I know what you're thinking... "Did she just say she's THANKFUL for her infertility?" As little as two years ago, the word "thankful" would have never come out of my mouth in regards to my infertility. Today, however, it is a message that rings true to my core.
I couldn't possibly tell you how deeply I feel the following desires-
- To experience pregnancy. Seeing my belly grow, suffering through whatever terrible pregnancy symptoms that reassure me that I am so blessed to be growing a tiny human inside of me.
- To create life with the person I love most in this world.
- To experience being a mother and falling so far in love with this tiny human that I created out of pure love with my significant other.
- To hear the sounds of toddler footsteps on the hardwood floors. Pitter-pattering through the house. To hear their giggles when they've been attacked with kisses and snuggles from mama or daddy.
- To spend my days raising children and letting them know just how absolutely wonderful they are and what a gift to the world they are. For my life's purpose to be just that.
- To know what it feels like to have a baby with somebody I love. The incomparable bond that forms between two people when they decide that they want to create life together. The incomparable bond that comes with seeing the love of your life become a father or a mother.
I could go on for days and days writing this list. The list of dreams unfulfilled, the list of dreams that accompany motherhood that may never be fulfilled for me. There is nothing I can do or say that would make you feel the impact of just how much I want all of those things and more in my life.
And yet, aside from all of these desires, I've found a way to make my life full of purpose and joy. Because as much as I wish I were a mother- could be a mother- will be a mother; it's not happening right now or anytime in the foreseeable future. Take away a person's deepest calling and what are you left with? You're left with a blank slate. An empty space, full of potential and possibilities. An empty space to fill up with whatever you want, if you only let yourself see beyond the vast emptiness and loneliness that currently resides there and focus on what your life can look like.
So here's the things I appreciate, the chances I've taken, the passions I've pursued, the things I'm counting as blessings because of my infertility-
- Because of my infertility, I am not a single mom. As a (happily) divorced gal, I would probably be a single mom right now if we had been able to conceive during our marriage. And if I weren't a single mom, I would probably be a much less happy, less fulfilled person living in a marriage that wasn't right for either of us, simply because we did have a child together.
- Because of my infertility, I get to move across the country whenever I want. I can pick up my life and my possessions and take them wherever I desire to go. I don't have to take another person's life into account when making decisions like this. I'm able to go when I want to with much less worry about finances and other factors. And I've taken advantage of that. I've moved across the country several times and have lived in 4 different states.
- Because of my infertility I get to sleep in. Seriously, this is probably one of the things I love most in life.
- Because of my infertility, I have had the money and time to pursue creative passions. My photography business, Project Life, scrapbooking, blogging, etc.... all things I didn't explore before I started looking at my childless blank slate.
- Because of my infertility, I don't have to worry about the future as much. I can choose to indulge myself. I can go on vacations to see my family. I can invest in things I love. Because my money and my time is mine to spend.
- Because of my infertility, I am with the love of my life. And he's pretty darn awesome.
- Because of my infertility, I have had time to grow up. I have had time to become less selfish and more intentional about how I live and what I want in life.
- Because of my infertility, I have met the kindest women in the IF community. These women have a strength that radiates from within, because of their struggles. These women are some of the most amazing women I have ever known.
- Because of my infertility, I am brave. I am brave enough to create a life that doesn't involve being a mother like I had planned and wanted. And brave enough to always keep some hope alive that one day, one day I will have a baby.
- Because of my infertility, I know who I am. And I know who I am capable of being. I know how much potential I have and I am doing amazing things with my potential. I am chasing new dreams.
- Because of my infertility, I don't take my health for granted. I understand that my body doesn't have to do anything for me. And the fact that it does so much for me and serves as a safe place for my soul is amazing.
- Because of my infertility, I found God. First, I lost him. Then I came to know, love and trust him in a blind way that requires so much more faith than I ever had before.
When I take the time to count my blessings, and to count all of the amazing things that have happened in my life because of my infertility, I am so thankful. Thankful for my story. Thankful for my struggle. Thankful for my life, however infertile it may be.
And while I would trade all of these things and a thousand more in order to be a mother, I am thankful for the life I have. However childless it is, it's an amazing life because I've decided that's what it's going to be, baby or not.
PS. Many thanks to PoeticEdge Photography for these gorgeous new photos!