And here, all these years later, when I would like to say that I’ve left this struggle behind, honesty dictates a different story. In the eyes of some, having a baby after infertility is like a pat on the back, “See, there there, it’s all better now. ” In some, cuddly, late night, staring-with-wonder-at-your-sleeping-babe-moments, it most definitely is. And sometimes I am simply filled to overflowing with gratitude for the grace that has been offered to me in this precious, small, blue-eyed child. Other times, I’m gripped with a painful awareness because I’ve joined the sisters who know.
During the years before we heard little feet bounding around upstairs, we didn’t know the feeling of being forever changed as we peered into the face of a little bundle of screaming pink for the first time. We didn’t know what it was to tentatively venture into the front door for the first time, holding our very own baby. We didn’t know what it was like to graze the top of a sweet-smelling bald head with a kiss in the wee hours of the morning. We didn’t know the sweet sound of “Dada” happily emitted from a gap-toothed smiling face, or the pride that comes from watching wobbly steps become speedy runs. We’d forgotten the simple joys nature offered in the form of acorns or dirt and ladybugs. We didn’t know how much glee could be exchanged in a glance between us over the head of a three-year-old full of stories to tell. But now we do. And because we do, we vacillate between just treasuring this sweet miracle that wanders around our house everyday and petitioning heaven for more. It feels selfish, again, to want. How can we possibly ask for more than this? And it feels scary, because a different kind of loss is at stake. And yet, we find ourselves flirting with the idea in a word here and there. This time though, we have an idea of what we stand to gain and whenever we do venture through that door, we’ll do it with some experience and awareness under our belts which changes things. Kind of a lot.