photo by Abbie Mellé
Each night, as the world outside our window bustles in manic urgency, I sit reading to a little boy.
We rock and sing and let our imaginations meander into the starlit night. We talk about shapes and ducks and the oh-so-hard-to-grasp concept of sharing. We say our prayers, kiss dad goodnight, and then huddle close until little toddler snores beckon their way to their bed.
And sometimes, when Judah’s eyes begin to flutter shut, I’ll whisper a hearty, “thank you” up to the Heavens and sigh in relief for the gratitude I feel. Because right there in that rocking chair, surrounded by the dark of the night, I’ll remember the light.
I’ll remember the quiet sobs into my pillow and the void that gripped my heart. I’ll remember the absurd fertility diets and the daily blood draws. I’ll remember the surgery and the ultrasounds and the pain. But mostly, I’ll remember the gift it all left in its wake.
Infertility is a nasty little war filled with worry and shame and heartache. It will rob you of your lifelong dreams and leave an emptiness so grand that you begin to forget that you ever felt whole at all. It consumes you, really — the darkness.
Because it’s always there in that monthly reminder that you are never quite enough. It is always there to make you question your body and doubt your hopeful heart.
I could not have known then what that darkness was teaching me. I couldn’t have seen the light amidst the shadowy abyss infertility left me flailing in.
But I see it now. I see it in our morning batch of pancakes and our daily evening reads. I see it in the midnight wake-up calls and the early morning pre-coffee fog. I see it in the grocery shopping trips and the regular diaper explosions.
Because when it comes right down to it, the darkness was a gift that now illuminates those difficult and mundane parts of motherhood.
In a strange way, I’m thankful for it all. I look back on years of tears with so much joy in my heart now. Because those tears, they taught me to fight. They taught me to wade through the darkness with hope in my heart even when the light was absent.
But mostly, those tears, they taught me gratitude. Because when you’ve had to really fight for something, you appreciate the small, commonplace parts of that hard-won thing.
When it comes right down to it, the darkness was a gift that now illuminates those difficult and mundane parts of motherhood.
Infertility filled this heart of mine with so many things for so long — doubt, bitterness, anguish. But now: now it fills my heart with something so completely different. Gratitude.
Because somewhere deep in the ache and the tears was an unforeseen gift — the gift of turning the ordinary into the extraordinary.
And so, as the world outside hums its frenzied song, I am here, doing the menial task of rocking my baby into the quiet of the night.
And it is nothing short of magic.
Somewhere deep in the ache and the tears was an unforeseen gift — the gift of turning the ordinary into the extraordinary.
So, to the one in the midst of the blood draws and the recurrent negative tests and the heartache, hold on. Your story isn’t finished yet. There is magic to behold even in this wait. Let it fill your heart with light.