Milestones

It’s wonderful when you see a family celebrating their child’s ‘firsts.’ First day of school… first day of kindy… beautiful milestones that can be shared with the world so friends and family can witness their little happy or not so happy expressions as they stand at the threshold of a grand new adventure.

It’s kind of devastating that in the midst of all that beauty I can’t help but think about the milestones that my child will never meet. I also consider the hearts of other parents out there without their child in their arms.

We can hardly stand by and complain about the good fortune of others. That’s ridiculous. It’s more of an acknowledgement that not everyone is as incredibly fortunate when it comes to procreation.

As far as we are aware it’s supposed to go like this: You finally find a person who you could possibly see yourself tolerating for at least a few good years, marry them or not, no one cares these days and start making little babes. Before you know it, like magic, there’s a brood and seconds later it’s time to worry about uniforms and shoes and back-packs and fascinating Disney paraphernalia like lunch boxes and pencil cases.

It’s hard to fathom in a world that celebrates the contemporary family, no matter what that consists of and let’s face it all combinations are awesome, that there exists a large group of women and men who are desperately trying to fit the common and lovely desirable picture. Those who have fought tooth and nail to try and gain what everyone else seems to so simply and joyfully create.

The gift of bringing a child into the world is delivered so lovingly and rightfully to so many,  but it frustratingly evades more than you would know.

Some may have had gone through a pregnancy only to have their baby or babies die in their arms. Their infant may have been born motionless, premature or with a critical illness. The horrifying list is exhaustive. Some may have tried for years and years and spent countless amounts of dollars trying to achieve their dream.

They could have subjected their bodies to any number of tortuous fertility procedures just in the hope that they too might hold a tiny replica of themselves or of anyone really. They know all too well that the game of life is not just about chance. They better than anyone know that it’s a damned miracle if everything actually lines up and a healthy, living child is delivered to them to be loved and cherished.

Everyone has their trials and tribulations and no one gets through this life without overcoming significant trauma, but I just want to acknowledge those who haven’t been as fortunate when it comes to having a child.

I know that there always seems like hope when celebrities fall pregnant in their 40’s. That’s quite comforting to the fertile community because for them it certainly confirms their own beliefs. Armed with this impressive piece of information they store it up and are ready to break it out to console a complete stranger or friend who may mistakenly decide to confide in them that they are struggling to make a family.

Let me help out with this one. Don’t ever bring up celebrity pregnancy if a friend decides to tell you they are having trouble conceiving. Do you know how insulting it is to be healthy and well and hear that a celeb achieved a natural pregnancy in their 40’s simply because they were fit?

Not everyone gains hope from hearing these stories especially when their own infertility is unexplained. These extraordinary exceptions belong to people who are beyond blessed. What was delivered by a Divine hand is miraculous and has nothing to do with how many push-ups or lunges they’ve done during the course of their lives.

So I guess what I am trying to say to those incredible and resilient people who probably don’t advertise their struggle but who have none the less had a tough journey trying to make a family is this:

Whether you are still trying, you finally made it or you had to make the gut wrenching decision to say enough is enough and live with what is, I see your amazing strength. I see your difficult moments and feel your heartbreak. I understand that little pang of jealousy you can’t help but feel every time you see someone else celebrate a new born baby or a first birthday or any other significant milestone that suggests that someone else’s beautiful human has rightfully made the grade. I know you feel happy for them but that giant unfulfilled pocket in your heart momentarily deflates until you can, once again, pick yourself up and keep marching on your journey telling yourself every conceivable positive affirmation that you know oh so well by heart. I know how tough you are, I know you’ve had to develop some hard core resilience.

I honestly hope that it’s your child’s picture I see next time I torture myself by logging onto a social media site. I hope to see you gushingly and disgustingly even obscenely relishing in the success of making or adopting or somehow procuring for yourself the child you’d like to provide a life for.

I’m going to celebrate you in advance just to hold that positive space for you. And I want you to know that there’s one girl out there who can’t wait for you and your child to rock some serious milestones.

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