I know, bizarre title, right? But stay with me…
Being an infertile mom to a houseful of kids is a strange place to be. When I go out and get the constant “Wow! You have your hands full!” comments from strangers, I can’t help but think…”you have no idea how empty they once felt.”
The nursery sat empty for nearly a year. This is the spot where I often prayed.
Now that we are past actively battling the infertility, I often wonder what role it has in my life now. Though mostly invisible these days, I know it is still with me, as it may always be.
Was it with me night after night, month after month, when my babies would.not.sleep? Was it the reason I never could let them cry and instead shuffled into their room, wrapped them in my arms, and breathed them in until their little heartbeats matched mine and they were again fast asleep? As much as I dreaded those late night wake up calls, I cherished them too.
Is infertility the reason I love to wear them and rub my hand over the bump their little bodies make on my stomach?
Is it the reason that if it were only for unlimited money, space, and family support, I’d welcome 1 or 2 more in an instant? Is it the reason I feel immense guilt when I’m not the mom I know I could be? Knowing from the deepest parts of my heart the number of women waiting, and praying, and longing for the chance at a sleepless night, temper tantrum, or spelling test? Maybe it’s the reason that when I sat at my computer today I wrote this post instead of the one I intended to, complaining of the misery that is getting my daughter off her beloved sippy cup.
Strange, when I look back at that sentence now, all is see is this: my daughter. It still takes my breath away.
I can’t say for sure if any of that, or any of the mom I am today, has to do with infertility, but I’m guessing it might. I think there is a perspective that otherwise wouldn’t be there. All that longing changes a person.
Like this morning when my exhausted 2-year-old just couldn’t pull herself together – she was whining and crying at every turn. We were running late, so when she asked if we could cuddle for a “cuppa minutes” in her treehouse, I really should have said no. You know I didn’t, though. Instead, I gathered her in my lap and we sat in that spot up there…the one in which I used to pray…and I looked around the room to see dirty laundry, piles of toys and books, stuffed animals everwhere…and a fullness so different from how that room began.
I kissed her head and I prayed again. A prayer of thanks for not only my house full of children, but also the path that brought me there.