A few days after receiving the call that our embryo transfer was successful and Ross was on the way, I remember sitting at a stoplight on the way home from Target and thinking about how beautiful the world was. It was such a strange thought to have, not just because I happened to be surrounded by industrial buildings and ugly roadways, but because it made me realize how long it had been since I’d felt that way.
Sharing my thoughts here over the last 3 1/2 years has meant attempting to describe some of the most thrilling highs and the most devastating lows I’ve ever experienced. There have been hours, days, weeks, even months at a time that I’ve sat staring at the same computer screen, trying to fit words together like pieces in a puzzle, hoping to convey a thought, a look, a feeling to someone else behind another screen.
Of course, the experiences I most want to share are often the ones I find the hardest to get right. So when someone asked me what it felt like to finally get the call we’d been waiting for, I hesitated at first. My world had gone dark sometime in 2012. It didn’t happen all at once, but eventually I struggled to find even a splinter of light in the darkness. In the following years as my health drained away in tandem with my hope, I felt my body and mind become consumed by the pain. Climbing back towards the light was an uphill battle that required every ounce of strength I possessed and then some; it’s a battle I am still fighting to this day. As I searched for a reply that might somehow bring justice to that struggle, I remembered the moment at the stoplight, seeing all the same things I’d been seeing– just differently.
“It was like having the scales fall from my eyes,” I answered.
Two years ago today, when Ross was born and placed against my chest for the first time, again I fumbled for the words to bring to life the feeling of being reunited with him after so much separation and loss. This was a far more intense experience even than being on the other end of the phone call that changed our lives, and it beggared description. It was only much later that I could come close to relating it: that as I watched him take his first gasps of air, it felt as if I’d begun to breathe again too.
You know how there are those times that you look back on and realize were golden? Not that there weren’t bad days or difficulties, but that overall you were just happy. Rarely are you aware of it in the moment; it simply feels as though life will always go on feeling this way. It’s only when that time has passed and life has changed again that you can truly see it for what it was. This time, right now, is golden for me. Of course, we are not without our struggles, some of which are significant, but I know that all my life I will look back on these years and see the way that happiness settled over them.
I’ve heard people say that being a mom is the hardest thing you’ll ever do, but I can’t relate to that sentiment. There is just so much light in motherhood that it far outweighs any darkness. This experience– with all its colic and sleep deprivation and sacrifice– is far easier than the life I lived before it. I have laughed and smiled more than I have in a very long time, and everything around me feels new again. I love sharing the world with Ross and witnessing again the magic of childhood, this time through his eyes. My only complaint is that the moments slip by far too quickly.
Last year for his first birthday, I put together a video with clips from throughout the year. I wasn’t planning to do it again this year, but when I heard this song I knew it was too perfect not to use.
And here is last year’s video in case you missed it:
Happy 2nd Birthday, Sweet Pea!