Anyone who has ever experienced ‘childlessness’ will understand. There is an ache in your heart that nothing can replace. There is an emptiness in your life that nothing can fill. Seeing pregnant women makes you weepy. Seeing babies makes you cry. Resentment and anger well up inside and nothing anyone does or says makes it feel better.

You bargain with G-d. You beg and plead. Sorrow is replaced with rage and rage soon turns to bitterness.

By the time Mark and I explored the options on fertility treatment and said no to IVF we were left with two options – to live our lives without children or adopt. We had conversations that no two people in love should ever have to have, like me asking Mark if he wanted to stay with me or rather find someone who would be able to give him his own children. Mark thankfully stayed…

On the 10th May 2009 Emma found herself on this earth. At 6 weeks she found a place in our heart and a short while later a place in our home

After so much pain and heartache in my life, the universe has made up for it in abundance with our little girl.
Every day we count our blessings for having Emma in our lives. And it’s the every day things we’re the most grateful for.

There are so many reasons to be thankful and some may seem absurd but when you never ever thought it would or could happen, the absurd becomes the very reasons for our gratitude…

Reason 1 – Our bed, made for two, now sleeps three

Reason 2 – We get to tidy up toys all day, every day

Reason 3 – I have interrupted nights where Emma wants to play and talk..and I do so happily

Reason 4 – Our dining room table is now also Emma’s favourite seat to sit and watch TV

Reason 5 – Sports and soapies are no longer the programmes of choice. Instead we get to watch Bubbleguppies, Dorah the Explorer, Team Umizoomi, Wonderpets and a whole lot more

Reason 6 – I traded my super-cool-man-magnet-Mini Cooper in for a sensible mommy car

Reason 7 – Going away for weekends means we have to check whether the place is child-friendly or not

Reason 8 – Overseas holidays are no longer as easy or as affordable

Reason 9 – Monkey cereal and cheesey toast are on the breakfast menu

Reason 10 – We get to go to shows like Beautiful Creatures

Reason 11 – We go to restaurants, not because of their wine list, but because they have a kiddies area

Reason 12 – Our lives are no longer our own

Reason 13 – My hard earned salary goes to school fees, nappies, clothes and toys

Reason 14 – We attend countless kiddies parties

Reason 15 – The excitement in our house at birthdays and Christmas is tangible

Reason 16 – I am no longer the professional, the wife or the daughter. I am Mama Emma

Reason 17 – The dark rings under my eyes can’t hide the twinkle inside

Reason 18 – We get to go to the Spur

Reason 19 – We get to go to parent’s evenings

Reason 20 – I get to make school lunches

Reason 21 – I’ve learned there’s nothing tastier than an already chewed sweet

Reason 22 – My food is no longer my own. Emma takes the best bits off my plate ALL the time

Reason 23 – I get to hear “I love you mama” at least six or seven times a day

Reason 24 – My heart is no longer in my chest but rather right in front of me

Reason 25 – It’s a cruel, crazy beautiful world and my hope is that Emma finds her place in it

Melinda

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17 thoughts on “Grat-i-tude

  1. Wow what a beautiful post. Sorry to ask a personal question but I am about to face IVF and I am still undecided if I want to go that route. We have our wonderful son but my husband is from a big family and really want Ewan to have a sibling. I would love another child but I am not sure how far I am willing to go. It was such a crazy scary journey last time to get pregnant and well its going to be worse this time. Why did you chose not to have IVF? If you don't want to answer here could you email me katinafrica@gmail.com

  2. Love your blog Melinda…. and this is a beautiful post.
    And how blessed you are indeed with such a wonderful little girl. May your life with Emma always be blessed with love.

  3. Emma and Anthony (A1) share a birthday (albeit 2 years apart). Special children are born on that day 😀

    (Okay yes, all children are special, but you know what I mean)

    She is a beautiful girl. I'm glad she got you as parents, but I'm more glad you got her as a daughter!

  4. Kat we chose not to go the IVF route as the specialist had explained that my age, my weight (under), my smoking, etc all added up, leaving us with a 22% chance of the IVF been successful

    After having lost our baby at 11 weeks only a few months earlier the pain was still too raw to even consider trying again. I think I'm an emotional wreck at the best of times 🙂 so both Mark and I agreed that to go through that loss again would be incredibly hard

    It really was a very personal choice but one that I'm incredibly happy with…for obvious reasons X

    Whatever route you choose I'm holding thumbs and keeping you in my prayers

  5. I found myself nodding in agreement with just about everything you said above, having shared a similar journey to yours, it really is the simple things that remind me each day just how blessed we are!

  6. I love this post.

    I find myself in that bad 'childlessness” place and it takes everything I have not to let it consume me. Sometimes I win, most times I don't. I have to hold on to the hope (as feint as it might be at times) that it will be me, it can be me, please just let it be me next.

    I have to hold on to the hope that I can also list – even just one of – your 'reasons'.

    Thanx for sharing
    <3

  7. Melinda, thank you so much. I know that you can only understand if you have been there. 🙂

    Hubby has been for treatments but nothing seems to have changed. We were starting the adoption process last year but have since called it off (bad experience with social worker) and are back to trying for biobaby. We will give his treatment one more shot in the new year and then explore other options. We are not inclined to try IVF (for many of the reasons you mentioned as well as it not really going to help us make more sperm 😛 ) so at most we will try IUI (possibly with donor sperm if we have to)

    Next year will be year 6 so something's gotta give right? 😛

  8. Hello Melinda, or Shall I say ” Mama Emma!”
    May god bless your family and help you in raising your daughter
    and I hope one day I can be a mother.
    Sara from Qatar

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