Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Ten fingers, ten toes...

My oldest niece, Sheena, who is just 15 years young gave birth to the most beautiful baby girl this morning at 3:35, weighing in at 6lbs 14ounces. Last night I drove 2 hours to the hospital when my sister told me she had been admitted & was in labor. I was nervous, I was scared, I was anxious, I was happy, I was sad but most of all, I was proud.

After 30 long hours of pain that couldn't be comforted, after only 10 minutes of giving it all she had, after an hour of clean up, and after 9 months of the most emotional roller coaster we have ever rode on together, I can honestly say, I have never seen anything more beautiful.

I don't just mean that Olivia is beautiful, but to see this little girl that came in to my life over a decade ago - this little girl that consumed so much of my life over so many years, this little girl that danced & sang without a care in the world - holding on to something so tiny, so precious, that she created. That, that was beautiful.

The list of things our family has been through over the years is inexplicable. We've shared so many memories, some good, some not so good, some amazing & some that we can't help but want to forget. This one? this is my new favorite memory. It wasn't always my favorite though. the rush of emotions flowing through me when I found out just 8 months ago that my baby girl, 1/4 of my entire universe, was expecting can not be put in to words. I can tell you that I was mad, I was hurt, I was disappointed - but that doesn't explain it. It was hard, it was harder than anything I have ever had to go through. I fought with myself, with my emotions and my heart, with my mind & my soul and I kept fighting. Why? Because that's what I do.

Until I held that tiny baby in my arms, just a few minutes after she was born, I didn't know how I would feel about welcoming her into our family. I was afraid that I could not overcome the feelings I felt at the beginning. I was worried that my relationship with Sheena, and my sister, would never be the same - but not because of the situation - because of my own struggles with infertility.

I couldn't have been more wrong to feel this way.

I have never felt so much love from my family, so much support & comfort as I did today. My own struggles have made me a stronger person, a better person. Even though I didn't carry these girls around for 9 months, even though I didn't give birth to them myself I know that I helped shape them into the most amazing little women. I know that I don't need to be a biological parent to feel the unconditional love that a parent feels, because I feel it every time I look at them. No one will convince me otherwise.

I am proud to know that a small part of me will help Sheena (& Will) raise Olivia to be the most beautiful human being that she could possibly be. I can't wait to see what the future brings for our family, for my family.

Thursday, 2 February 2012

What it means to me..

I refuse to believe that I will be facing infertility forever. Right now? Right now we're just taking as many steps as we can for me to conceive as naturally as possible. Yeah, yeah that's it...

What does (temporary) infertility mean to you? Because to me, it means avoiding all possible lapses of sanity when Aunt Flo stops by for another un-welcomed visit, suitcase in hand, bringing all those distant cousins of hers that no one likes - Cramps, Headache & Hormonal Bitch - they make for one awkward dinner conversation. It means unintentional teeth grinding for every pregnancy announcement I see/hear. It means maintaining my relationship with my friends & co-workers who conceive effortlessly while consoling my husband, whose heart breaks equally with every stop at the store for tampons & Pringles. 

For me, infertility is: the answers never being what you want them to be. Never being satisfied with the next step. Constantly having to withdraw myself from situations where I may be asked "so, when are ya'll planning on having kids?" so as to not spontaneously melt into a pile of hot mess. Refraining from throat-punching the people who feel it completely necessary to tell me that my life is so wonderful because "you don't have kids to worry about". 

For me, infertility is a constant struggle to make it through the day without lashing out, or breaking down. 

I'm not a religious person. I have my own beliefs & my own opinion on how the world came to be what it is today. However - throughout this journey, this struggle, this heartbreak - I can't help but remember something my Nanny (RiP <3) used to quote every morning when she woke up..

"God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can change, and the wisdom to know the difference."

Whether there is a God or not, whether there is a higher power or there isn't - I need someone to grant me the aforementioned serenity, courage & wisdom. I cross my fingers while I wish upon every star, every candle I blow out, every 11:11 that passes, every wishbone I encounter to be blessed with the opportunity to be a mother. I want to attach someone to the other end of the string that is already wrapped around my husbands pinky finger, waiting to be tugged on. I want to be proud, and to love like I have never loved before.