Overcoming infertility: Becoming her mommy

Becoming a mom doesn’t happen the same way for everyone.  For some it’s an accidental blessing.  Others make a plan that just works.  Still others plan and hope and dream and pray….and wait…and wait…and wait.

The calendar tells us this week is Infertility Awareness Week…. like we need a special week to be reminded of infertility.  There are no parades or celebrations because it’s not something people tend to advertise they are going through.  Anyone who has experienced infertility doesn’t need a week to feel “honored” or remembered.  They just want to forget about it.  But since it’s out there perhaps I can acknowledge in a way that offers encouragement to someone yearning to be a mommy.  Perhaps my story will make others aware of the challenges of infertility.  Infertility is different for everyone, from recurrent miscarriages to medically diagnosed issues to unexplained infertility.  Each experience is different but equally difficult.  If you or someone you know is experiencing infertility now, read my previous posts about medical tests and treatments you might go through and resources that may help.

Ironically, this time last year we “celebrated” infertility week by having our transfer for our first IVF.  This time last year I was a complete mess because I knew that two tiny embryos had been placed inside me, but I had no idea what they were doing in there and no way to tell if they’d implanted and begun to grow.  I’m sure the mess of hormones I was injecting into my body each day had nothing to do with my manic mood swings and bouts of excitement and anxiety and fear.  But there was also hope.  And faith.  And love and promises between hubby and me that no matter what, we’d get through this together.

When Audrey was six weeks old I braved a solo trip to visit my family.  Sitting on the plane in Atlanta waiting to head home, I was thinking back on the wonderful time I’d had and how much fun it had been introducing Audrey to her family.  I smiled remembering the joy on my grandparents faces the first time they held her.  The wonder of listening to my mom and dad talking and singing to their new little girl.  The sweetness of my two year old nephew sharing his little dog with her when she was crying and chasing down her pacifier every time she spit it out.  Seeing my brother and sister-in-law with her and imagining all the fun that is sure to come as our kids grow up together.  Thinking of all the strangers she had charmed in the airport.  And it hit me: I am her mommy.  Not just a mother, but Audrey’s mommy.  I have cared for and loved many babies in the past, but this is different.  Her first smile and laugh was for me.  She is comforted by my touch and my voice.  My body nourishes hers.  She is mine, I am hers, and so it will be for the rest of our lives.

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I came across these wall hangings as I was browsing Etsy.  The words touched me and I knew they were perfect for Audrey’s nursery before she was born.  Now that she is here the words mean even more and are a daily reminder of all of our prayers and hopes and dreams of her in the past and for her future.

This year infertility week means something different to me.  It is a reminder of our journey, of how hard we fought to bring our beautiful baby into the world.  I hope Audrey knows how much I love being her mommy.  How long and hard I fought and prayed for her.  I hope she knows what a miracle she is, and that she is truly part of God’s plan for my life.  I hope she knows that she was worth the wait.

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