Today’s Love Makes A Family theme is disappointment, a topic with which this blog is well-acquainted. To say that we experienced disappointment in the time that we TTC and beyond would be an understatement. We tried for years and never got pregnant, lost a baby at 10 weeks, I nearly died from pregnancy complications, then spent the first week of Christopher’s life hospitalized and separated from him, could not breastfeed and was forced to pump 8-10 times per day, suffered from debilitating PPD and PPA, only to find out that my body is a failure yet again and I probably should stop at one pregnancy. So, um, yeah. Disappointment abounds.
At the hardest points in our journey, I have always fallen back on this quote from Martin Luther King, Jr. – “Carve a tunnel of hope through the dark mountain of disappointment.” Sometimes, it was nearly impossible to believe that things could turn out the way we wanted, but still, I held on to the hope that I would one day be pregnant, that we would one day be parents. I even held a little worry stone engraved with the word “HOPE” (a gift from Mulberry) in my hand during every insemination, every IVF and U/S appointment, when I was in labor, and a couple of times when I was pumping, tears streaming down my face as I watched someone else feed my child from a bottle because I could not. For many years, the opposite of disappointment was always hope.
These days, I’m finding it hard to dwell in disappointment for very long. Hope has arrived and he is pure joy. Yesterday, Christopher was a ring bearer in our friends’ beautiful fall wedding. As I watched him march down the aisle holding the ring pillow and clutching the flower girl’s hand, my heart swelled with pride. He stood at the altar for nearly ten minutes with the wedding party, scanning the crowd the whole time. When he finally spotted us, his eyes filled with tears and his bottom lip began to quiver – you could tell how hard he was trying to be brave and keep it together. Finally, he couldn’t take it anymore and raced into our arms, murmuring with relief, “My Mama. My Mommy. My Mama. My Mommy.” It was like he was saying, “Oh thank god, there you are. I was so worried.”
As Christopher happily sat on my lap for the remainder of the ceremony and delighted the wedding crowd with his adorable random clapping and cheering, my heart was content. Content with things being exactly the way they are, right now. Perhaps the true opposite of disappointment is not hope, but contentment?