- It was baking in deafening silence, while my heart could hear a small voice asking to lick the spoon, feeling a little hand in mind as we made thumprints in the cookies.
- It was dying inside while a family member (clearly thinking as a potential "Grand") went on and on about how natural I looked with a baby after I had made the mistake of holding a newborn in front of them at church.
- It was escaping the church ladies on the way out the door on Father's day, as they kept asking when Sam's first Father's day would be. Little did they know that this *was* his first, but the baby had died, so there was no celebration for us, and I couldn't bring myself to voice that fact, so we just ran.
- It was realizing how everything in my house was for adults as I cleaned.
- It was realizing that I still had a baby blanket in my closet as I avoided cleaning that closet.
- It was hearing my ministry leader tell us that we weren't open to God's plan for our family if I was still sad about being infertile, weeks after we had told them about our plans to adopt.
Then everything changed, and suddenly my life as a mom is measured in moments, each seared onto my brain in stark contrast to the moments of loss.
- It is knowing the smell of my daughter, recognizing it on her blankets within hours of her birth.
- It is feeling her arms around my neck, and experiencing her relax against me when I respond to her cry in the middle of the night.
- It is seeing a laundry line full of diapers or baby clothes, papering the sky with its joyful presence.
- It is hearing "mama" and watching her face light up when I walk into the room.
- It is watching her cry her eyes out when her daddy leaves, then get to the door as fast as she can when she hears him coming back, dragging him to the bed for a round of tickles.
- It is watching her grandparents eyes as they cherish her and knowing that it is finally my turn to bring them this delight.
Does motherhood erase the years of infertility? No. They're not gone, and the new memories make the memories of those years more acutely painful, if possible. But, the memories of those years also make the new memories more acutely joyful, and the frustrations seem very small in comparison. I am so thankful for every moment of the life that gave me my daughter. If I had to do it over again, I would chose every painful moment for the baby we have right now.