Happy Birthday to me. I’m 32 today. As making a baby has been the primary focus of my life for the past 2 years, I look at my age through that lens and realize… admit… accept… that I am not where I expected to be at 32. Not where I wanted to be.
At this point, I hope and pray that I will be giving birth to my first baby at 32. Earlier today, I laughed as I remembered that my younger self expected to be giving birth to my fourth and final baby at 32. It’s incredible how much certainty we have when we are making plans for our life in our early 20s. The world is our oyster. No panic has yet set in. Everything still makes sense.
I was supposed to have a house and a family by now. I was supposed to be a stay at home mom with a book deal or magazine column. I was supposed to know, more or less, what the next few chapters of my life were going to read. Instead I’ve been stuck in a holding pattern for 2 years. Putting things off indefinitely. Centering my life around a hope that holds no guarantee.
I am married to the man who was meant to be my partner in this. He is the calm in the eye of the storm of uncertainty that swirls around us. He is my voice of reason, my source of optimism, and my safety net. He is becoming, more and more everyday, the perfect father for our children. And as these 2 years have tested and strengthened our marriage, we are becoming the parents we want to be.
My sister gave birth 3 ½ years ago to the little girl who would become the light of my life. When I am feeling my most unlovable and unworthy, she lifts me up with her smile and spirit. She chooses me, her auntie, to be her playmate and friend. I love every minute with her. My sister’s other child, my Godson, is also incredibly precious to me. Holding and cuddling him heals my heart. And now my twin nephews – my little miracle babies – bring me hope and inspiration. They remind me that what I wish for is possible, and what I’m going through is worth it. All four of them teach me that my capacity to love only grows with each beautiful child that enters my life. They make me yearn to be a mom, but grateful to be an auntie.
Am I where I wanted to be? No. But do I have people in my life that make it worth being where I am, worth playing my hand as it has been dealt? Absolutely. And what my struggle has given me is certainty that my desire to be a mother is unshakable. My willingness to sacrifice has been tested. My patience, my perseverance and my threshold for pain proven. When our baby does make its way into our arms, it will know without question that no other child has been more wanted and more loved. And we will know that things are exactly as they should be.