I’m not, really, but I do admit to missing him). So, even though I am not a proponent of co-sleeping, per se, for now, he will sleep on me and we’ll work on transitioning him to the bassinet during the day. Eventually, it will happen, but for now? Not so much.
I have thought a lot about my friends still in the thick of it. Of course, I want to tell them to stick it out, stay the course, don’t throw in the towel, because the promised land is better than promised. But, of course, I cannot do that. Each path, each journey is unique to the individual. My true hope is that each of them will find their contentment, their peace of mind and heart. Because, isn’t that what we are all striving for? To be able to settle into the story of our lives knowing we did our best and that our best was good enough, no matter the outcome?
For this phase of my life, the eight years that brought me to December 26 and the birth of my second son, I close the chapter. It has been written and I release and let it go. There are other things that will need to be planned (my going back to work, for one), but even they can wait. I am fully present in the now of my life. And all it took was the birth of another beautiful baby boy. He is here and so am I.