The Moment That Has Passed

When I found out that I was pregnant with Emma, the first thing I did was call my husband at work to let him know that the test I’d taken three days earlier was wrong.  The second thing I did was call my friend M.  She had been told by a handful of doctors that she would likely never conceive when the unexpected happened and her fertility treatments worked.  And then she miscarried.  And then she had a D & C.  And then she had complications from a D & C.  At the time I sat with her in her bedroom and stared at the wall-mounted TV, marveling at her trust that it wouldn’t crash to the floor and at her strength as she lied there in bed in excruciating pain thinking that she would likely never be a mom.

So when I saw the test was positive I rejoiced and then I called my friend so that she could get started recovering from yet another heartbreak as quickly as possible.

I don’t remember how many weeks it took, but she somehow came to terms with  my pregnancy.  We didn’t talk much about it.  Then several weeks later she conceived again and soon we were experiencing pregnancy at the same time, waiting for our girls to be born just months apart.

I continued to think about the other women in my life as I went through my pregnancies.  I watched in disbelief as pregnant women around me seemed able to eat anything and had boundless energy.  My experience could not have been more different.  I suffered quietly through my miscarriage with my childless friends around me, one eye on them and their pain, one eye on my healthy, happy, 18 month old daughter.  When I conceived again and found out at 15 weeks that I’d be having a boy, one of each, like neat little bookends on a perfect parenting shelf, I shared the news with caution to the friends around me struggling to conceive just one child.

I loved my life with my babies.  Noah was born in May and just weeks into his little life with us, big sister Emma decided she was done with diapers.  The three of us lived a reclusive life together in our cul-de-sac, a happy trio alone together for eleven hours each day.  Emma running around without bottoms, me rarely wearing more than shorts and a nursing tank, Noah in just a diaper, all fat rolls and milky mouth and smiles.  Our days were hour long breastfeeding jags and sidewalk chalk and board books that went on for miles.

It was bliss.  It was pure, sleepless, adrenaline-filled bliss.

The thing about babies is that they don’t stay babies for very long.  By the time Noah was turning two, I could feel the pull deep inside, the desire to have another baby.  I became restless.  I started a blog.  I brought my Mustang down from storage and raced around with the top down and the music blasting.  And still I could feel the stirring.  My friends around me began to announce third pregnancies, Emma began elementary school, my business thrived.  Some friends welcomed a fourth child, my kids spent 7 hours a day in classrooms, I wrote a book.

I turned 35.  Another friend announced her pregnancy.  And then another.  And another.

And each time I cried quietly to myself in stolen moments, alone.

The last time the tears flowed unfettered for thirty minutes before they were spent.

Three times we planned a pregnancy.  Three times we conceived immediately.  And as I watched the women around me in those exciting years of my still young life, I never dreamed that this body of mine that seemed to respond to my every whim would someday deny me my most intense longings.  I didn’t expect to be the woman receiving the gentle, thoughtful phone calls.  Yet here I am, once again staring into my children’s sparkling eyes and looking to the women around me to find strength.  One moment has passed and I need to live in the amazing moment in time that is now.

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  • I struggled with immense guilt after I announced that we were expecting when I learned of my friend’s fertility struggles. I remember her rubbing my belly asking for good luck. 3 months later, the IVF took and she was pregnant with twins!

  • I know this feeling all too well…. it is so hard to come to terms with the idea that you may have to give up your fertility- at almost 40 I know it is my end and of course I am so grateful for what I have but there is a small part of me who would have loved to have more kids.

  • It’s amazing how urgent those longings are. I have a 5 month old boy and I already feel the intense urge to have a sibling for him. My partner already has two boys and is reluctant to have another. I’m not sure how we’ll resolve this or even if I’ll be lucky enough to conceive again but I am trying to treasure every moment with my bubs in case they are the only baby months I have. Hugs to you.

  • I am so sorry. I know the feeling well. Take the time to grieve, my friend.

  • Peace and love to you in this season, friend. xoxo

  • When my son was 2 years I started dealing with these feelings. Just one more I whispered. But life hasn’t panned out the way I’d hoped. Now at almost 39 that whisper has become a shot but still I only have one. Like you say, sometimes we have to live in our current lives and whatever that means. We’ve been blessed with our current lot of motherhood happiness. Hope you feel better

  • It’s amazing how many women have had to deal with loss in one form or another…Me included. Hang in there mama!

  • Janet

    Amy, big hugs to you. I have bookends too (and also had a miscarriage). I’m older than you, but I remember all too well the thought of adding a third child to my family. I decided not to because I always told myself that I would have two children and no more due to my concern about the planet, natural resources, overpopulation, and so on. I made my decision and have lived with it. Still, there were times when I almost changed my mind. I’m human. 🙂

  • I read your post a couple of days ago, but didn’t know what to say. It made me sad and I just wanted to hug you and encourage you. I went to bed that night and prayed for the right words. I would like to encourage you to be thankful for, and cherish the children, husband, and home that you’ve been so blessed with. You are a strong, beautiful, intelligent, and successful woman and mom! And just think, the older your children get, the more expensive they get! Cars, insurance, college, and weddings. And it all passes so quickly. I know. My children are 29 and 20 years old right now! So while some of your friends are still dealing with all of those expenses, you may look back and realize how things have a way of working out. You and your husband will begin to enjoy a renewed “coupledom”! I appreciate your willingness to share and hope you are having better days! God bless!

  • It is so amazing what life has planned for us. I also experienced being able to get pregnant quickly and easily, I felt that i could not be too joyous about my pregnancies as a close friend went through terrible times trying to carry a baby full term.
    Not a easy task to deal with im afraid.
    I do love Annas response and she does have a point although only time will heal you my friend….But it will.
    Good luck

  • I only have one son as well and I’m only twenty six. It makes me angry sometimes when people pressure me about having another child because of how difficulty it is for me to conceive again (I am a diabetic). I cry sometimes too because I felt like my body was letting me down but I have learned to be thankful for what I have and that is my beautiful, healthy seven year old son, my husband, my home, and all of the many blessings that I have been blessed with because I know there are women I know that can’t carry a child. Thank you for this article!!