On Sunday evenings, I watch Call the Midwife on PBS and it always makes me cry. The fictional stories of love and loss in childbirth in mid-century England always stir in my heart an appreciation and a recognition of the losses that I have endured and the happiness for what I have in my life right now. Every Sunday evening, I feel like I love my babies a little bit more than I did the week before. I remember all of the things they have learned that week and all of the ways that they have grown and I feel so lucky and happy to have them in my life.
This week is National Infertility Awareness week. I am still infertile. I am lucky because thanks to the miracle of modern medicine, I am lucky enough to have my babies in spite of my infertility. My infertility wasn’t cured, but I was able to have children in spite of it. Without modern medicine I never could have borne children of my own. I still know how brutally difficult it is to try to find peace when dealing with infertility. The road is tough. It is littered with losses, failed efforts, thoughtless words from others, etc. It is expensive to try to have children when you are infertile. Sometimes, it seems that giving up is the only viable option. I was to that point. I told David that the cycle that ultimately brought us the twins would be our last because I couldn’t handle the failures and losses anymore. I was to the point where I knew I would be okay if we never had children, because I just wanted to stop feeling bad about myself and feeling like such a failure.
Thankfully, that last cycle brought us our boys. They were the ones who were meant to make our family complete. Every Sunday night watching Call the Midwife, I feel all of those feelings of loss, failure and ultimately redemption all over again. I feel empathy for fictional characters on the television dealing with losses of their own. It is so very hard. It is so very hard to not feel like a failure as a woman when you are infertile, because the messages that we receive now about our worth as women (perhaps more strongly in my faith tradition than in Western society at large) are still not so different from mid-century Britain.
The days go by so fast. I want to remember everything that I can and take every opportunity I can to help my boys grow up feeling loved and supported. One day they will feel loss and failure. One day they will realize that the world can be a cruel place. I want them to know that I will be there for them during those times, because in ways they do not know and may never comprehend, they were always there with me during those times for me.
Here are some catch-up pictures of time going by:
The boys were able to meet their great-grandmother, Grammy, on a recent trip down to the lake. It was a special day.
There are many days I just want to document how they boys look so I will always remember it.
This past weekend we went up to DC and stayed with friends. The boys went to their first Nats’ game, and thanks to our friends’ smart plan of buying club level tickets, we actually made it through the game since we had an air conditioned place where we could retreat for feedings, naps and such. We also just generally had fun at their house, including making use of their son’s ball pit.
The boys recently turned four months old. In the beautiful springtime of North Carolina, it is hard to wish for anything more.