“So this is what 40 looks like,” my mother said sarcastically in shock when I walked through the door with a new nose piercing. She didn’t press the issue and we went about our evening as usual. For a long time I have contemplated getting a nose ring as a cultural symbol. In many Indian cultures a nose ring represents marriage and fertility. Since 2012, my husband, Anthony and I started our journey to parenthood and this path has brought us much joy in the mist of loss and hardships. So to commemorate my 40th birthday, I chose to set the stage for the next decade and start this chapter with me in control of my own narrative by doing something that marks a new path of renewal and rejuvenation within me.
For me, 2020 is a year of reflection and celebration. Ten years ago I met Anthony when I was in a place of heartache and brokenness. I had no clear vision of my future. I had lost hope in relationships and I was conflicted within myself. The first night we met, he told me that he was looking for his wife and mother of his kids. I quickly laughed and rolled my eyes because I had not imagined myself this way. In that moment I was emotionally drained and my dreams were mostly abstract. With my heart guarded, Anthony asked me to trust him in love and I gave it one more chance and took his hand and he has kept his promise to me ever since.
Anthony reads my blogs and I love how he embraces our family as a whole. Since I wrote about her namesake Genesis, Anthony refers to her by name now. It surprised me when he first said her name. To be honest, I have not said it outside of writing it because I didn’t know how it would sound, but Anthony just embraced what I was feeling and made it real by adapting it to our daily lives. And it does make me smile. Just by using her name, it encompasses our journey and shared experience between us. It has brightened a painful experience and it has definitely helped us move forward with healing. For two years I have postponed finishing a family tree mural in my son’s room, but now I have much more peace and plan to finish it. Now I have a place for her sonogram to be seen by everyone because it’s important that her existence as limited as it was on earth is acknowledged and included in our family tree.
I look around me and I am surrounded by so much love. Purposefully God has blessed me with boys and a dotting husband so I can experience love where I thought I was tainted and dishonest because of my insecurities of abandonment. I was scared to have a girl because I didn’t know if I could help her navigate this world, but I know now that she would have the love and protection of her father and brothers and I feel at ease knowing that she would be loved and know true love from her conception.
For some months now I have contemplated whether we should try again for another child. What is my motivation to have another child? I remember when I scheduled my c-section for my second son I was asked if I wanted to tie my tubes and I said no because I feel a sense of guilt for finally being blessed with children. Is it wrong of me to feel like I am ready to move on and revert this energy to my own self care now? This sounds selfish to me like I am somehow disappointing women who are currently struggling with infertility and loss. My thoughts are flooded with questions. Does it mean if I move on that I am turning away from or trying to forget my own pregnancy loss? Why am I relating loss with not living? At what point is it okay to move forward and start living in comfort and peace?
For me it is important to share my story. It is amazing to me how many women have experienced pregnancy loss and infertility and yet our voices are mute in the public health discourse. I reflect on my journey and it fuels me to help those around me. Maybe its a comforting word, a listening ear or using my voice and platform to advance the conversation on women’s health and our well being. There is so much more that needs to be done and maybe that is where I can be useful and channel my energy.
My health is important. I am 40 now and I need to take care of me. Having another child does not change that fact. So my goal is to take care of me so that I can be the best version of me for me and my boys (hubby included). I want to experience their own growth and grow as a family in our experiences together and as individuals. I want to concentrate on their milestones and focus on their individual needs. And most importantly, start taking care of me. I am taking it one day at a time and each day brings new revelations. I am excited for what this new decade has in store for me and my life view is much more clearer.