Recently had a playdate with a girlfriend who has 11 month triplets and a baby. It’s been a fair while since we’ve had a chance to talk, and this is my first time seeing the baby. We were talking about early parenting things and labor and delivery and she was telling me how she handled early postpartum care and early childbirth care while in the hospital and how it differed for each pregnancy.
I said that I had a hard time being separated from my little one; after seven years of trying, including miscarriages, I never wanted her out of my sight and barely out of my arms. They wanted to keep her in the creche under the heat lamps, and I allowed it, for brief periods, but in general, if she needed warming, I offered to skin-to-skin to warm her with my body heat.
She was quiet a long moment and then said, “I never thought….you know, people tell me all the time, how difficult it must be to have so many little ones, and it is, but….I forget how blessed I am. And just, how lucky.”
Yes. Yes and yes. and a thousand times yes.
I replied, “Everything has it’s advantages and disadvantages. No life is ever perfect and sometimes all we can do is try to be our best selves and appreciate what everyone else is going through as well.”
But I admit, I’m feeling relieved that, even if it was just for a moment, in that moment, she understood how difficult infertility is and how much infertility changes your perspective on parenting.
Writing this post has actually triggered another realization for me. We’ve fielded lots of questions about date nights and making time for us as a couple before, and I never realized why it doesn’t bother me that we don’t do that. (although it does annoy me that people always ask about it, like its their business) I’m realizing that like those moments in hospital, we had many long periods of time without our baby. We, as a couple, had many long years of being a couple and doing dates nights and couple time. Now is our time to be a family for awhile. And so far, it hadn’t gotten old. People ask us for babysitter recommendations, but we don’t use babysitters. We just take the little one with us when we go places. And we’re grateful to be able to do that. It’s hard to articulate that to people when they ask. And most of them don’t get it, because they’re so damn grateful to be away from their kids. And I know that not all infertile couples feel the same way we do about it, nor should they be required to, but I know, for us, being with our child makes everything better. It makes us feel more complete. And maybe that is because we waited so much longer and worked so much harder to be able to do that.