If you've followed MaMe Musings for a while, you might have seen this post a time or two. It's one of my favorites, and I bet you can tell why. It also has special meaning for me today, as October 8 marks the day three years ago when my life changed forever, the day I found out I was really, positively, undeniably, sincerely, thoroughly, finally--pregnant.
This is a story that will take the rest of October’s blog posts to tell. How appropriate, considering that this is a story that has a connection to the month of October at every turn.
One of my reasons for starting this blog was to record all the smaller stories that connect to the larger, most important story of my life—the story of me being a mom. The challenge, sometimes, is how to narrate a story in a way that is true (at least in my eyes), in a way that honors my love for family, and finally, in a way that passes along some important life lessons to my children.
So bear with me as I weave together a series of seemingly unrelated events that bring us to where we are today.
In my other life, I decided I wanted a baby. Of course, that’s all it takes, right? I had a husband, a job, an education, a house. Add one baby, and I’d be well on my way to having my 2.5 kids by age 30. If we hurried, we could also add the white picket fence.
Instead, I learned that life doesn’t always operate according to my plans. Sometimes things get in the way. First, infertility. Then, infidelity. Enter incredulity.
This month, nine Octobers ago, my other life ended. Suddenly, I no longer had a husband. I changed jobs, finished another degree, and built a new house. Add a new attitude, and I was well on my way to finding out who Melissa was supposed to be. I traveled. I worked on my career. I spent some time alone and some time with people who helped me learn new things about me.
Five years ago, again around this same time of year, I met Marty. Something tells me he wouldn’t have recognized me from my other life. Truth is, I have a hard time recognizing that me.
When we got married, we both decided we wanted a baby. Of course, I now knew it takes a little more than a decision. But, this time, I had better ingredients. I had the right husband, a job that knows its place, an education in the school of hard knocks, and a house built on truth. Add one baby, and we’d be blessed. Add no babies, and we’d still be blessed. If we loved each other, talked to each other, and tried to understand one another, we could make it through this life together without building the fences that keep so many people apart--babies or no babies.
In this life, when, once again, getting pregnant wasn’t as easy as deciding on what color to paint the nursery, the story took a different turn. Infertility didn’t hurt any less the second time around, but having someone who was an honest partner in the process made all the difference. Marty held my hand after surgery, gave me shots in the tummy, and went along with my crazy diet, my acupuncture visits, and our daily vitamin regimen.
He was also there one year ago this week when we huddled together in the bathroom to read a pregnancy test that finally said YES.
That morning is another story that will get its own blog post--another story that ties into my baby story that started many Octobers ago.
When I think about the lessons in this story for Emily and Drew, I get choked up. I just don’t want to imagine my babies hurting. But, the truth is, one day, they both will learn that life doesn’t operate according to their plans. They will get their hearts broken at least once by someone who breaks a promise.They will face disappointment. They will one day believe that life will never be right again. They will find an old life passing away, only to give way to a new, different life.
What I want them to learn from this story is that God’s plans are always better than ours. Sometimes we have to give up what we think is best and trust that where we are, is where we are meant to be. Hearts break. People disappoint. Plans change. Dark, however, eventually gives way to light as long as we keep moving. When they doubt, they only have to look at each other. After all, they are living proof that God can take your prayers for one gift and give you two.