None of us who have travelled the TTC route, embarked on the journey to learn a thing or two. Nope! Everything we did, said, researched, ate, dreamt, talked about, prayed about, cried about, and wished for, boiled down to the fact that we wanted a baby…and the sooner, the better. Because most of the time, as the clock ticks and days turn to weeks, weeks turn to months, and months leading up to years, we get more frantic, more obsessed with our desire, and less in tune with anything else…other than babies, and get how to get one.
But in the universe’s miraculous way, we do get our babies, and then over the next couple of months or years, we realized that we did gain a thing or two from the TTC journey. We look back and say we wouldn’t change a thing about the entire process. We learnt that there are certain circumstances entirely beyond our control. We see our husbands in new light, as we share the trying times together. We discover true friends, and forge new strong alliances. And we hope against hope, and keep the faith that keeps us going.
Before I got married and started to want a baby, I thought that I was pretty much a good girl. If you asked me, I would have said that I was surely going to heaven if I died. I had motivation quotes up my sleeves, and I was good at comforting those who mourned and sharing the pain of others. In fact, I believe somewhere in my head, I was as close to Saint Theresa as this sinful world could allow. And then, I got married and I didn’t get what I wanted…what I felt I deserved by a God I had served faithfully. My faith was tested, my limits were pushed and I found that Bible verse that said Let he who thinks he stands, take heed, lest he falls (1 Corinthians 10:12). I was on slippy ground, and I realized that all my Christian upbringing had not prepared me for the journey I had to face. If I could go back in time, I wouldn’t change a thing about my journey to pregnancy, because of all the life-lessons I gathered that no book, or Preacher, could have instilled in me.
If there was any virtue that I lacked, it was patience. I was always so impatient…and for anyone that complained, I had a quick answer “It’s my temperament, that is the way I was wired”. Whether I needed to shed some tears, twist an arm, pout, throw tantrums, or beg like my life depended on it, I liked getting what I wanted, when I wanted it.
Prior to this time, my relationship with God was superb and he was blessing me all-round. So I get married and I request that I want to get pregnant immediately, and to conceive twins; a boy and a girl. My requests were specific. I wanted the girl to look like my husband and the boy to look like me. I wanted the boy dark and the girl chocolate skinned, and I wanted them both cute and charming. I even sowed a seed and promised to do something awesome if he granted my request. Well, who was I to think I could twist God’s arm? He made me wait! I whined, begged, cried, accused, questioned but no. He was going to do it at His time, not mine. I am grateful that I learned to be patient eventually. It has helped in dealing with the alien species called men, as well as handling my toddler and her rumbly-crumby years. The other day I found her cleaning baby oil she spilled, with my phone. My phone was dripping oil like I used it to cook a pot of soup. When I collected the phone from her, she had the effrontery to scold me in her baby language! Everything about motherhood has a lot to do with patience, and I am glad I took a course in that during the TTC days, which is why I am doing an excellent job now.
These days, I tell my friends that I believe God smiles in amusement whenever we make definite plans. He is probably like ‘No child, it won’t go down like that. This is how I want it’. When I gained admission into the university, I wrote a ten-year plan for what I wanted to do with my life. Graduate at so and so age, serve, work in so and so industry, marry at so and so age, have first child at so and so age, have so and so number of children, finish childbearing at so and so age, buy first property at so and so age. If you had seen that list, you would have thought God gave me the ten-year plan like He gave Moses the Ten Commandments. It was precise and well-detailed. I even had my honeymoon spot and names of babies in it. I graduated when I said I was going to, I married within the timeframe I gave myself, my career was looking good, and all I needed was to get started on having the first child when I said I would…so I could finish childbearing at the time I want to. Problem was, things changed and I had to readjust my plans. Right now, I do not even make yearly plans, I only set goals, and even those are flexible. I have learnt that flexibility is key to happiness in life, because things would not always go the way we want them to. Change is constant and we have to constantly move with the tide. This new outlook on life has made me a more fulfilled person, as I take each day as it comes, putting my best in today, and hoping for greater days ahead. No pressures!
By now, you probably know how much of a drama queen I was, but I was also a big baby. I couldn’t cope well with the slightest discomfort, and God help you if I had to spend the weekend at your place; one mosquito singing in my ears and we were all going to have a vigil. I popped pills whenever I had a headache or PMS, and I cried if a lecturer gave me a lower score than what I thought I deserved. But today, I am one tough cookie. I have been tried in the furnace and I am like shiny silver now. TTC, pregnancy and labour made me realize how strong I could be, and trust me, I like this upgraded version of myself! I can handle a lot of really difficult crap. I wish I didn’t have to, but now I know I can.
Before I started out wanting a baby, I always believed that women are their own worst enemies, and that no-one can actually really care, except they are getting something from you. Well, blame that on my former bestie who turned her back on me and even ridiculed me at my lowest. But for one bad bestie, I found three good ones. People are amazing! Friends that were close to me, but I treated as second-grade because of the former bestie, rose the occasion and showed me that there is real, true, undiluted friendship in this world. From kind words, to helpful tips, to warm hugs, to phone conversations that turn to prayer sessions, to hey-come-lets-go-out-for-ice cream, to rubbing my back, to listening for hours. The list is so long, and I am pretty emotional right now, just remembering all the love these beautiful souls showed me. My hubby? My strongest support system. I wouldn’t even bother to start off on all the wonderful things he did for me, because we would run out of space. I appreciated family and friends more because of my journey, and I know that I can grow through anything, as long as I got my team behind me.
The bottom line is to grab every little tidbit of learning and, should I say, education from this TTC journey. Trust me, those lessons will come in handy later on!
Take care guys!
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