I was blessed almost 18 years ago with a beautiful baby girl. She has grown into a beautiful young lady and I couldn’t be more lucky when I say she is smart, makes great decisions and is headed for a future with amazing potential. I am an exceptionally proud mom and I can’t take all the credit myself, because fate truly had a dealing in it.
I always wanted another child, but life didn’t grant me one. I had tried when my daughter was 8, feeling it was a good time, she was in school during the day and it would give me quality one on one time with a new baby, plus I was a stay at home mom at the time, so everything pointed to go.
Well, almost everything. My body had a different plan. I got pregnant at one point, and prior to my even knowing what was going on, I was curled up in extreme pain in the fetal position feeling like I was dying, and of course with the heaviest bleeding I had ever experienced during any cycle. Sadly, later I found out, it wasn’t my cycle at all, it was my body flushing out what was left of a miscarried child. It was heart breaking, and to this day, I haven’t been able to achieve a pregnancy.
When I divorced, I took my inability to conceive as a blessing. I truly didn’t like how my divorce was affecting my daughter and the idea of another child going through what my daughter was, just brought to light that I hadn’t conceived for a reason. Life had made a destined choice for me on what was right. I focused on my daughter and moved forward.
A couple of years passed and I remarried. In doing so, I was granted with two more children as my step children. Now, I have a big big heart, especially for kids, and for me it came naturally to treat all of the kids as equals to my daughter, as if they came from my body and my creation. They were worthy of my love just like any other beautiful creation on this planet, and in doing so, we made a beautiful family.
I thought that life’s plan for me was to be a focused mother of the three kids and that not being able to mother another myself from natural child birth was just life’s way of making sure I had plenty of love to share with these two. My step kids were younger than my daughter, my step-daughter was 1 1/2 years younger and my step son was 5 1/2 years younger.
My kids melded together as if it was just the way it was supposed to be. Period, we were family and they were siblings and it was just going to work. There wasn’t jealousy or battles, they just truly loved one another. I remember my ex-husband who was attempting at the time to meld his own new household, calling me and saying, how did you do that? My answer was simple, I don’t know. It was nothing I did, nothing I said. There was no magical thing that we performed that made harmony in the house. It literally just happened. Again, I figured it was life’s way of saying, we were meant to be a family and these children were meant to have each other in their lives and love each other.
To be honest, I took it as, they need me and I need them. Being unable to have any more children I felt like they were my gift. I’ve always been one to look at the meaning of things, and take the positive spin, and this was my way of accepting that I couldn’t conceive, so here was an alternative gift from the universe. With broken homes so prevalent in this world, maybe somehow I could be their strength and show them life can be happy and full.
In the complexity of this marriage, came a new twist. Just prior to the “I shouldn’t but I do’s” a spot of infidelity happened on the part of my husband to be (it would be one of many in our short marriage, but let’s not get into that in this excerpt, but I digress). In this heart wrenching moment, came a new piece of the puzzle. He had conceived a child in the process.
I had decisions to make, to marry him despite the infidelity or to break everything off. We all know where I went, hence the “I shouldn’t but I do” comment a moment ago. I folded to his, baby I’m sorry, I don’t even like her, it was an accident, I got scared about the marriage and this happened…. you know, he tripped and his dick fell into her, that kind of thing (sorry kids for the offensive comment but there is a level of anger that even 7 years later still is there, primarily with myself at this point).
In my own head I had planned this beautiful life with these children I was already in love with, and I was going to make this family work for them. We were going to be happy, dammit! (again with the snarky sarcasm). This was even more so instilled as we found out about the pregnancy and he shared these sentiments, “baby we can’t have a child, so this is life’s way of giving us a baby, she’s a bad mom, we will take it and raise it,” oh and this one that totally tore my heart out, “That’s all I’m willing to have, she’s pregnant now, so I’m not even going to try with you.” Yeah, that was a real “your painted into a corner” feeling, if I wanted a baby, I had to accept some other woman’s because
Side notes: She wasn’t isn’t a bad mom, and I personally apologize to her here for all the world to see for being sucked into his delusion. It was a form of manipulation into getting his cake and eating it too, let’s build a beautiful family from my infidelity and let me get away with not only cheating but give me the security in knowing you are in love and gullible enough to go along for the ride.
Okay, so here I am, wanting a child desperately, now thinking that the only way I am going to have one in my life is to absorb this new little guy into my heart, and that is exactly what I tried to do. Notice I said tried. In the next year, the battle was very much on, internally. I would spend time with the baby and love him, like play and really love him, make him giggle and smile and feel all those wonderful warm gushy mommy feelings, but then the little devil would show up on my shoulder and whisper in my ear to remind me of the pain that came with this sweet little package. He wasn’t my baby, he was a child from another whom my husband broke my heart to be be with. I’m not gonna lie, I struggled to treat him the same.
Over time, I accepted the facts. First, I am only human, and it’s okay for me to have emotions regarding this child, but, secondly, it wasn’t his fault, and he was still this beautiful, smart and funny child who deserved my whole heart and needed to know he was loved just as much as his brother and sisters. I had to overcome my other emotions and always make a spot for him in my heart, period. No being like Catelyn Stark towards John Snow, nope, not happening!
Over the next four years, we had the children together as often as we can. My step daughter eventually came to live with us for a while during a time when her mom was recovering, and we got through some pretty incredible stuff together. She and biological daughter are so close that they will drop EVERYTHING for one another, and that in itself warms my heart beyond belief.
When the last round of battles happened and my marriage disintegrated, he wanted nothing more than for me to leave the children’s lives. I stayed in close contact with all three moms (yes, all three kids have different moms, again HUGE RED FLAGS THAT I DIDN’T SEE), and we have made sure that the children see each other despite the divorce, much to his chagrin.
I’ve figured out a few things about myself with my children. They have taught me so much.
Here are a few things they remind me every time I see them:
Love is unconditional between a mother and a child. This isn’t a biological thing, it is a nurturing thing. They know I would die for them, they trust it and believe it, and they know I will always be there. Every time I am with them, I feel it well up in my heart and it is truly joyous.
I am the best form of who I am when I’m with my children. I remember to laugh, I am much younger in their presence, I don’t feel hurt, or jealousy or anger, or any of the other harsh things that came from that marriage. It all fades away the second they surround me, and the laughter and love is plenty.
There is nothing I wouldn’t do for my children. I used to feel that I wasn’t complete without him in my life, but now I know that the pieces of my heart I was so afraid to lose weren’t him at all, they were the kids. No matter what happens, or how far apart life takes us, I know those kids are here, completing my heart, being my reason for existing. They are why my heart still beats, and what makes every day worth living. For they are my meaning of life. The amount of joy that comes into my heart thinking of them brings tears to my eyes. Happy tears are the best tears.
So for every “hey mom,” or “mom look,” in my future, I am eternally grateful. Furthermore, I am very grateful for the other moms who allow me to still be an active part of the kids lives as often as we can.
One last side note: I recently found out that my system has decided to start functioning properly. I can now, seemingly with maybe a little hormone support, conceive. Crazy. I’ve been contemplating things, and my window of opportunity is small, but it exists, and now I have to decide what I should do with it. I am blessed either way.