Comparing my last birthday to this one…there’s no comparison. At 31 I was getting ready to begin my second round of infertility treatments after a break over the holidays and winter. I had hope but was trying to be realistic about our chances too. And I was feeling my age. Had I waited too long on this trying to make a baby thing? Should I stop spending money on what seemed like the very self-centered and selfish endeavor of having our own baby and begin funneling our limited funds into the lengthy and expensive process of adoption?
OK I’m back. Gibson woke himself up because he’s an expert at getting his arms out of his swaddle. Quick diaper change, re-swaddle, a feeding and now I’m back. Where was I?
Comparing last year to this year is apples and oranges. Last year around my birthday, I had this tiny flame of hope that I would be a mother. I was fostering it through positive thinking and fundraising efforts. Even as I took up the banner of monthly cycles, temperature charting, ovulation predictor tests and the poking and prodding of doctors, I still had the gnawing fear inside that I was somehow unworthy of being a mother. And that was why I had so many setbacks.
Now, at 32 years old, there’s a gorgeous little boy sleeping, swaddled and safe, in his bassinet in the bedroom. I’m typing here listening to the synthetic sound of ocean waves emanating from Sleep Sheep but keeping an ear out for any cries or whimpers from Gibson. My life is so different and so blessed.
Being 31 ended up being about becoming pregnant and living through the pregnancy- a chance so many of my fellow infertility sufferers never get the opportunity to do. And now 32 is the rest of my life. I’ll always be a mother now. And I couldn’t have asked for a harder job with the longest hours I’ve ever been asked to put in. I couldn’t have landed a job that I loved more.
With rheumatoid arthritis, a body that’s still healing from delivery and years of late nights and early mornings- I feel every bit of 32. The fingers I’m typing with are aching. My left knee is wonky before I take my morning pain meds….
Sorry, I thought he was crying, but I guess he was just making noise in his sleep. I’m back.
What I’m trying to say is that this last year has permanently changed my life. I’ll never be the person I was at 31. I may never get to write an uninterrupted blog post again. There are days that look like this:
But not all of them, thankfully. The nights are way longer. But maybe that’s by design. If I slept all of his babyhood away, I’d miss out on watching him sleep. His tiny face contorting and then becoming smooth and unburdened in the moonlight with a contented sigh. Maybe mother nature knows what’s best after all. Even if I need caffeine to function the next morning. Ultimately, it’s a small price to pay for the gift of seeing Gibson the way almost no one else will ever see him….
He managed to get an arm out of the swaddle again. If I want to post this today, I better wrap it up. It’s taken 45 minutes to get through a couple of paragraphs of tiny thoughts.
Today I am 32. And there’s no other station in life I’d rather be. I managed to finally pump a decent amount of milk. So you know what that means- margarita for mommy’s birthday! WOOT!
If you wanted to give me a gift, please consider making a donation to Team Hungry For Motherhood’s Walk of Hope fundraising page. Any amount will help the 7.3 million couples in the United States who are struggling to make their dream a reality. One in eight couples battle infertility daily and carry all the emotional burden that comes with the battle. Lighten their load and make a donation today. Thank you.