I write partial posts in my head all of the time. What led me to this place tonight, though, is a strong desire to reminisce. A close family member had to say goodbye to her twins last week. They (she and her husband) tried for a long time, used medication, many of you know the "infertility dance" all too well...and then they finally finally got that second line! We were all so excited! They talked about the pregnancy with a level of cautiousness and fear that only someone like you or I could understand. I did my best to offer them hope and joy - to remind them that in this moment, they were pregnant and that was to be celebrated! But then they went to their first ultrasound, found out she was carrying twins, and found out that both had stopped growing weeks before. Those of you following my blog might recognize this story - minus the twins part, this is exactly how it happened for us. Twice. My heart just sank when I heard the news. Why does parenthood have to be this hard? Hard to achieve? Hard to hold onto? Hard to understand? Just hard!
This whole experience led me to take a stroll down memory lane. I am SO under water with these 2 little ones that I hardly have a moment to look back and remember the hell I went through to get to them. I am one of "those" moms who complains about little sleep, temper tantrums, busy schedules and damn it, he just won't listen to me! I vividly remember talking to a friend on the phone who was also going through fertility treatments and telling her, "I would KILL to have my house be a mess if only I had a baby in my arms!" Cut to 4 years and 2 kids later and I can lament about messes and chaos with the best of them. I am IN it.
Every once in awhile, though, my mind jumps back to those days as I stare at my little ones, and I literally feel like it has all been a dream. How did I get here? With 2 kids? Not babies. Kids! They ride bikes, people!!
Part of why I haven't written here is because I can't seem to make sense of life anymore. I hear of young moms dying and leaving behind babies, I hear about babies dying and leaving so many broken hearts in their wake, and I try to make sense of my own situation and what it all means. My mind is literally swimming all the time. I am under water. And then I think: This is what motherhood is. I wanted it, here it is. At least for me, motherhood means feeling off-balance a lot of the time. I am forever seeking balance, but never quite achieving it. And, yet, I wouldn't trade it for anything. It may not be the fantasy I had envisioned it to be before these two came along, but I was right when I knew I would love it.
These two kids are incredible. Jackson is probably the most sensitive, creative, charismatic and sweet boy I have ever known. Addison is literally a "mini-me." For better or for worse, she mimics all of me. I see the best of me reflected in her actions and the worst of me played out right before my eyes. It is unreal. She is unbelievably smart, tenacious, stubborn and beautiful. They are mine. How that came to be, I guess I will never understand. I am doing my best every day to be the best mom I can be to them. I fall short of the mom I thought I would be every single day. The best I can say is that I don't quit, I keep coming back and trying again. The fact that I get to come back every day, as their mom, to try again is the part that I know is a gift. I don't know if I would have seen that if I had not had to walk the path I did to get to them. Of course, I would have loved them dearly...but would I have truly known what miracles and blessings they are? Would I have been able to access that knowledge in the hardest moments? I'm not sure, because the hardest moments are dark and deep and messy as messy can get, and I am the kind of person who could get swept away by that. But because I can remember that I fought hard for them, went through so much pain and heartache to get to this place, I do believe I am a better mom. When we look back at our journeys, if we can see purpose, maybe our hearts can heal a little. I know mine has.
I could say much much more but it's late, I'm tired;). That was enough reminiscing for one night for me:). Thank you to those who still stop by and read and say hello - I sure do love you all!
Oh, and I plan to write soon (I know, I know, prove it!) something to follow up my post on giving... I did get more information about what a shelter the one I mentioned needs, and I have also started up another project to benefit foster children and children who have entered shelters with their parent, for any reason. More to come...