I remember driving to school with my mom at twelve. Why do people have kids? I asked. They are expensive and they are a lot of work. My mother responded because you love them. I shook my head at this, you can love your husband and its not nearly as much work. If I don't have kids that would be allright with me. My mother slammed the brakes and turned to me. In an even voice she said be careful what you say, you never know when God is listening and decides to agree with you.
At 20 I remember my roommate saying you'll probably have ten kids since you're a teacher and love kids so much. I laughed and responded, Nah, the good thing with teaching is at the end of the day you give them back to their parents.
I remember being 22 and sitting across the table from Jack after our first month of marriage as we stared at the pregnancy test waiting for it to portend our future. I felt scared. I'm too young, I thought. I don't want kids right now! When it confirmed negative, I could have sank to the floor with relief.
When I remember these things I wonder what kind of parent would I have been if I got pregnant with ease. Would I have been like the lady I saw at Target yesterday, sporting a tiny bump and a frustrated expression as she shopped for baby clothes, snapping at her husband at what a chore this was to do. Would I resent my children? Would I have less patience?
I used to visit my ba.by cent.er birth month club to see what other women in my due date month were talking about, but the conversations about being devastated and in denial about the gender of their babies, annoyance at their baby kicking too much and other similar topics that just left me feeling cold.
Maybe I would have been that way too though if motherhood came easy. I once thought motherhood was my right, something I could take for granted. This struggle has taught me its a privilege, an honor, a blessing. It has taught me that children are not doled out to the worthy and the entitled, the method with which we are given this blessing is one that still eludes me today.
I know not all fertiles take their pregnancies for granted or don't appreciate what they have, but I do wonder had I been able to conceive with ease what kind of parent I would have been. I know the sleepless nights will still be hard, and the breastfeeding will still frustrate me, but I'd like to think that my struggles will at least give me the benefit of being able to appreciate what I have all the more.