Wednesday, November 20, 2013

For the Future

It's been a long time since I've written. I have been feeling fine, and nothing exciting to report. I'm 25 weeks today, and feeling more and more comfortable with this pregnancy. The baby has been kicking day and night, and I can't explain how much I love it. I LOVE it. But that's not what I want to talk about. I want to tell you about the project I'm working on.

For background: I spent the last couple of nights working on one of my Channukah gifts for my husband. It's a yearly tradition of mine to make a desk calendar for him, highlighting our travels and other fun times we captured in photos. This year, obviously, there are a few recent photos of my small but somewhat noticeable pregnancy belly. I'm still not showing much, at 25 weeks, though I have gained about 14 pounds and am in the normal range. Not sure where it's all gone, but should I be relieved that if I ever become a permanently very chubby woman, no one would notice that either? Ha.

Anyway, after making the calendar for my husband's gift, I realized I have all these photos of my (barely-there) tummy, and even more photos of all the ultrasounds we've had (five total, from weeks 7-20). So I just spent a bunch of time collating the photos from my email, my phone, and my iPad into one big folder.

What will I do with these? Well, they tell a story. There is a picture of my 5-day embryo we transferred, a grinning and crying photo of me holding my first ever positive pregnancy test, records of all of our ultrasounds, and the photos of me with my little tummy, slowly growing. I put them all in order, labeled by the number of weeks I was, and sometime before or after the baby comes, I'll make a photo book using Snapfish or some other service. Then, someday when he is ready, my child will have a record of how much we wanted him, how long the process was, how excited we were every step of the way once I became pregnant, and how very special his conception was.

I want to be very open with him about his donor conception, but in a way that makes him feel wanted, loved, and precious to us. Because that's what he will be, and already is. I know we will have hard times when he may scream that I'm not his real mom, as even genetic children probably do at some point. It will not all be perfect or wonderful, and we've taken a very non-traditional path to parenthood. But I hope this book I will create helps with him understanding how intentional our choosing this path was for us. I will present it as very matter-of-fact, as one more picture book amongst his collection of books. I think this will be a really good way to normalize his unique beginnings.

And if he doesn't care, then it will be a piece of history for me. It doesn't show the heartbreak and failures I endured before we had success, or the financial disaster that infertility was, or the frustration and anger I struggled with for two and a half years. But it shows that we are (I hope) on the way to a happy ending that can come after all the struggle.