Focusing on what is

We got together with the vegan MeetUp group tonight and the “vegan baby” was show stopper yet again. While the Little Guy and I were stilling with one of the event organizers, she asked me if my husband and I wanted more children. The question is coming more and more as our son grows. “We can’t,” I told her, “Because of my injury, we can’t. But we’re so luck to have this one.”

We had planned on one child before I ever got pregnant. We knew we wanted to be parents but didn’t want to have more children than we could provide for. But the option was there if we changed our minds. When I had surgery to repair my diastasis symphysis pubis, for all practical purposes we lost our option of having more children. The innocent comment at the MeetUp, on a day when I wasn’t feeling that emotionally sound, pulled at my heartstrings. Then read something that rooted me back in reality.

I found this woman’s post, pondering whether she could make it as a full-time blogger, in a BlogHer e-newsletter. I read it during some downtime/procrastination and it made me curious about her story. (All bloggers have ‘a story’ right?)

This woman’s story is powerful. She and her husband endured the losses of seven children through miscarriage in five years. They recently welcomed a son through domestic adoption. I don’t know them. I may never meet them. But I feel like we have something in common. We want to take the pain we’ve endured and create something to help make the road just a little easier for someone else.

Thank you, Erin, for sharing your story. While you are a mother of seven and a parent to a child meant for you but born of another, I will only experience one pregnancy. Part of me is mourning the loss of what cannot be. While our stories are different in so many ways, finding your blog helped me, too. We both are working through PTSD, negative feelings toward our bodies that let us down and more. Your writing is powerful. Your story is meaningful and if you have the means to take the plunge and blog full-time and be home with your son, DO IT!

I read just a few posts on Will-CarryOn today, but I cried tears of sadness and tears of joy for Erin and her husband. The posts brought me back to my earliest days at home with my son. I remember feeling like every single thing I did was the hardest thing I’d ever done but at the same time being so amazingly grateful that I was holding my son, breastfeeding my son, comforting my son. Knowing that he was alright — and fighting to make sure he was while his bilirubin was so high — was what kept me going in those earliest weeks. I couldn’t crumble because he was counting on me and his Daddy.

Everyone’s journey is difficult. Some will rip your guts out. Some will make you sob, push you to your limits and make you want to throw in the towel. Some will keep you from moving, thinking or feeling. But no matter what life takes from you, everyone has something to give. Erin gave me the gift of remembering how lucky I felt even in those incredibly painful seven months before surgery to repair my separated pelvis.

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Today, my son is 19 months old. He’s learning new words everyday. He’s getting better at his shape-sorter and nesting blocks and starting to kick a ball. He loves to be read to, to lay his head on the cat, to carry around his airplane and make flying noises. He loves to sing “row, row, row” (then I take over because he can’t say “gently down the stream”). He loves broccoli, prefers water more than milk, likes to brush his teeth (We know, we’re really lucky!) and is startled by loud noises.

He was — and is — worth every single painful step, every sponge bath when I couldn’t stand, every moment of self-loathing. He is so much of the reason I am still fighting to be in the shape I want to be for my family and so much of the reason that I want to help other moms and families. Everyone should get to play on the floor with their child, as I now can.

Through it all I have been incredibly lucky.

* To those of you hoping for pictures of me dancing at the wedding, they are coming. It was wonderful and I will write about it very soon.

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