I started playing games with all of you on my stories because I wanted to get to know YOU better. (it's kind of weird to spill my heart out to people I barely know, if at all) Last night's game was about babies. Just for fun & for dreaming's sake.
One of the questions was, "how many kids do you want to have?" which, I am well aware of, isn't always up to us. And after receiving DM after DM about people being unsure of the number of kids they would have, another question popped into my brain: do you allow yourself to dream?
Honestly, do you allow yourself to dream of the future?
In the beginning of our journey, dreaming was SO hard because I either lived in my daydreams or cried in my reality. And friends, I'm gonna let you in on a little secret: neither one of those things is a very fun way to live.
SO how do we accept our reality AND allow ourselves to dream a little bit?
After thinking about this for a while (aka literally all day long), I thought about my own journey of learning to live in reality while still dreaming and planning for the future. There have been lots of experiences in the last few years that have been lightbulb moments to help me realize that it’s okay to live and it’s okay to dream.
At the beginning of my journey, my biggest issue that I struggled with when it came to dreaming and hoping was that I couldn’t control or plan when things would happen for us. No matter how hard we tried, I couldn’t control when our babies would come. I couldn’t plan when I’d be pregnant or when I’d have babies. I had to learn to let go of my need for control. I had to learn to accept my story. But as I learned to accept my story, I had to learn how to have the courage to dream again.
As I learned to dream and set goals (I practiced with dreams and goals that didn’t pertain to motherhood or pregnancy), I started doing EVERYTHING I could to turn those dreams into reality. Which then gave me the courage to see a fertility specialist. I realized, at that point, we hadn’t been doing everything in our power to have a baby. I worked on trusting in the processes and procedures our doctors recommended. I practiced trusting in God’s timing and plan. And I practiced having hope. I learned in the time that I spent living in daydreams and crying in my reality was wasted time because even though my reality wasn’t what I expected or thought it should be, I learned that my reality was still good. My story still mattered. My goal and dream of being a mom was still achievable and that one day, I would be a mom; regardless of who birthed my babies-- being a mom isn’t just about pregnancy and birth-- it’s more than that. It’s the ability to love and care for the babies and people that were put into my path.
I began trying to see my experiences of trying and waiting as a positive thing for my future babies. I know that in the future when I have babies, I want to teach them to stay positive, have hope and not give up when things get hard. I realized a while ago, that the best way to teach my babies that will be through my own example. I couldn’t give up on our dream of having babies. At this point, I had to find hope.
Before our journey began, I always said I wanted to have six babies. After we had tried for a year or so and I realized that six babies could potentially be a more difficult thing, I was sad for a while. This was another dream that infertility had taken from me. But then I thought about the root of my dreams of being a mama. Was my dream to be a mom of six or was my dream to be a mom? If I didn’t have six kids, would I just be a cruddy mom to the babies that I was able to have? Gosh, I hope not because the root of my dream is just to be a mom; not to be a mom to a specific number of kids. I hope that I will be the best mama to as many babies as I am blessed to have. And I had to learn to have an abundance mindset when it comes to babies-- there are enough babies in Heaven for me to be able to become a mom.
It was after all of these lessons that I learned how to dream again. Dreaming is good. Dreaming is okay. But it’s also important to remember that reality is good. Reality is beautiful in its own way. Reality can be incredible.
Infertility has been such a heart-wrenching journey, but it has taught me so much. It’s a journey for everyone else too. If you’re still learning how to dream again, I hope you’ll remember that dreaming is good and that reality can be incredible and beautiful too.
Good Grief is a resource that really helped me to make these breakthroughs. I would highly recommend Good Grief to anyone who is struggling through their journey.