I came across an article online while perusing blogs during lunch today that made me so sad. The intent of the writer, a woman who had struggled with infertility for ten years, wasn't to depress her readers; it was, in fact, quite the opposite. She had been facing this battle for over a decade and had finally decided to give up, embrace the prospect of having a life without kids and move on.
But while I was happy for her decision and the closure she seemed to have achieved (I can only imagine what she's been going through), I was also so sad for what she was being forced to settle for.
Grant and I have been blessed in that we haven't struggled from infertility per se, but I'm definitely not the kind of fertile myrtle who seems to get pregnant the instant her husband looks at her. And I'm very familiar with the obsession that overcomes you when you want to be pregnant and you aren't. It's all you can think about. Everyone you know seems to be with child. You truly think your life will be so much better if two lines show up on that stick versus one and until that happens, you won't be satisfied. So to hear that this poor woman went through trying to have a baby for 10 years, with countless invasive treatments to no avail... well, it breaks my heart. Her high school diploma analogy seems to explain it dead on (except obviously having a baby is so much more than a high school diploma). We've witnessed firsthand how much our friend dynamic has changed over the last 5 years, when friends have started to have babies and those who haven't seem to be left in the past. You become different people, with different priorities and your former friends seem to kind of fade away as you become immersed in your new community of your kid's friends' parents who default as your new friends.
So her being left behind her friends who were able to have kids was sad enough, but the real thing that killed me is knowing that she won't be able to ever experience the highs and lows of motherhood. As I was reading the article, I felt selfish for taking everything that comes with motherhood for granted. Just the other night, Grant and I were at dinner with some college friends, regaling them with horror stories about what having two kids was like, the 5:42am wake up calls, the holding a screaming infant while you wipe the poo off your toddlers bum, the not having one second of the day to do anything for yourself until they go to bed at night, and then you're too tired to do anything anyways. It's easy to identify the bad and focus on that. But in reality, I know these are probably the best years of our lives and I wish I could stop time and live it forever.
So I've made a decision to try and appreciate everything parenthood has to offer a little more. To stop thinking about what's coming next and enjoy the moment I'm in. To count my lucky stars every day because we've been given the privilege of raising these two amazing little guys. Not everybody gets that and we shouldn't take it for granted.
I fully get why Kofoed is closing this chapter in her life - and my heart aches when I think of what her and her husband have been through. I truly hope that they are able to fill the void of not being able to have children with something else. But I also know that nothing will be able to fill that void because there is nothing like having children. Nothing comes close. And her not being able to experience that really sucks. It isn't fair.
The line that resonated most with me from Kofoed's article was when she said that because her and her husband, Danny didn't have a nuclear family and hence, no lineage, that one day when they both die, they'll basically disappear. I am so thankful that we've been given the opportunity to raise our guys into the men we want them to become, who can hopefully have their own families and take a piece of us with them long after we're gone.