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A few weeks ago, in a private online conversation with some close friends, one of my best friends said that she felt it wasn't fair that I had to go through this trial with my baby, because I have so much trouble getting pregnant in the first place. We were trying for 5 years before Charlie finally came along, and we tried for about 2 1/2 years with one early miscarriage before I was pregnant with this baby. This friend of mine has four children, and felt like it wasn't fair that it's so easy for her and she's never had to deal with anything like this, and that I have to deal with the infertility and now the poor prognosis with this little one.
(Just to be clear, her thoughts were presented in a sensitive manner, and not at all in a rubbing-it-in kind of way. But we've been friends long enough that there would really be no reason for me to question her love for me or her sensitivity to the situation.)
Even at the time she said it, I wondered why I didn't feel the same way. Logically, it makes sense to feel that way. That this isn't fair, especially for us because we have to deal with infertility, too. But thankfully, I really haven't had any difficult feelings related to the fairness (or lack thereof) of this trial.
But today it clicked. I realized that some of this burden is perhaps a little lighter because of the perspective I've gained from the infertility. That maybe the infertility toughened me up and prepared me for this trial. I was forced to accept years ago that this childbearing stuff didn't always go as we'd like or how we would plan. I was forced to accept years ago that my path to and through motherhood was going to be different than that of my friends who don't have any problems getting pregnant.
And this next one... I'm not sure how much it is a choice I made once upon a time, or if I've always been this way. But through the years before Charlie came along, I didn't have a hard time being around babies or around pregnant women. I never envied pregnant teenagers or felt like it "wasn't fair" that they could have babies and I couldn't. Somehow I have always been able to separate others' situations from my own, and realize that their ability to bear children didn't take mine away.
And how much harder would this be right now, if I hadn't really internalized that during the times that we were trying to have a baby? I imagine every reminder of our situation (seeing babies, seeing pregnant women, going past the baby section at the store), would make the pain fresh every time.
I'll admit I've had my moments, but they've been more about feeling like other women didn't appreciate their children like I felt they should. There have been moments in the last couple months (and many years, really) when inside my polite exterior I am silently shouting, "Shut up and be grateful for what you have!"
And in the interest of full disclosure, there was one occasion when we were in Kansas when I thought I was pregnant, but learned that I wasn't on the same day as a friend's baby shower. I "had a headache" and wasn't able to make it to the shower, until the last half hour or so. I decided to go anyway, because it was for one of my best friends, but celebrating babies and oohing over baby stuff was a little hard to handle that day.
But, for the most part, I'm able to not be too affected by those things. And good thing, because they're everywhere.
I sat next to a good friend in Relief Society on Sunday with her baby girl. It crossed my mind that maybe it should be hard for me to see her with her baby, having an experience that I probably won't get to have with my baby. But for some blessed reason, I was okay, and even happy to be around her baby.
And I'm so thankful for it! I know there are hard times ahead with this baby, even if by a miracle he survives. But somehow I have been able to keep my head above water, and still find joy in the things that bring me joy.
I have come to realize that even though this part of life hasn't gone as I've planned it for as long as I can remember, it doesn't mean that anything is off course. I might never have a houseful of children or too many grandkids to keep track of when my memory starts to fail me. That is disappointing to me, but then I think about my little family, and how much love we have between us. I think about how Charlie will always know that his mom and dad love him, because we are so dang thankful to have him that we can't hold it back.
I don't know what lies ahead when it comes to childbearing and raising children. But what I do know is that our family is "complete." Lacking nothing. Whole. No matter what, this baby will always be a special part of that complete family. We hope, with some desperation, that we will have more children, and I believe that will happen in one way or another. But I'm so thankful for the peaceful feelings that I have that even though this is no fun and hard and downright "unfair," that everything is going to be okay. That our path in life is going to be different than planned, but a good path to be on.
Last edited by Sneetch; March 2nd, 2011 at 12:06 AM.
You are such a doll and I am so happy to have you apart of our family here. Reading this made me cry, but made me so happy too. I know that, I myself as well as a lot of the other mom's on here, cherish you and what you have to say and it's hard for us to think about what the future may hold for you. You are such a great woman and mom. I hope that you always know that!
I can only hope that my family will be as strong as yours. You are such an inspiration to appreciate everything we do have and to not dwell on the things we don't. I think of you often and when I do, your courage makes me grateful for the gifts life has given me.
You are incredible and I pray for you and your family regularly. You deserve every happiness and miracle that life has to offer!
Elan Dakota 7/28/2012
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Rhys Caelan 5/3/2013