Happy 2012! I can't believe it's a new year already, and not only that but almost 2 weeks into the year! Just a couple of days ago, Snow Pea reached 9 months. And what a month full of excitement this past one was! She got her first two teeth and while I am sad to say goodbye to her gummy, toothless smile, I love the joy on her face as she munches on new finger foods. She learned to play "So Big!" and will frequently start raising her arms and giggling, patiently waiting for me to fill in the words. She also started blowing kisses and loves the sound of her own voice saying "muah, muah, muah". As for me, I am cherishing every single second and marveling that she has already been out almost as long as she was in. The 9 months of pregnancy feel more and more like a dream that I only believe happened sometimes because I have the pictures and the baby that were created in those 41 weeks. These past 9 months raising Snow Pea on the other hand, feel simultaneously as if they've flown by and as if they have no beginning, like life without her never really existed in the first place.
On the night before she officially turned 9 months, I was thinking about these things, about how much she has grown and changed in this time and about how much I grew and changed during the 9 months before she was born. And then I thought about the 3 years before that, the three years full of hurt and tears, charts and pee sticks, wands and needles, pain and hope. And in that moment a huge realization crashed over me: Snow Pea was about to be 9 months old and soon she will have been alive longer than she was growing in my tummy. But even bigger than that, one day, not today but one day God willing, she will be alive longer than the time we spent getting her here. One day I will be a mother for more time than I spent trying to be one. Even typing it now blows me away.
For some, this may not seem terribly exciting or emotional or noteworthy, but for me it's all of those things. It's the realization that while I will always be infertile and will never have a child without either the assistance of a medical team or the process of an adoption, I have nonetheless survived infertility. It's the realization that although the struggle of infertility nearly consumed three years of my life and has left wounds that will never fully heal, scars that will never disappear, my life is now consumed instead by my amazing daughter and one day soon that time will far surpass the time that came before it. Despite the pain that felt like it might strangle me at times, despite the moments that shook my hope & faith, despite the things I lost and will never get back, I survived. And although I am not exactly the same person I was before going in, I am happy with who I have become. Those three years are some of the biggest in my life and they will forever have an effect on me, but now I have also experienced 9 months of motherhood that have already changed me and effected even more.