For one of my wedding showers back in early 2007, I was gifted a few robes. (So spoiled, right?!) The first was mint green, made of a thin silky material for warmer weather. The second was a salmon color made from a fluffier chenille like material and knee length. The third robe was from my Mom’s best friend. It was light pink, almost floor length, and about as luxurious as they come.
The long pink robe was immediately my favorite. It was plush and snuggly and ‘wouldn’t it be just perfect to wear around the house after having our first baby?’ I thought to myself as I sorted the gifts at home that night. Up into the top corner of our closet it went for safe keeping until we got pregnant.
The wedding came and went and we got on with life.
Every so often when I reorganized or cleaned out our closet, I would see that pink robe sitting in the corner undisturbed. I’d briefly take it down to feel it’s soft fabric, imagining what it would be like to snuggle up in it as I rocked our babies to sleep. I’d daydream about whether or not our babies would have Mark’s eyes or my nose. Then back up into the corner of the closet it went.
For over 10 years I left that robe in the top of our closet. Seeing it there became a painful reminder of our infertility, so much that I started to visually tune it out.
Fast forward to October last year
When we decided to move, we packed up the non-necessities to make the house look bigger for staging. As I went through our closet, I rediscovered the snuggly pink robe. Holding it in my arms made me want to reach out to hug the younger me, comforting her as she realizes she’ll need to let go of the dreams she had for that robe.
Instead of putting it in a box to move it to storage as I planned, I opened it.
I’ve been wearing it and enjoying every second of doing so. Now I wonder why I waited so long! It was almost as if I thought opening the robe was a sign of defeat, one that we might never grow our family.
But it’s not a sign; it’s just a robe.
Looking back, there are so many things I put off because I was hoping we’d become parents in the very near future. At one point the company I worked for offered to pay for my master’s degree. I declined because we just started trying to conceive and I was worried the stress of working full-time and school would be too much while pregnant. That degree could be complete several times over by now.
I stopped training for a half marathon because I read running was bad for women trying to conceive. I avoided certain foods. I put off some career goals. Not to mention all the wine I didn’t drink during the two week wait! What an amateur.
I still have dreams of rocking our first baby in my long pink robe, but the dreams are different than the ones I had the day of our wedding shower. In some ways, they’re better. In my new dreams I avoid the traumas of labor. 😉 I’m hoping the robe holds up long enough to see us become parents, but if it doesn’t that’s ok, too. It’s just a robe.
Look away now if you don’t want advice.
I hesitated to write this post because infertile couples get A LOT of unsolicited advice. Stop reading now if you don’t want more…
Wear the robe! Drink the wine. Take the vacation. Run the marathon. Accept the promotion. Live your life fully as a family of two, and if the Lord blesses you with the gift of a child, you’ll gladly adjust accordingly.
Couples struggling with IF, what are some of the things you put off/didn’t do because you were trying to conceive? Do you regret it?