Marty and I first discussed starting a family over chips and queso and cold beer at Chili’s. I blurted out, “I think I want to have a baby,” and I don’t even remember if he looked up from his beer. He pretty much only nodded and said ok, and we stopped at Walgreens on our way home to pick up prenatal vitamins. I was pregnant by month 2. Month 2, ya’ll. We had been married all of what felt like 5 minutes, we were pregnant, and Marty was straight up like WTF did I just agree to here (but that’s a song for another time).
My Cammie was a hard baby. SO FREAKING HARD. Like cried for hours and hours and hours and couldn’t eat anything without being sick which required special doctors and medicines and formula that cost more money than we had and vacuum cleaners or hair dryers or things that made all the loud noises to be on at ALL times. Maybe this is why my freaking ears still ring every moment of my life. Anyway, we vowed we were done with the having of the babies because no f-ing thank you, that’s why. We valued our sanity too much. And quite frankly, I don’t think either of us thought we could survive another bout of colic. But the thing is that she got older, and she turned into the happiest smiliest most beautiful kid you’ve ever seen. She felt like the sunshine to me. So we forgot all about the hard stuff and decided we wanted her to have a sibling.
The problem was that my body just didn’t want to cooperate this time. After months and months of failure, I started to feel frustrated. I can’t even tell you how many times I was poked and prodded and had dyes and liquids and all kinds of crap shoved into my body while standing on my head and singing Jesus Loves Me. Ok, not all of that is true, but the truth is that it felt like a circus act. I felt like a total shit show grasping at any and every straw that would lead to a baby.
It is almost impossible to comprehend the pain infertility brings unless you have lived it. The dark cloud of failure that looms over you. The way you stare at your body naked and are convinced something is wrong with you… that God made you to carry babies….this is what women do. But not you. Because you are broken. Because maybe karma is catching up to you and you’re being punished for life choices. Or maybe God is telling you that you don’t deserve a baby. That your husband deserves better. I know now that none of this is true, but I also know that with every fiber of my being, I felt broken. And nothing anyone could have said would fix that.
I think you get the jest that this was a dark time for me. I was pumped full of hormones and sobbed on the daily – so much so that my sister often had to keep Camden because I couldn’t function. I couldn’t stop and enjoy what I had because I could not see past the desperate wanting. I couldn’t process my emotions in a rational way. And it was during this time that I went to pick up my little sunshine from preschool and ran into another mom who asked how I was doing and if I was ok. When I questioned what she meant, she said, “Well, when I got here to pick up Avery yesterday, Cam told me her mom’s business is broken.” And I couldn’t even be mad at her because my business WAS broken. And because how the hell did she come up with calling it my business anyway? This conversation was embarrassing, but it was also a gift. Because in humor there is always healing. At least in my life…
I won’t go through all of the things that happened next because they are painful and probably a story for another day. Instead, I will say that since the second Carsyn was born, I cannot imagine how different all of our lives would be now if I had decided that my life was full enough without her. She is almost 10 now, and still…every time I look at her (even when she is a total pain in the ass), I remember that sometimes the most beautiful gifts come from both pain and perseverance. And that I am a total bad ass, even in my brokenness. Because I may cry and hide away from reality and struggle to pick myself up, but somehow I always do.
So you know what? Your business might be broken, too. But that doesn’t mean your story is finished. Dust that shit off because you never know what God has in store. XO. M