I always wanted to be a mom, but at the same time, I wasn’t ever sure I’d be one. Even when I married the man I loved.
It seemed to be a self-fulfilling prophecy. Month after month of trying to conceive proved fruitless. And the one time we managed to get pregnant, I miscarried at seven weeks. Many people I shared the news with couldn’t understand how devastating it was. I felt like a failure on so many levels.
When the road to becoming parents proved to be very, very difficult, I cried myself to sleep and at one point, I actually told my husband that perhaps it would be best to part ways so he could have a chance at becoming a dad with somebody not as fertility-challenged as me.
Thank goodness he did not listen to me.
He refused that notion, saying he loved me, as a whole, as a person — not as a baby-carrier. He emphasized that whatever challenges we encountered, we would face them together. He was very clear: It was not my problem, it was our problem. We would find the light at the end of the tunnel. That totally changed things for me. I felt we were really a team. A team that became stronger when we finally got the news that we were going to have our son, despite all the odds that were against us.
That does not mean we are a perfect couple. We argue and sometimes we strongly disagree. But we’re in this for the long haul, and not only “for the sake of the children.” It’s because we committed to something bigger than our individuality the day we got married and have not forgotten why we decided to become a family. Also, we have both learned that love needs to be taken care of every single day, so you evolve together and don’t grow apart.
After we finally became parents — an anxiety-filled adventure that included bed rest, risk of preterm birth and other not very fun stuff — there came a point in which he wanted to try for another child. I almost had panic attacks but decided it was worth trying.
It was very hard for me to get past the idea of going through the whole process of getting pregnant, the uncertainty, the knowledge that I couldn’t control my body even at it’s most basic level. What if I didn’t get pregnant? What if I miscarried again? What if once again I got depressed because what came so easily for everybody around us was so hard for me?
My husband listened to me but decided to not pay much attention. He reassured me that it was worth trying. Not only for us, but also for our son, so we could at least make peace with the idea that we tried to give him a sibling and have a bigger family. So once again I decided to face my fears, hope for the best and accept that even if I could not control much in the process, I could control how I would deal with whatever challenge came my way.
Thank goodness I listened to him.
That pregnancy was also tough and at times it seemed my daughter would be born much too early. Bed rest this time started at 30 weeks and was harder to deal with because I had a toddler who needed me, and I couldn’t even lift him in my arms. My husband stepped up to the plate again, taking over the chores I used to do.
It was complicated, but we managed.
Today, we have two children we adore unconditionally. True, there are days when being a parent makes the process I went through to have my kids seem like a piece of cake in comparison. However, through it all I have had a partner I trust, admire and love every step of the way. We are trying our best even if we make mistakes. Even if we agree to disagree.
So on this Father’s Day, I am feeling especially thankful. Not only because my husband is a dad, but because together we have built a family that always reminds me that no matter what kind of day you have, no matter how hard it is, this is a life worth living.
Happy Father’s Day, amorcito!
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