The decision to start a family is exciting. My husband and I spent hours discussing our future and what might be. We bought a house with enough bedrooms for a growing family, we researched college funds, and we talked about potential baby names. I felt like anything could happen and that with enough planning and preparation, everything would happen.
But then we actually started trying. And pretty soon it wasn’t exciting anymore. We dealt with infertility for nearly two years and that brought all the plans we’d been making to a screeching halt.
My life’s entire purpose revolved around getting pregnant.
I bought the ovulation trackers and supplements. I did infertility yoga. I tried acupuncture. The one thing I wanted more than anything seemed so far out of reach and I kept thinking that if I just worked harder, it would happen. I was completely wrong in thinking this, but that’s a story for another day.
In the end, we did get pregnant and that excitement was back. I had so much to do to prepare. It was time to plan the nursery, start building a registry, take newborn classes, and ready our lives for this wonderful, huge change that was coming our way.
When our daughter was born, I was challenged with nursing, losing precious hours of sleep, and then getting back into my career after maternity leave. Life was chaotic and demanding, but it also felt energizing.
After 12 months with our beautiful daughter, we were ready to try again. I started tracking my cycle, taking my supplements, and talking to my OB/GYN about my fertility. Every day, I was growing more excited about the possibility of getting pregnant again and growing our family. And it felt like a complete shock when it happened. We had our second daughter 22 months after having our first.
Now my second daughter is over a year old.
We’ve been through the challenges of growing our family. We’ve succeeded. But one thought creeps into my mind pretty often. What do I do now? I don’t need to track my cycle every month. I don’t need to take supplements every day. I have no reason to research infertility causes or remedies. My husband and I are in the monotonous, though wonderful, stages of those first years of parenting. It’s challenging, but most every day is the same. I don’t feel that frenzy of working toward a goal and I’m struggling with that.
I see friends on social media getting pregnant and having their first (or even second) babies, and a small part of me feels a twitch of envy. They get to experience that life-changing excitement and bonding that is so incredibly special. And I think I’m a little nostalgic for that feeling.
But you know what? I feel grateful I’ve gotten to experience that feeling twice with our children.
We are happy and we are complete.
It’s a life-changing shift to go from working towards building a family to realizing we have the family we’ve always wanted. Now, I get to put all of my time and energy into creating that future I planned with my husband all those years ago.
There are moments of feeling completely content and I am doing my best to concentrate on being present. Rather than striving to grow my family, I need to focus my energy on raising them and being the best mom I can be. I’m starting to realize that I am still working toward a goal, but that this goal is a marathon instead of a sprint.