So, though I have thought about this often, I've yet to post about it.
Where does your infertility go once you have a baby? Does its bitterness continue to hover over you? Does it sit across the room from you, staring at you while your little one dozes on your chest? Or does it simply disappear?
For me, it was none of these. And I know this may sound cliche or overly dramatic, but I swear, I had an infertile-to-mommy transitional moment.
During Ben's first few days at home, I was grappling with my infertility. What do I do with this huge part of my identity that I've been carrying around for so long? What happens when the hand that has only known alcohol swabs and needles now is grasped by tiny yet perfect fingers? What happens once the infertile is a mommy?
And then one day, it was only Ben's third or fourth day home with me, I was standing over his swing, staring at him contently swaying. He was the most amazing creature I had ever seen and I couldn't believe he was mine. I could keep him. Nobody (the fertility police?) was going to show up and say there was a mix up and that I hadn't actually been pregnant. At least I was pretty sure that wouldn't happen. Half my brain knew that wouldn't happen but the other half still thought it was a pretty strong possibility.
I've spoken before about how my infertility, or Hannah, seemed to always be hovering over my shoulder, invading my brief moments of peace. I never felt completely alone to fully relax and let my guard down. Napping, studying, hot showers, private moments with my husband. They were all invaded by her presence. And now, standing there admiring my tiny son, this exquisite little being, I felt her there, literally just over my left shoulder and I again pondered how I'm supposed to reconcile these two very different pieces of this new me: infertile and mommy.
And then she stepped back. Into the shadows of my subconscious. She stepped back. And as she did, she whispered softly that though she wasn't going anywhere, she would let me just be a mommy for now.
I can't even begin to fully explain this moment. I physically felt her step into the background of my mind. It was strange. And powerful. And finally, after a long and difficult journey.....peaceful.