Learning to be Happy, With or Without a Baby

mara & danny

During my first year of infertility, I remember feeling sad about my life when I heard that other friends were pregnant.

We're talking...mmm...maybe I'll cut out of this party early because I can't hide these tears any longer.  No thank you, I'll just sit this 35th baby shower out.  Don't you dare hand me a flower at church to carry around on Mother's Day cause I am already seconds away from busting out of this building early.

For a solid year, I was just seconds away from the deepest feelings of desperate/teary sadness, anger at the cruelty of this unfairness, inadequacy as a woman, shame that apparently something was wrong with my body, fear that I never would get pregnant, resentment that I was being left behind outside of the circle of mothers, and worry that somehow my life was not going to be worth anything if I couldn't get pregnant & have a family.  WHAT A SAD WAY TO LIVE!!  It was sad.  Very.

Luckily, years two, three, four, five, six, seven, & eight of infertility have been a completely different experience.  It has been a miracle.

I started learning that if I didn't change my overall perspective on trials, even if I DID get pregnant, I would still be pretty jacked up!!  Because even with a baby in tow, inevitably there would be many other things that wouldn't go my way.  It’s not like all of life’s problems would be solved by a baby (ha!)  So I started to see the scary reality that if I chose to live this way, basing my happiness on perfect circumstances, that I could easily live & die and only have small glimpses of happiness, only when things happened to be lined up perfectly.  I realized that was not the kind of life I wanted nor the kind of woman or mother that I wanted to be.  And so, year two I became a changed woman.  I changed the way I thought about my trials.  And I haven’t looked back for a day since.

And one of the greatest side effects of choosing to be happy?

I don't feel the tendency to compare my life with others anymore.  My life is what it is….and it is beautiful.  I now get to enjoy being TRULY happy & overjoyed every time I see a little baby.  And I am thrilled each & every time I hear of a friend or sister or cousin or neighbor who is pregnant.  And I am amazed at the miracle of a birth every time I hear that a new little one has arrived to this beautiful life safe & sound.   Babies are miracles.  Getting pregnant is a miracle.  Birth is a miracle.  Creating a family is a miracle.  What a shame that hearing of these things used to make me sad & cause me pain.  They're the most beautiful things that ever happen in this life!  What a privilege it is to see it unfold and to be a part of it in many ways, even if I am not yet a mother.

-Mara Kofoed