The whole conceiving, pregnancy, birth, and breastfeeding thing has caused me to shed a lot of tears. And I mean a lot. Lately though, I feel like I am starting to heal and move on from letting it all take over my life. It will always be a part of my life, but it isn't the only thing I think about anymore. I am a mom. Four times over! I carried two sets of twins to term. I was able to have the vaginal delivery that I so desired. And even though I wasn't able to nurse my babies as long as I had wanted to, I provided them with breastmilk for over a year. Over a year!!!
This is the first time in a long time that I feel like I just get to enjoy being a mom without worrying about all of that other stuff. I'm not planning my next round of IVF. I'm not thinking about my next injection. I'm not thinking about what my birth experience will be like. And I'm certainly not thinking about the next time I have to pump. And the next time I have to pump 3 hours after that. I'm able to wake up in the morning, feed my kids, play with my kids, and (sometimes) leave the house if I'm feeling ambitious. I get to go to playdates with other moms, take the kids to the park, sit around and watch movies all day, or whatever we feel like doing!
Today as I drove home from meeting a sweet baby boy today, it dawned on me that I wasn't hurting inside as I once had. I didn't fear going to the hospital to see baby E, his mom, and his dad. Instead, I was filled with joy for this newly bonded family. I wasn't sad about not nursing my babies, I was happy that this mom was choosing to try and breastfeed her son. I didn't have that feeling in the pit of my stomach as I held this tiny baby boy of "When will I get to be a mom."
I'm actually quite surprised with myself. Time does help heal the soul, and that's one thing I do know. Knowing that my journey through infertility and what not can help someone else, also makes it seem like it wasn't all for nothing. I have numerous friends that have come out of the woodwork when I post on FB that they are also struggling to get pregnant. They are scared, and feel so so alone. Just knowing that they have a friend out there to answer questions and provide support puts them more at ease.
When I was having difficulty breastfeeding, I read everything and anything that I could find. I joined support groups for breastfeeding, getting baby back to breast, and finally exclusively pumping when it turned into that. I learned proper techniques for pumping, how to choose the right size flanges, how to maximize production, how to properly store breastmilk, how long its good for, which types of pumps are best, how to pump and drive, what a tongue tie is, how to check for an upper lip tie, all sorts of things. I was pretty open about my struggles on FB and privately with friends. I now find myself getting messages from friends asking breastfeeding questions. I expected that these would cause me pain and bring up thoughts of what I deemed my own failure, but they aren't. Instead, I feel a sense of pride that I can share the information I have learned so that another mom won't have to go through what I did. Its taken me a long time to get to this sense of overall peace, but I finally have. The feelings I have about these topics will never completely go away, and I'm sure will resurface again if/when we TTC again, but for once they are not everything to me. Just being a regular mom is.
Happy Mother's Day to all of you that are already mothers, and those of you that long to be.