My Road to Motherhood

Growing up I was not one of those girls who fantasized about getting married and becoming a mom.  It wasn’t that I didn’t want to marry and have children; I just assumed it would happen when it happened.  I grew up with an amazing mother, one who has been a wonderful example to me, which is probably partly why I just assumed I would be a mom someday.  My mom would have snacks ready at the kitchen table for my siblings and I  every day after school and we would sit, complete our homework, and tell her about our day.  When I did think about my future and when I would eventually be a mom, I always thought about that and how I wanted to be that kind of mother to my future children.

Before we married, Mr. Man and I talked about the children we wanted to have.  He’s from a family of 6 and I’m from a family of 8.  We both knew we wanted to have a decent number of children because we both loved growing up with plenty of siblings.  We never even thought that becoming parents would be challenging for us and wouldn’t happen right when we started trying.  It took us almost 5 years to become pregnant.  I have PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome) and had a hard time conceiving.  Subsequently, experiencing 5 years of Mother’s Days and Father’s Days where our arms were empty and our hopes and dreams kept wilting was agonizing.

Attending church, watching and listening to the children sing Mother’s Day songs was so difficult.  After a couple of years, we just stopped going on Mother’s and Father’s Day.  I yearned for the time I would be there and have my own children in the choir.  I watched those children file out of Primary with gifts made for their moms and my heart would break that I didn’t have someone to give me a handmade Mother’s Day gift.  I had been told that I was still a ‘mother’ in other ways.  I taught Sunbeams and loved those little 3 and 4-year-olds.  They were my world every Sunday.  They taught me as much, if not more, as I taught them.  Still, that wasn’t the motherhood I desired to feel.  It was difficult to keep from feeling like my body was broken.  And there were many, many scars placed on my heart throughout those 5 years.

After years and too many medical procedures and tests to count, I was finally going to be a mom.  Bean and Keegs entered our family and doubled our numbers in July 2008…and yes, they are infertility twins.  While I do have distant twin cousins, twins do not run directly in our genes.  The thing is, Bean and Keegs are TOTALLY meant to be together…and there is no way they would’ve come together without me having to go through medical help.  They are definitely not supposed to be identical twins, but they are 2 halves to a whole.

Several years later, YoYo made his appearance.  My whole pregnancy with him, I heard comments ‘oh this one will be easy, you’re a pro after having twins.’  Well…lemme tell you…Yo has been my most difficult yet.  But he also has a special place in my heart.  He and I were buddies for 4 years while his older brothers attended school.  It was me and him, him and me.  It was also very new to me to only be toting around 1 baby instead of 2.  He has more stubbornness in his little pinky toe than this whole family combined; but he is also sweet, kind, caring and always desperate to help and feel like he matters.

Still, with Yo’s stubbornness, it took me a long LONG time to get on board with having another child.  I hadn’t had difficult pregnancies, but I am definitely not one of those cute pregnant ladies that could be that way forever.  When I finally accepted that a stork was not going to magically appear on my doorstep with a cute little baby; Yo was smack dab in the middle of wearing a full leg cast and had to resort to a few baby-ish things.  He couldn’t bath himself, he had a hard time getting pants or shorts on and he needed help getting on and off the potty.  And, just like that, I was pregnant again.  This time though, my pregnancy was very difficult.  I had such intense morning sickness I lost 20lbs within the first few weeks of the first trimester.  I would roll over in bed and have to run to the bathroom and throw up.  I ended up losing weight so rapidly that my gallbladder decided to give me gallstones.  So the whole 9 months I walked a fine line of eating enough to keep Goob growing, but not so much I would flare up my gallbladder.  I was on anti-nausea meds my whole pregnancy and the longer I was pregnant, the worse my gallbladder pains became and the harder it was to be properly nourished.  Then, Goob decided to give me some relief and came a week and a half before his due date.  That was a nice reprieve because Yo’s due date was Mother’s Day and he decided to not come until the next day.

Becoming a mother was a long, difficult road for me.  Not just in the beginning, but throughout.  In a lot of ways, being a mother comes very natural for me.  But in an equal amount, it doesn’t.  My motherhood journey is definitely not through.  Do you ever stop being a mother?  I don’t think so, I’ll always be my kiddos’ mom, and someday I’ll be a grandmom and a great-grandmom.  The scars of infertility will forever be on my heart.  Although the anguish isn’t nearly as prominent or constant, it still rears its ugly head at times.  I may be a mom and my heart and arms may be full, but that doesn’t stop my feelings when I see a child who is in need of love, or a not-so-ideal situation for a baby to be born into.  But, waiting those years, and enduring that heartache caused me to appreciate motherhood more, and to have patience with my children more often than I probably would have had I not waited and wanted them so badly.  Motherhood has been and will continue to be my priority.  The world tries to convince me that I should want to be so much more than a mom and a wife, and I do.  But those other things I want to be will never get in the way of my family.  Being called mom is my greatest title, my most proud acheievment.  I make time for everything I want, and when I can’t I tell myself that there is a time and a season for everything, but my children will only be little once, or graduate kindergarten once, or receive their Nevada Citizenship Award once.  And my time is better spent supporting them and being their number 1 fan that it would be elsewhere.

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