I thought I shook my IF shell the minute I got pregnant. Well, as soon as I was confident my beans were sticking around. Although I was appreciative of the journey that brought me to my babies, I wanted to leave that phase of my life behind me. I wanted to focus on the next chapter, the one where I became a mother. I wanted to close the door and never look back.
And I did pretty much embrace this next phase of my life. IF was a distant memory. My pregnancy was a positive experience and I refused to live in fear. My babies were carried full term and came home from the hospital with me. Motherhood has been easier than I was expecting. The new phase of my life has been (and is) awesome. IF rarely crossed my mind except when reading about your experiences.
And then I went back to work. I walk the same path that I did after doctor appointments and negative betas. I rush up flights of subway stairs that I carefully climbed after failed embryo transfers. I see the same strollers in the park that made me sadly aware of my empty womb. I see the same trees from which I watched leaves fall and new leaves sprout for too many seasons when I seemed to be stuck in the same season.
Because of these things, now that I’ve returned to work I can’t help but be reminded of my struggle every day. It’s humbled me. There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t say in disbelief: I have two babies. Me. Me! I have TWO babies! And now I am constantly reminded of how hard it was to bring them into this world and I love them even more because of it. But when will it stop seeming so surprising? When they can sit up on their own? When they can talk? When they can walk? When they turn as many months we spent TTC (34 months to be exact)?
Maybe it will always seem surprising. If I am reminded of this gift for the rest of my life, I wouldn’t mind a single bit. I am so lucky. And I don’t say this to come off as a braggart. I truly am so very lucky.