After months of waiting, seeing no pink lines, and complaining about it the whole time, I cried out to God asking why couldn’t it be me. Why couldn’t I have the desire of my heart? I wasn’t alone. I wasn’t the only one of my friends experiencing the frustration of trying to become a mother.
Yet, despite knowing she would never be a mother, she cheered me on anyway.
For me, it finally happened. I celebrated emerging from those scary first few weeks, I made it through the initial morning sickness and the initial birth announcements.
For her, she received the final and absolute verdict that she could never have children. Ever. Period.
She cheered for me despite her own sadness.
Then, she and my friends planned my baby shower. For weeks, she and my friends planned themes and cakes and games and invitation lists. For weeks, they wrapped bow tie silverware and strung onesies on clotheslines.
She gifted me with personalized baby clothes unique to our friendship. She celebrated and laughed and prepped and cleaned up afterward. She even helped me arrange the nursery. Through her own pain, she supported me anyway.
The baby came, and she was the first to the hospital. She was the first to hold him, the first to bring him a present, and the first to babysit him. She did it with joy and celebrated anyway.
Knowing she would never experience the joys and celebrations of bearing her own child, she loved me and my baby anyway.
She became the aunt, the first to grab him from my arms and the one who loved him more than any other non-biological family member.
She changed me forever.
I knew how desperately I wanted to have a baby, and I knew her desperation rivaled mine. Yet, it was a no, a never, an absolutely not for her. And, she cheered for me anyway.
Then, I watched her support friend after friend after friend. Again and again, with grace and courage, she supported and loved them and their children in spite of her own pain.
So, this is a thank you to all the women who support and love and plan and snuggle and celebrate anyway.
Thank you for jumping up and down the day we told you. You jumped up and down and giggled and dreamed even though your insides wanted to sit down and scream and cry about the unfairness.
Thank you for planning and paying for the baby shower the likes of which Pinterest never matched.
You went to all the effort even though you knew we could never completely repay it for you.
Thank you for listening to us as we complained about aches and pains and sleepless nights even though you wanted to tell us to stop complaining. You let us nap on your couch even when we were supposed to have girls’ night.
Thank you for seeing us when we felt like a globby, squishy version of our prior selves. You showered us with love and support even though your arms remained empty and your heart even more so.
Thank you for being the one who watched our babies even when we couldn’t–loved them as your own. You care for them day in and day out even though you know none of those babies will go home with you.
Thank you for being the ones who wore the aunt hat or caregiver hat when you really wanted to wear the mommy hat.
You laugh as we change dirty blowouts and chat through marathon nursing sessions. You do it even though you know our priorities are shifting with the responsibility of a new life.
Thank you for being the one who sends the cards, who says the funny things, who opens her clean home to chubby, sticky fingers. You open your home and your heart despite knowing that babyproofing will never be in your future.
Thank you for teaching us so much about grace and joy and generosity and unconditional love. You inspire us and make us better moms.
You may not be a mommy, but you have touched my children’s lives.
I am forever touched by the women in my life who will never be mommy. The ones who loved me anyway. No one would have blamed you if you would have turned away in spite, frustration, or even jealousy.
The women who changed my life and my children’s lives forever may not always be the ones at the group play date. Instead, they may also be the women who taught me grace in spite of debilitating sadness.
Thank you to the women who cheered for me anyway. The ones who never guilted me, shamed me, or brought me down. You never put my miracle into perspective by comparing it to your own pain . . . even though we both knew it.
You know who you are, and I love you. Be encouraged.