Today I spent most of my morning with Mrs L, someone who more and more is becoming one of my favourite people in the world, and the person who gets me more than anyone else but my darling Earl.
Mrs L and I shared the infertility journey for many years before she was blessed with her beautiful little boy.
But in our conversation today I realised that despite her beautiful blessing, infertility is not a journey that you suddenly stop when the baby comes.
This is something that comes out regularly in infertility blogs. But sitting there talking I think it hit me more and more that once you've had your eyes opened by infertility, you will always see the world differently.
Things she observed since having her baby:
-That the moment she had her baby alot of people in our circle who never gave her the time of day suddenly became keen to connect. This was something she resented, that people treated babies as an openning into an exclusive club.
-That now everyone always wants to talk about their kids and nothing else. She longs for a conversation about something deeper, but it's all about nappies and breast milk.
-I observed that I felt "left behind". She said that hasn't gone away, as even though she has a child they are all moving onto number two or toilet-training and she is still behind.
-That she thanks God everyday for her precious son, but her friends don't seem to share that same sense of being blessed
-That the people around her still think they can plan their lives, whereas she knows that this is not how things work.
I sometimes imagine my life without infertility. Me, in my world, but with a 3 year old and maybe a one year old too. And I look jealously at THAT version of me for a moment, and I wish I was her.
But do I?
I definately miss and long for all those little embryos that could have been our living children. And I do morn the dreams of a big family which slip away as each year passes. And I still occasionally ask God to take me back in time and give me Thumper, because I miss him so much.
But I don't regret my open eyes. I don't regret the lessons I've learnt and the strength that God has somehow provided through all the horribleness. I don't enjoy my life, but I am a better friend, a better wife, and better person because of it. I have a perspective that I value, hard-come-by though it was.
One day, I pray and hope that God will give me my little miricle. And God-willing, I will parent that child with open eyes.