Me with Sweet Baby J shortly after his arrival
Back in 2000, I was diagnosed with Graves' Disease. For those of you not familiar, Graves' Disease is an autoimmune disease that affects the thyroid. It is basically a ridiculously overactive thyroid. My thyroid was the Arnold Schwarzenegger version of thyroids.
While my doctor was treating me with medication, he explained that I should not get pregnant during this time because it would be considered a high risk pregnancy. He went on to say that even if my thyroid levels were at normal levels in the future that I may have trouble with my thyroid putting me at high risk if I ever got pregnant.
To say this news was troubling would be putting it mildly. When I was diagnosed, Jeff and I were newlyweds so we were not yet thinking about children. But let's be honest. After I said, "I do", I constantly dreamed of the day when I would be pregnant, when we would have children of our own.
Once my thyroid levels were under control two years later, Jeff and I went about our business as usual. We were not trying to get pregnant but we were also not trying to prohibit it either.
For the next couple of years, we worked on establishing our careers and obtaining our Master's degrees. We built a big, beautiful house. We had a little beagle named JJ who was the sweetest dog ever.
Life was good. We had a good life. Things were going well for us.
However, I am not going to lie. I wanted to have a baby. I wanted to be a mom. I wanted that little person to be part of me and part of Jeff.
What I didn't want was to talk about it. If I talked about and said it out loud, then it would confirm what I already was thinking. I could not get pregnant.
So, miracle of all miracles, I became pregnant six years after getting my thyroid under control. Then, thirteen months later, I was pregnant with my second little guy. To say we were shocked would be the understatement of the year!
We were going to have a baby. I was going to be a mom. Words cannot describe it. Elated. Ecstatic. Excited. Scared. Hopeful.
Some moms are not as blessed as I am. Some moms have to have help getting pregnant.
To those moms who are undergoing artificial insemination and in vitro fertilization. Your commitment and endurance is inspiring.
To those moms who have adopted children. Your willingness to open your hearts and your homes to a child is a testament to the warmth of the human spirit.
To those moms who have lost their children. Your courage to persevere after walking though what I imagine is the shadow-of-the-valley-of-death gives me the strength to face my hardest of times.
It doesn't matter if you are a mom for five minutes or for eighty years. It doesn't matter if you are a mom to one child or twenty. It doesn't matter if you have kids via natural birth or via c-section.
At the end of the journey, the result is the same. You are a mom. It doesn't matter how you get there, just that you arrived.
Happy Mother's Day.