Saturday, March 22, 2014

The Path I'm On

Ever catch yourself praying more when you are hurting or in need of something, rather than when you are happy and feeling satisfied? I am prone to doing that. I am also prone to not being much of a writer unless I have some anxiety weighing on me. As you may have noticed, when I feel good, I write either inanity or nothing at all.

My little girl, G, is now seven months old. She scootches around the floor, not with a fully developed crawl, but rather like someone doing the butterfly stroke in the pool. Arms, body, legs, arms, body, legs. She cannot stand to have me out of her sight, or even not looking at her for long. So, she and I spend all of our time together. We play on the floor in the living room, she bounces in a jumper in the kitchen, she sits in a little green chair with me when I use the bathroom or take a shower.

G's newest obsession is pulling up to standing whenever possible. Whether using my legs, the sofa, the edge of her little plastic bath tub, she holds on for dear life and pushes and pulls herself up. Then she lets go! She has this unwavering belief that she can balance on her own. This means there have been a lot of falls lately. I try not to make a big deal of them, just smile at her, scoop her up, and say "Kaboom!" Sometimes she cries, sometimes she doesn't. It's amazing how resilient little ones are.

* * *

One of those niggling little thoughts in my head when I was struggling to conceive was that maybe God didn't think I'd be a good mother. Maybe He knew that I didn't have what it takes.

I am relieved to find out that this worry was unfounded. I am a good mother. This is not to toot my own horn or anything. But it turns out that I am a good mother, and God was not withholding anything from me because He knew I would fail. It's not easy. I am challenged every day, throughout the day. We don't live close enough to family that I can go see my mom during the day, so she gets a lot of phone calls instead. I cry sometimes, mostly on days when I'm really exhausted. Thankfully, those days are fewer right now, as G grows and I get more experience. (I have been warned that just when you think you've got it figured out, everything changes on you again. But isn't that life?)

A friend of Novie who had three kids very close together asked me how I liked motherhood. I told her that I loved it. She looked at me very seriously and asked "But isn't it lonely? Especially when you have just one." Yes, it is absolutely lonely. Only you are the mommy, capable of giving your baby everything she needs. You haven't yet met other people home caring for their children during the day, so you don't have friends with whom you can sit and talk, who can hold your baby for just five minutes. But that changes; you meet people, your little one grows, the two of you get out of the house together.

What gets me through every challenge, though, is the waiting we had to do to get here. The wanting our child so much that it hurt. I get to look at my daughter and see a miracle. I draw on the strength I built up while trying to conceive, and I wonder what it's like to be a mother who didn't struggle to have her child. Obviously, it can be done :) but it's not the path I'm on, and I've realized that I am thankful for that. I can only imagine what I would be like if I were still a primary IF-er, and in the same way I can only imagine what I would be like if I were never IF at all.



  1. You made my day by posting this! I'm so glad you did and hope you'll continue to do so - even the "inane" :).

    I love the confidence you've found - and yes, you are a good mommy!

    Looking forward to reading more (and I'll respond to your email this afternoon - promise :).)

  2. Nice to see you posting :-)
    I worry too sometimes about what kind of parent I'll be, and how I'll face the challenges... but I think, like you, having gone through IF will really make a difference in my parenting and my reactions to it. For example--I don't expect the loneliness to bother me at all, because I feel like it can't be worse than the kind of loneliness I felt when all of my friends started getting pregnant...

    1. Hi Katie! Thanks! It feels really satisfying to have written something :-).
      Yes! I am sure you'll be a great parent. Funny how we keep discovering the ways in which IF teaches us things. I believe that I am infinitely more patient than I would have been if I hadn't had IF. And, in my own experience, the loneliness is definitely of a different kind than IF loneliness. For me it is more that I am the only one capable of doing certain things, like feeding G, and I am the only one who knows every little thing about our day together, and I wish Husband could get home earlier to join in. So, even though I'm alone, instead of having this little seed of sadness in my heart, I have a much bigger seed (an acorn? a peach pit? haha) of joy deep in my center now to draw on.

  3. Love this little picture of life that you have painted! I hate that anyone thinks that they are going through IF or have something in their life withheld because they might be bad at it. It's not true, though it feels true sometimes. I'm so happy that you've found that it is definitely not true in your case!