Yesterday, Momo went in the pool for the first time. I put her in a silly little bathing suit that made her look like a 1940's wrestler and she kicked around just a little uncertain. She's growing so quickly, she blows my mind every day. I have these moments where I look at her and can't imagine my life without her. I look at her and remember the picture of her as an embryo. I look at her and am amazed at how much she looks like me when I was a baby. The journey to find her seems like another lifetime ago and yet finally having a baby doesn't feel like a cure for infertility. My friend Candace said that after adopting her son after 9 rounds of IVF. She was right.
Noah and I are in a new chapter for sure, but figuring out the first three months of parenthood while trying to wash away four years of infertility has it's own challenges. It been hard for me to completely put my finger on this unsettled feeling I sometimes get. Is it just anxiety about doing the "right" thing for Momo? Is it realizing how much Noah and I have gone through to get to this point only to have moments of feeling pretty disconnected? Is it the expectation that every moment of having a baby should be complete bliss and yet there are times when it's just exhausting and hard? Is it knowing we will have to continue talking about IF--telling Momo her story, planning when to go after that second embryo-- there's just more stuff. More feelings. But not a lot of time to process them.
The years on IF Island have given me a specific perspective. I know how lucky I am to have Momo. But the experience has also made me a little hardened. You don't miraculously forget the journey just because you're on a new one. And maybe that's ok. The journey is part of who I am now, and the lessons of patience and going with what is can be applied to being a new mom.
Sometimes I wonder how different I would be had we gotten pregnant easily. I would have a five year old, and maybe a second kid, and I'd be totally oblivious to a world that millions of people belong to. I'm proud to belong to the IF community because I feel like we are all a bunch of fighters, and I know the process has made me stronger.
The saying "this too shall pass" is really true, and it was my mantra for a long time. Things do pass, but that doesn't mean they disappear. Experiences become part of who we are and that can be a good thing.