A couple of years ago, when we were gearing up for our second round of IVF, I stumbled upon a book called "The Secret." The whole world was going crazy over this book because Oprah featured it on her show. There was a movie about it and everything. Basically, the big "secret" is about the power of positive thinking and the Law of Attraction. The book claims that the way to a happier, healthier, wealthier life is through positive thinking.
I figured a little positive thinking couldn't hurt. So, I tried to apply the tenets of The Secret to my own life. I made a scrapbook with pictures of me and Greg holding babies and I would look at it every day. I also wrote page after page of positive thoughts such as "I will produce many mature eggs," or "I will have a positive beta," or "I will be pregnant."
Sounds crazy. I know.
Of course, all that positive thinking didn't seem to make a difference in the outcome of our second IVF cycle, so I'm not sure all the effort I put into it actually helped.
For a realist like me, it's somewhat against my nature to believe all this New Age hokey pokey. But, there's one thing I learned from "The Secret" that I still practice even now.
In the past it was difficult to see a pregnant woman, a baby or a small child without feeling pangs of jealousy or being overcome with a sense of inadequacy and failure.
It's something that I struggled with for a long time, Rowan, and sometimes, I still find myself falling into that trap. But, for the most part, I've learned to deal with it by telling myself one thing over and over -- "that's not my baby."
When a friend announced her "oops!" pregnancy after my second IVF, I told myself over and over -- "She's not having my baby. She's having her baby. My baby is still waiting for me."
When a very young and very naive military spouse told me about the baby she gave up for adoption as a teenager while rubbing her giant pregnant belly and barely paying attention to her rambunctious two-year-old as he ransacked my house, I told myself "those aren't my babies. Those are her babies."
When my adult nephew called to announce that he and his new bride were expecting. I cried tears of joy and I can't wait to hold that baby boy. My mom told me that my nephew struggled with telling me, for fear that I would feel jealous or sad. But, I felt only relief knowing that my nephew and his wife wouldn't have to go through what we've gone through. They threw out the pills and were pregnant within a couple of months and for that, I'm so grateful. That's how it should be. And, besides, they aren't having my baby.
And, even though I think it's absurd to have 19 Children and Counting, I don't begrudge those fertile Duggars their brood of little humans. They didn't have my babies.
You, Rowan, are my baby and no one else can have my baby. Only me. So I cannot begrudge these women their seemingly easy paths to motherhood. It's not as if there are a certain number of babies doled out and they got in line ahead of me. Their fertility has nothing to do with mine.
So, I just go through life waiting for you and rejoicing in the births of their babies. To me, each conception is a little miracle. When you realize all the things that have to go right for a healthy baby to be born, you can certainly see that each birth is something that should be rejoiced. So, I try to always have a happy heart when I see a baby or a pregnant woman.
After all, you are still out there somewhere, Rowan, and you are MY baby.