Tomorrow is my oldest son’s birthday. He will be 7. Though I try to keep things light in the Break Room generally (and, I’ll admit, gross lately with my funny cat-loving friend’s Kitty Litter Cake and weird bugs posts this week), today I feel the need to go down a different path. Since I will be busy like a crazed lunatic (more than usual) getting ready for the weekend, I thought I would write this post about my son a day early.
More than anything, I would love to show you a close-up picture of his handsome face and tell you his name. A name that his dad picked. For various reasons, I don’t divulge that here. The picture above is him at 4 and is sideways enough that I feel okay about putting it out here. Just know that my sweet 7-year-old has blonde hair, blue eyes, is taller than most kids his age, is thin and has had my heart in the palm of his hand since I found out he was mine.
I never thought I would have him.
Just tonight, a family friend of mine asked me to share the story of how my two sons came to be. Like most married couples, I never expected that it would take us a long time to conceive. I thought it would take one to two months, six months at the most, but that was not the case. As I recounted the details and doctor visits to her, tears streamed down my cheeks. Infertility can be so painful. So ugly. Such a lonely and misunderstood place to be. No one wants to be there.
During those dark days of my infertility struggles, I was bitter, angry, jealous, sad and defensive so much of the time. I went from a person with lots of hope to a person crashing down with defeat. There are songs that I remember listening to that brought me hope that still trigger tears when I hear them now, like Every Season by Nichole Nordeman.
Many have stories much more difficult than mine. Everything is relative. It took us 2 1/2 years to have our first son and 2 years to have our second. If I sat down right now and typed out our journey, you would be sitting in front of your computer until all of your hair and teeth fell out. So, I am not going go there. If you are struggling with infertility and want to know personal details, I would be happy to talk with you about it over an e-mail, in person or over the phone. I want to be here for you. I want to help your hair and teeth fall out.
Since I am celebrating the birth of my son on October 14, 2004, I want this post to be about him. I tell him all the time that the happiest day of my life was when I found out I was going to have him. Although there are many, many happy moments of my life, including many surrounding his dad and his brother, of course, the day I found out that I was actually going to have a baby was unbelievable.
I was at my very good friend’s house. I was talking to her and another dear friend of mine about the whole infertility thing. I was in tears that another month had gone down the drain. I knew I wasn’t pregnant that month, either. They kept asking me if I was sure to which I replied, “Of course, I’m sure.”
They still made me take a pregnancy test, which I thought was a complete waste of time.
I remember being in that little 1920’s bathroom with the black and white tile and white pedestal sink all by myself. That house has since been knocked down, but it will forever be a part of my memories. That bathroom will forever be associated with the complete elation combined with utter shock when I saw that there were two pink lines.
Two pink lines that were never meant for me.
But these were.
(Excuse me, y’all. I’m crying and sniffling over here. Give me a minute.)
Those two girls celebrated with me and their happiness for me touched my heart. We all got in the car, sped to Target and looked for baby things that I could take home to surprise my husband with that night.
Now, 7 years and 9 months later, I am celebrating my son’s birthday. When he gets sad, when he feels defeated, when he feels insecure, when he feels rejected, when he feels hurt…it crushes me. I want him to know that he is loved beyond what words can express. I want him to know that when I realized that a small budding human being was inside me, I loved him completely already.
I think sometimes I keep to the humorous and light-hearted as a way to keep my emotions in check and also because, well, I like to write about nonsense. While we were trying to have a child, I was working at M. D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. I worked with many, many children, some of which are no longer with us today. If I just THINK about those kids that I came to love and how they are no longer with their parents, if I just THINK about it, I lose it. I just lose it. I can’t imagine writing about serious stuff here in the Break Room. I would be an emotional wreck every day. Yes, for me, talking about five reasons Mister Roger’s stressed me out back in the day is definitely more my thing.
Still, because I know that life is short and nothing is guaranteed, I felt compelled to take a different turn today to honor the miracle that we feel our son is to us. Both of them. I want to make sure that not a day passes where my sons don’t realize how much they are loved and wanted. I know you feel the same way about the people you love in your life.
Sooooo….you’ll forgive me for getting all mushy and melancholy today, right?
(Happy birthday, little dude.)