The difference a year makes.

infant-pumpkin

I have had every intention of updating this blog in the last several months, but a serious case of writer’s block has left me staring at a blank page and a blinking cursor every time I’ve sat down to write. Yet for some inexplicable reason, that block was removed tonight as I sat down to reflect on the events of the last 12 months. Maybe it’s that I finally found my creative mojo…or, more likely, maybe it’s the steady stream of kiddos running around our neighborhood in search of candy.

Halloween has always been one of my favorite holidays. Last year my teacher friends and I handmade the most adorable “three blind mice” costumes to wear for our costume parade at school. We planned them out months in advance, and got together in our off time to work on our creations. The costumes turned out to be adorable. We couldn’t wait to show them off at school.

After our second round of IVF I got pregnant, and things started getting a little scary. I started spotting and cramping at about six weeks into my pregnancy and wound up on a month of bed rest. As it turned out, I missed the Halloween parade at school. But my two trusty friends weren’t about to let me miss out on all the fun. They came over to my house, we threw on our costumes, and I was a captive audience on the couch as cute trick-or-treaters came by our house in throngs.

I remember studying their parents’ tired faces. I remember thinking just how grateful I would be if one day I could be in their shoes. I remember wondering if they knew just how special their little ninja turtle, princess, skeleton, [insert adorable kid’s costume] was. I was so jealous of them in that moment. Their child was there. Safe. Secure. Healthy. Would my little miracle baby be among them someday? I hoped with every fiber of my being he would be.

If I could go back in time, I wish I could give myself the reassurance that all would be well. That my 6AA would, in fact, hang in there. That he would grow to be a perfect, beautiful baby boy. I’d give myself the heads-up that his birth was going to go NOTHING as we planned (future blog post to come about the birth), but that he’d arrive unscathed. I’d tell myself that my little boy would be wearing an adorable costume right along with all the other little kids in the neighborhood. I wouldn’t have to look at their folks and be jealous, because I’d join the ranks of parenthood, too. My heart would be so full it could burst. I would feel so incredibly thankful.

Just when we think we’re leaving the world of hopelessness of infertility behind, a reminder of the past in the form of a phone call from someone dear to us, who just experienced a loss brings us back to an unfortunate reality. Not everyone has an effortless conception. Some, like us, struggle. Even for those who conceive somewhat effortlessly, not everyone has a smooth pregnancy. Some will end in heartache and loss. My heart breaks for those hurting families. I wish I could look into the future and tell them happiness is ahead. I wish I could tell them the pain they are feeling is nothing compared to the joy that is coming.

Chris and I held each other close this morning. We talked about how unfair it seems that something as beautiful and hopeful as pregnancy can be shrouded by such difficult circumstances for some couples. It can seem incredibly unfair. We know some incredibly deserving, loving people who should never have to go through these situations. Hearing their stories brings me to tears. It can be so hard for me to look at. I know their suffering all too well. Other people will never feel the pain of this struggle. I know many people who have had healthy, flawless pregnancies and never experienced any suffering. Struggle. Loss. I look at them, and I am happy they are free from any trauma surrounding conception, pregnancy, and delivery.

Don’t get me wrong. It’s not a contest or a competition. I don’t look at the fertile, happy couples and think “Gee, what I wouldn’t give to be them.” I can say to you truthfully, my son means so much more to me because our experience was a struggle. The struggle made me realize just how special this gift of a child is. I wake up every single day and I say to Chris, “Look at him. He’s perfect. I’m so happy.” We’ve lived through some dark, hopeless days to get here. But we never gave up.

Tonight we hug our little one a little tighter. We thank God more humbly. We hold those in mind who are suffering. We say prayers for those who are struggling. We hope that one day soon their rainbow comes.

P.S. Now that I have finally broken through the writer’s block, I intend to fill you guys in on the latest in our lives very soon. Stay tuned.