I Heard, "He Looks Just Like You"

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[Editor’s Note: This post is today’s featured entry in the Journey to Motherhood with Ricki Lake story contest. Find out how to submit your story and see the video message from Ricki here -- you could win a wonderful prize package! -- Jenna]

Motherhood brought about words that I’d never heard before. The obvious was that I was even going to be a mother. After a round of laparoscopic surgery to remove pockets of painful endometriosis and scar tissue, my doctor thoughtfully advised that if I thought I ever wanted to have children I’d better get on it. It would likely take me “at least two years to get pregnant.” Her words fell heavily on my heart, since I’d just finally found my Prince Charming among all the toads, and he was amazing with his nephews.

I told his sister with great reservation but the most honest intentions that I was probably going to break up with him. He should be set free to find another woman while he was still young enough to start over…to start a family. I wanted that for him, even if I couldn’t give it to him. She said she was going to pray for us and wanted me to stay. I assured her it was going to take way more than prayer to get me pregnant, and I just didn’t want to put her brother through that emotional rollercoaster.

What was supposed to take two years took about two days. On Valentine’s Day I woke him up at 6 a.m. to tell him what I’d found out…that we were going to have a baby.

I had the best doctor ever, one that took care of our whole family, from the great-grandpas on down the line. He knew what was going on with everyone, and his office was just across from the hospital. He was scheduled to be on vacation for my due date, so on my visit the week before, he decided since I had dilated very early and had contractions from 5 months on, that we were going to have a baby that day instead.

That turned out to be a blessing. My doctor, who was never fazed about a thing, turned as white as his beard just after my baby boy came out. He’d had a knot in his cord that we didn’t know about. If we had let him go another week, he explained, he would have compressed on that cord. It could have so easily gone the other way.

IMG_2296As my little boy was passed from person to person, I kept hearing those other words. “He looks like you.”

I’ve never been told that I look like anyone. I was adopted and don’t resemble anyone in my adoptive family. To have that physical bond and belonging to someone else was a concept so foreign to me, but it made me proud beyond words.

There are still times, now that we have added another son to our family (the same sense of pride and wonder is no less diminished the second time around) that I look at each of them and see myself in them, and they help me remember the me of my youth, the one that saw through curious eyes and a loving heart, who was quick to forgive and eager to play.

I hope I can keep their world full of wonder as long as possible, because they’ve given me such a beautiful window through which to see life again. They've given me such a gift -- a new role in life as their caretaker, their protector, but also they've put back part of my own spirit that was a bit lost.

I’m so glad that doctor was wrong.

 

Photo Credit: mayeesherr.

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