Do you ever have moments where you notice how sometimes the life situations that challenge you the most have somehow also taught you valuable lessons as well? I’m unsure whether it’s more a matter of self-preservation than it is the reality of my situation, but this is something that I’ve been reflecting on a lot these past few weeks. As hard as it’s been, I’ve come to recognize an undeniable truth – that my struggle to have a baby is indirectly moulding me into a better version of the mother I hope to be.
Everything that I’ve been through and the life lessons it’s taught me along the way have helped me develop and grow in a way that I probably wouldn’t have otherwise. I am a completely different person now to who I was when I started this journey more than seven years ago. It’s taken me a while to own how I’ve grown through the challenges and the never-ending twists and turns. I’ve gathered knowledge, expanded my understanding of various things, strengthened my relationship with my husband and deepened my connection with myself. I have so much more clarity and purpose now than I could ever have imagined having back then. Trying to conceive and pregnancy loss have broken me down and taken me to the lowest places, but these experiences have also forced me to rebuild my sense of self again. As a result, I’ve discovered so much about myself. I’ve learnt the true magnitude of my personal strength and I witnessed my own resilience when I survived what I didn’t think I could. In many ways, I’ve learnt how to be a ‘mother’ or a nurturer to myself too, practicing self-care and cultivating self-worth, things that my past-self neglected. I am stronger in character, so much more grounded and sure of myself now than I was in the past. In addition, managing polycystic-ovarian syndrome (PCOS) has also forced me to become a proactive role player in improving my health, wellbeing and my fertility. Doing so taught me how to empower myself and not leave my destiny in someone else’s hands.
Granted, there are many days where it feels like I am stuck in an eternal waiting room. However, frustrating as it may be, I can’t deny that this waiting room has also given me the time to not only grow, mature and learn, but also to prepare to be a parent. This metaphorical waiting room has been a place of healing where I’ve had space to work on my hang-ups and release the burden of emotional baggage. I often hear people expressing their fears around repeating the mistakes of the past or projecting the unresolved emotional or childhood wounds onto the children they are raising. Whenever that comes up in conversation, I realise that I can use this period of my life where I am still trying to have a baby and am patiently waiting to invite a child into our lives as an opportunity to examine how my approach to parenting will take shape. I find myself putting more and more thought into what I want to offer my future children as their parent and how I will be a reliable source of love and security for them.
It isn’t really about trying to mould myself into an absolutely perfect parent, because at the end of the day we are all human and I don’t believe there is such a thing. But I am starting to view it as a chance to reframe my perception of my situation and acknowledge that I can make the most of the time I’ve been given despite the longing and periodic heartache. I’m finding ways to make peace with what is, create stability and to further cement the solid foundation that I wish to build my family on. I take comfort in knowing that I get to share this version of myself with my children, along with the important lessons and insights that I’ve gained too, things that I hope will add great value to their lives. I hope that I get to do so someday soon.
Infertility is a tough road. Regardless of the challenges, how has the experience led you to evolve, grow and shift your priorities or perceptions? When you think of the future, what kind of parent do you wish to be? As you examine this, I hope that you are able to uncover some nuggets of gold in the midst of the coal. Always bear in mind that you’re doing the best that you can and growing because of it. Your future child is so lucky to have you as their parent.
This post is also available in: Arabic