Strange post. I never thought I’d even think that I’d be “thankful” for the things that have happened in the past 7 years but, I am. I’ve lost boat loads of money, injected myself with more hormones than should be medically allowed and well, the losses. Recently a mother in my school dropped off her child. She was very tearful. I told her “don’t worry, he will be fine!” and indeed he was but she was not. Her tears reminded me of the terror of sitting with an ultrasound probe inside me waiting to see if there was a heartbeat for the small bunch of cells growing inside me). She looked confused, dazed, and frankly, like she was about to be ill. She had another older child with her who, of course, was headed to another school in which she had already enrolled. As she left I wondered about her. Her husband showed up an hour later and came into my office. He said, “I want you to know that my wife and lost a child at 6 months to SIDS and dropping off our child today was a huge leap for her”. Suddenly it all made sense. I held back the tears until left and then just let myself take in their grief. That night I held my boy just a little bit closer and…I watched over her child during their time at my school always making sure he was safe (as I do, neurotically, will all of the children in my care). When they left to move back to their hometown I made a point of speaking to her and acknowledging her bravery and telling her that I understood (to a degree) and hoped that time would heal. I don’t know how you get over things like that – well, I guess I do. You just live.
I’m on one of the first holidays I have had in four years and, watching my son interact with his cousins, being so happy and relaxed has made me realize that I would never be the mother that I am had I not gone through all of the aforementioned. I also realize that mine was a happy ending and many people don’t get a baby in their arms at the end. For those people, I hope they find peace and I also hope they don’t give up on the other options. I just so wish I had a way to make every childless mother a mother and childless father a father. I also wish I had the power to make someone understand the amount of grief that goes along with all of this and what it does to you as a person….well, if you let it. There comes a point where you have done everything that you can possibly do and you must choose whether or not you let infertility define you, overwhelm you and take over your life. I made that choice, obviously, when I opened a preschool. I literally fall in love with each child and treat them as if they were mine throughout the day. Being new at this (3 years) I have had far many more hellos than I have had goodbyes but…the 18 goodbyes have hurt. Some of these parents have no idea how much of a bond we form with their children and then poof – they are in kindergarten. I think going this route has been far more rewarding than I could ever imagined but there is always loss….
Could I be more meandering?
Today I’m thankful for the wisdom I have received by going through such difficulty in having my child. Had it been easy, I don’t know if I would have had as much patience, as much appreciation as I do for my child.
I hope that everyone reading this has success….I hope you never let what has happened to you define you permanently and that you will one day have your much wanted child in your arms or find peace should that not be your result. I’m not in the game of pain olympics – we all have our life challenges no matter our path – be it cancer, a sick parent, the death of an animal. So much loss.
Today I’m thankful for this very moment.