Thursday, April 2, 2009

They Are Enough: Looking Back From Twinfertility To Infertility

Now that I'm four years-plus into motherhood, and five past the infertility that bogged me from my late thirties to age 40, I sometimes forget what that desperation to have a kid was like. I think this near-amnesia is the mind's way of protecting the heart, and helping it move on.

Now my problems are of an utterly different sort, and most of the time, I am oblivious to the fact that they are problems I'm lucky to have. These days, the problems are garden-variety kidstuff. I've got a son who can't wind down at night, and keeps wandering out of the bedroom, or tossing and turning in bed if I deign to stay in the room with him; he doesn't get enough sleep, often wakes up cranky, yet can't seem to give up his nap at school, the one thing that might make him tired enough to nod off at a reasonable bedtime. I've got a daughter who must, simply must, have things her way, on her schedule, of her choosing. And I'm nearly unable to buy a pair of pants that fit, even though I weigh about 112 pounds naked, and the problem ain't fat: it's the re-arranging of my belly's shape from a twin pregnancy that no amount of exercise or anything short of surgery will make go away. (Suffice it to say those low-rise pants will never be for me. When someone as thin as I am still gets a muffin top protruding over a pair of pants, those pants are JUST WRONG!).

Five years ago, I was suffering through multiple miscarriages.
I was subjecting my body to monthly ovulation tests, ovulation-inducing hormones, and various medical test and procedures, including more peeing into a cup than one should have to do in a lifetime. This is why I reminded myself this morning, when Thing 1 awakened us at five-thirty with a fully loaded pull-up diaper and soaked bedsheets, that I am nevertheless quite lucky. (Luckier than dad, who got up and dealt with the diaper.)

It's so easy to forget, amidst my crankier motherhood moments, that I might have not gotten here at all. I might be sweating out some adoption application, waiting for a call from someone half a world away with news of a kid who needed a home and who might just become mine if all the stars aligned. I might be childless and still grieving over not replenishing the family tree that suffered a lightning strike when my parents died five months apart in a single year. I might be still trying to conceive. I might have given up.

I'm so glad I'm not going through any of those things. But my heart goes out to anyone who is. The infuriating thing about infertility is that, much like your dating life, you never know if ... and when ... it's going to end.

Today, when I sat in a synagogue full of preschoolers and parents singing "Dayenu," the Passover song that repeats and repeats the word "Enough" in Hebrew, I thought yes, it's enough. I got two kids when I thought I'd be lucky to have one at all.

So the pants thing is annoying. And so, at times, are the kids. But they are the new leaves on my family tree, and so for today, I'll stop complaining, remember when they weren't here but the longing for them was, and say, Dayenu. They are enough.

No comments: