I've spent 44 years of my life without a child of my own. And on this 45th year of my life, I have a little bundle of joy whose face lights up when he sees me.
I don't think a day goes by that I'm not filled with the wonder of it all. Just yesterday I looked at this little baby and thought about how lucky, how blessed, how fortunate I am.
Little Ryan continues to get cuter each day...and if you don't believe me, his completely biased mamma, this photo is evidence.
He is growing up so quickly. At 9 months, he's starting to crawl, loves to stand up and jump, and loves to walk when mommy or daddy holds his hands. He's also a little bundle of energy and is constantly in motion. I'm more than a little frightened for him to become completely mobile.
And what a joy he is.
On this Mother's Day, I am also acutely aware that there are so many women out there whose hearts are breaking because they don't have this blessing in their lives. I was among that group of women not too long ago and I still can feel that pain.
The biggest question I've had since Ryan was born was whether or not to try to have a second baby. Ryan will have a great life with lots of opportunities, but one thing he does have in his life is old parents. And you might think I'm crazy to worry about this, but I don't want Ryan to be an orphan and alone in this world. I want him to have siblings to help him take care of his aged parents.
About a month ago, Tony and I both took Ryan in to see his doctor and since we were both there, I took the opportunity to talk to her about the risks of having a second baby. She is a wonderful pediatrician who has adopted two children after multiple miscarriages...and she's a little bit older. She confirmed the concerns we have had: 1) we run the risk of another premature baby and the complications that come with prematurity. 2) I run the risk of gestational diabetes which will most likely (with my family history) lead to diabetes. 3) there is a 50+% chance of having a baby with Downes or a host of other challenges because I would be over 45 years old.
Any single one of those is a big risk factor. Add them together and it doesn't paint a good picture.
We've always been very open to adoption and that may be the avenue we turn to for a sibling for Ryan. In fact, I would LOVE to adopt tons of children if we could.
But there's something about facing the fact that it's probably best if we not have another biological child. There's something about hearing those words actually being said.
So while I am so grateful to have Ryan in my life - so much so that I can't find an adequate way to express my gratitude - I am also mourning in a sense because I won't be having another child.
Which seems ungrateful to me, especially when I personally know people who are struggling to get pregnant.
But there it is.
On Mother's Day I will smother Ryan with kisses. I will thank my Heavenly Father for blessing me with such a happy little boy.
And if I'm being completely honest, I will be a bit sad. But I will still be grateful for all I have in my wonderful life.