Monday, February 13, 2012

Bittersweet Gift

I think I’ve mentioned here that I like to scrapbook. If not, then I’m mentioning it now. My SIL got me into it in late 2008. I thought it would be fun for the LG and for us to be able to look back through old pictures. I love doing that when I go to my parents’ house. I had never done it before and so I had a lot to learn...I’m still learning, actually. I had wondrous plans for making a baby album. Especially after seeing all the cute baby paper and stickers and such. I’ve always loved taking pictures of people and never really did anything with those pictures so it was the perfect hobby for me.

I dove in head first. I hit the Internet and bought oodles of tools and kits and such. We started our first few rounds of fertility treatments about this same time. I worked diligently on our wedding album. I decided that it was good to get my feet wet with a project that had a beginning and an end. I fell in love with scrapping. I went to all day crop events and just submerged myself in all things scrapping.

When we failed at our first IVF I was crushed, of course. I was also crushed that I wouldn’t be able to do a baby album full of belly shots and first hospital pictures and the first time family would hold our baby. When I went to crops I would say at least 1/3 of the women there were working on baby albums. They chatted about everything baby and pregnancy and labor and I never had anything to add. A hobby that I thought would bring me friends was alienating me even more. When I did meet new people they would ask me how old my son was and I’d have to fess up that he’s my step-son. They didn’t usually have much more to say to me after that. I mean, I wasn’t pregnant with him, I didn’t birth him and I wasn’t a SAHM (which many of them are) that volunteered at school and went on field trips. It was fun to go to these events but at the same time it sucked.

Just before we were about to embark on our 2nd IVF, my SIL gave me a stack of pictures from the day the LG was born. She said she didn’t know if I wanted them but she thought I might like to at least look at them and give them to the LG. I had a brilliant idea. I’d make a special baby album for the LG. I’m sure his mother has one for him but this one would be would be made by ME. As I was looking at those pictures I was happy because seeing my husband so young and happy made me smile. At the same time I was bitter because he was with another woman in those pictures...she gave him a baby and she made him smile like that...I was afraid I would never share that with him. I even bought the baby boy album kit to get started on this gift for the LG. It was supposed to be his 10th birthday present.

When I saw those 2 lines on that hpt I couldn’t have been happier. Not only was I excited about being able to join the Mommy Club, I was excited about all the scrapping that I’d get to do. I know it must sound corny, but that is the way my brain thinks now. Everything relates to scrapping somehow. I keep most of those thoughts to myself, though, otherwise people might take for a loony bird. Then my world fell apart and I lost that brief feeling of happiness. I put the LG’s album on hold. I just could not bring myself to look at those pictures. The thought of it made me sick to my stomach. I’m sure that all you IF’s can understand that feeling. I went to a crop in May and reluctantly continued working on the album. My heart was not in it. I was exhausted by the time I left and not from working...from fighting back the tears I wanted to cry and the anguish I was feeling. I didn’t pick it up again until October. I just couldn’t do it. It was so painful to see him as a baby and see his mother smiling with MY husband by her killed me inside. BJ didn’t really understand. He kept saying, “What’s the big deal? It’s pictures of (LG).” I would try to explain it to him but he didn’t get it...not really.

In October I decided that I better get my butt in gear because I had missed the LG’s birthday and so the album would now have to be a Christmas present. Oh, and in September I signed up to be an Independent Creative Memories consultant! So exciting and scary at the same time. They came out with a way to digitally create a traditional album cover and I knew that I had to make one for the LG’s album. The kit I had bought came with a baby blue coverset which was fine, but I LOVE the personalization of the customized album cover. It turned out great! Time was of the essence now that I had the album cover. I finally finished the album on Christmas Eve! I wrapped it up and put it under the tree. BJ looked through it before I wrapped it and really liked it. The LG unwrapped it and paged through it pretty quickly. BJ was quick to tell him how much time I had spent on it. I knew he wouldn’t be very excited about it because it wasn’t a video game but I still got a big hug out of it.

I know he will better appreciate it when he’s older. If we end up telling him that his brother/sister (please don’t let that be a jinx!) was created with the help of doctors because we really thought we couldn’t have babies, then I hope he will really understand how hard it was for me to make that album for him during this time of struggling. Like I said, I’m sure his mother has made something for him but hopefully he understands how much love went into this album. On the off chance she doesn’t have anything for him then I think he (and his future wife and children) will really appreciate this gift. It was the most bittersweet gift I have ever given anyone and no one was more deserving than him.


Rebecca said...

You are a wonderful mom. Yes I left out the step part as you are way better than the bad ideas society throws about so easily about steps. You are a mom to him in many more ways than even his biological mom is because you love him even without him being of your flesh. You love him just because.

someday-soon said...

You have such a big heart! He will love this album in the future =)

Anonymous said...

What a beautiful gift! He will definitely appreciate it one day...and his spouse will appreciate it even more :). I'm pretty sure I cherish Hubby's baby photos more than he does, lol, but I LOVE having them.