This may be difficult to articulate so please bare with me and maybe grab that second cup of coffee, or microwave that same cup from this morning that still has yet to be consumed.
The room pictured above is a room I once believed would never exist. This intimate personal photo is my boys’ room. Their two beds, their train station in the corner, their dresser, the boom box that they blast the same David Garrett classical remake song on a million times a day, a window through which they watch squirrels and sometimes deer from, and love… oh sweet love, overflowing and filled to the rafters.
Like most young women I was under the impression that to get pregnant I’d simply stop taking my birth control and in three months time MAX I’d be on my way to Momville. For years leading up to our decision to start a family I diligently, *ahem* neurotically *ahem*, took my birth control convinced that one missed time window would result in INSTANT pregnancy (in pop culture references my mentality was some mashup of Juno, Twilight, 16 and pregnant, and Jane the Virgin). I even accounted for time zone changes when we traveled halfway around the world twice because I’m that person.
What actually transpired when we decided to go from “twos a party, to threes a crowd” was something I wouldn’t wish on even the meanest of the mean girls from middle school.
I did everything “right”. I saw my OB, began charting my cycles (sorry male readers, this one involves lady stuff), and we stopped all preventative measures. I’ll never forget the sting of not getting pregnant that first month. Looking back in hindsight I can snicker at my previous naive self and that snicker always gives way to a falling sick feeling in my stomach because I know what happens next in the story.
Months of trying, irregular anovulatory cycles (i.e., not even getting a CHANCE to try during multiple months), peeing on enough sticks for a family of beavers to build an entire dam city the size of Texas with, thyroid testing, and then finally, YES YAY FINALLY, a pregnancy. And then having this happy joyful moment give way to the greatest pain and loss I have ever experienced when we miscarried.
The responses from well-meaning family and friends was the worst. Loads of people told me it wasn’t “God’s Timing”… like somehow I’d be a crap mom if I got pregnant in June and not November… and that they would “pray for me”. I consider myself a semi-religious person but all of those comments landed so flat, provided zero support or comfort, and came from a theology I couldn’t get onboard with. One of my favorites was being told to “Love other people’s children as if they were my own”. Hard pass. A) What does that even mean? B) I think that’s illegal.
In my opinion, the only response that hit the mark was “This is complete shit and I’m so sorry”.
Unless you have also had a miscarriage, then you better put on those big girl panties and be honest and say “It’s shitty. I’m so sorry. That happened to me too.” In that moment in my life all that soothed my soul was someone recognizing the agony, and if applicable, sharing their honesty to let me know I’m not alone. Because personally, leading up to “trying” all I was ever told was HOW EASY it was to get pregnant. Well sister, that isn’t my story and it CERTAINLY isn’t everyone’s story.
Almost a year after our miscarriage we became pregnant again with our oldest. And then later as life often does, irony arrived when we decided to try for another baby, and our younger son came barreling into our lives faster than we could ever have imagined.
People say that “trying is the fun part”. And if you’re reading this and you’re trying or planning to try someday I pray that this is true for you. I do. But if you ever find yourself thinking “What a load of fudge that is”, I want you to remember you’re not alone. There are centuries of women who have come before you and who will come after you who see your pain and have pulled that dagger from their side too.
So today I am thankful for what I never thought would be. Does it make me a better mom to have had to try so hard? No. But I try to remind myself, on the extra hard days where I’m dreaming of what I want in the future that I’m currently living a dream I once almost stopped dreaming. A dream I would have given life and limb for. And what’s more powerful than looking around us and acknowledging the realized dreams? Of soaking in that gratitude? That’s happiness, friends. That’s the good stuff.
You Got This, Mamas.