Today I am sad. Today I empathize. Today I feel as though I physically am missing the piece of you that is missing. The gap that is only known by mothers who haven’t, yet, had children, whose hearts deeply plea for a precious life to be entrusted to them. I have had a mere glimpse into that desire. I see the yearning in your eyes and I hear the longing in your voice.
You struggle with patience. Patience that is challenged month by month and year by year. You struggle with medication. Medication that forces your body to act as if it were pregnant, but you have no baby in your womb to comfort you. You are sick, hormonal, on bed rest, and still are expected to carry on with all of your daily demands. Not many people offer relief or sympathy, because they can’t see a growing belly. You struggle with decisions, big decisions. Decisions that you may not feel you can share with the world, because the thought of the judgment of others is too much to add to your, already, fragile emotional state.
You have allowed me to hold your hand as you cried after a negative pregnancy test or a transfer of an embryo that doesn’t survive. You have allowed me to pray over you (and your belly) that a miracle would be created in your womb. I’ve learned what Clomid and Progesterone do, and the difference between an IUI and IVF. I have wrestled and angst over how to tell you that I am pregnant. Every. Single. Time. How I have barely recovered from carrying my last child and am now housing another. And you welcome me with joy and celebration. You value the blessing of becoming a mother, even though you haven’t had your own, and can rejoice with me.
I am so blessed to know you. I have learned far more about life and this struggle than I would ever have imagined.
To treasure my children with my words. The job of being a parent can be overwhelming and daunting, at times. When moms reach that boiling point, we can fall to the temptation of speaking of, and to, our children as though they are less than desired and precious. I hear it in pregnant women, as they can find nothing to do but complain about how miserable they are and can’t wait to be done with this burden of carrying a baby. And when these words are being tossed around, I see you cringe. Although, we all have challenges and need to vent from time to time, I know you would give anything to suffer the pains of carrying a child, as well as the pains of raising one. So I try to be more aware of speaking life into those precious treasures that I have been given.
To never pressure anyone about having children, even as a joke. This nugget of wisdom has developed as I have witnessed people ask you and beg you to start that family. But it isn’t just the grandmas and grandpas, it’s the “Newest Mommy on the Block” syndrome. You know, when one of the gals in your circle of friends becomes a mom and now is on a mission to impregnate everyone she comes in contact with by showing them how cute her baby is. How she is so enamored with her darling, that for just those 5 minutes, she forgets how it felt to be the one without a baby in her arms. She doesn’t do it to be spiteful or to stroke her ego, but I see how your shoulders slump a bit and you take a deeper breath.
To be over the moon about every baby who enters this world. You teach me this in the way you love my children. You teach me this in the way you pray for your child. You teach me this in the way you love your child in your heart. It is an honest love. An honest love that I can take and apply towards my babies, but more importantly, any child that walks into my life.
To listen closely to what others say and only offer advice when asked. This is a biggie, my friend. I have learned that between the two of us, you are the one worth listening to. You are the one who is feeling all of the feelings and I am the one who is supposed to listen. When it comes to questions about motherhood, you will ask me when, and if, you want to know. Chances are, I am not the only one who you could talk to, but I want to be the one you can count on to hear you.
You know that I love you. I am so incredibly grateful for allowing me to walk with you as you are on this journey.