And what of those babies?
And what of those lovely couples having the babies that I just couldn't bring myself to hate, even though they were embodying everything that brought me pain?
I felt so torn about those babies, about those couples. Some couples were easy to dismiss using a mental short cut that allowed me to reduce their existence to "fertiles" instead of "people". I could do that with people I didn't know well, and it helped me be such a crass reductionist. I didn't have the energy to see them as people. I know I am capable of more, but I also know I was hurting. And then there were couples or women with whom I was close, and in that lied the true learning for me. I couldn't dismiss them: they were dear to me and in order to continue those friendships, I had to dig a little deeper. I couldn't always do that, but I am glad I made the decision to try.
But the babies, even though I ignored a lot of them, the babies got to me. What had they done? They didn't ask to be born. But here they were, and they deserved and were celebrated by everyone. And it killed me a little to not be able to fully celebrate their births. I understood why and I cut myself some slack about it (since, you know, the newborns wouldn't be aware of my less-than-whole excitement about their births). But it still killed me a little inside.
I didn't know if having a baby would change that for me. I hoped it would, but I wasn't counting on it. But oh my, it DID change in such a big way.
There were a few babies born around the time of gummy's birth or shortly thereafter. I noticed the contrast right away. It thrilled me to receive the birth announcements. THRILLED ME. I am so surprised by it and so incredibly delighted. It's like trying out a new food you're sure you will hate, and you taste it and it's the most delicious thing you've had. ever.
It hit me last week, when I went for a walk with another Augusta. She and I know each other through Mr. A, but not very well at all. We were in the same prenatal yoga class in the fall, and were always friendly towards each other. On one of the many monitoring visits to the hospitals in the 2 weeks before gummy's birth, we met her and her husband in triage. She was coming in to be induced. We were being sent home to wait a little longer for our induction. I couldn't stop thinking of her for those days after we saw them.
Augusta and I (she goes by Augie and I go by 'Gusta) connected over email and went for a walk together last week. It was a glorious spring day, and it was a wonderful walk. I enjoyed her company so very much. The line between fertile and infertile didn't matter as much. We were both new mothers, walking our darling girls in their strollers on a spring day. Her sweet girl is so beautiful (and in an uncanny way, she and gummy look like twins). As we walked, we saw a patch of snow drops with some purple crocuses amidst them. We stopped to admire the flowers and let their beauty, and that of the day and our new motherhood fill our hearts.
Then, the other Augusta said: "It's like the flowers are celebrating our babies' birth."
And I couldn't agree more.*
|borrowed from www.puddle-cottage.co.uk|
*And I am so relieved that my heart is showing signs of not being completely embittered by the experience of infertility.