Monday, July 18, 2011

Family of Four

We are leaving next week to wait for delivery and I realized how little I have written about this pregnancy. The first child, especially after infertility, was a moment by moment documentation of how I was feeling. I savored every step. I analyzed every stage of the complex emotions of surrogacy and egg donation. The second child after infertility has been rather surreal. It is like an unbelievable prize, something not expected or understood, almost to a point where you just really can't believe it's happening.

Amidst this summer daze of denial, fear, shock regarding the new baby, I got a jolt from the universe to snap me out of it.

There are phone calls that change your life. I had many during the course of my IVFs but I have also had more than my fair share of those phone calls before trying to conceive. My family has survived a lot of tragedy and so when I received a call July 4th weekend about a serious health scare for my sister, I nearly collapsed. I hadn't felt that much despair since all my pregnancy losses. All those negative and scary thoughts of doom came into my head about loss, suffering and pain.

But this dramatic wack in the face has a happy ending. My sister is going to be okay. I am not going to have to deal with yet another family tragedy as I begin my 40s. I look back on my life and realize I have recovered from a major tragedy almost every decade of my life. I was hoping to be spared this decade. But we all know those phone calls can still happen.

The sudden shift in luck with my sister somehow was the best cure for my fear about our new baby. All that undercurrent in my heart, still asking myself, "Am I a fraud?" even though I know rationally surrogacy and egg donation don't rob me of legitimacy, I was still very much struggling with it.

I can't say those insecurities won't creep up again down the road, but life now seems so short and precious. If my sister could almost be struck with an illness so randomly and yet escape its devilish hands, then why the hell am I worrying whether I am really my kids' mother? Why am I putting that burden on myself when in the greater scheme of things life is flying by?

So as the days draw nearer I am getting back into a space of peace and joy that this little boy is joining us. My family of four is feeling very real and very life affirming. Let the countdown begin.