Lullaby Wishes :: Birthdays Are a Big Deal in Our House

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Infertility feels like true despair as you’re enduring it. Even once you reach “the other side,” the effects from it continue to linger. There’s a finish line that feels so out of reach, and everyone seems to be crossing it before you, one right after the other. You feel time running out, uncertainty of when it will happen for you, and the crushing realization that it possibly might not. As you wait in this season, you hope, wish, and, most of all, pray.

You dream.  

Celebrating birthdays after infertility

In The Wait

You dream of seeing that positive pregnancy test, of finding out the gender, preparing a nursery, bringing baby home. You even dream of the less-than-ideal motherhood scenarios like being covered in spit up and being sleep deprived–you’ll deal with anything to have your sweet baby in your arms. You dream of watching them grow up, of starting school, curating their wardrobe time and time again as they grow. You dream of watching them turn into who they were created to be.

Before you even see their face or know their name, you know them in your mind and your heart.

Getting There

The road to motherhood is paved differently for everyone. Some need a quick adjustment of the map to find their way, and others have a few more detours. Nothing along the course is our fault, yet we are subjected to it, however our story unfolds.

When you finally get there…it’s the epitome of contentment. It’s super hard, it’s ever-evolving, but in spite of the hard, it feels like magic because of all it took to bring your babies home.

Celebrating birthdays after infertility

Birthdays Are Full Circle Moments

Each birthday is special in and of itself as they grow and change, but the journey it took to reach the Birth Day is worth rejoicing over in addition to celebrating each specific year. Birthdays are surreal full circle moments to all moms but especially to those who endured and conquered infertility.

The Hoopla

There are lots of balloons, probably too many gifts, treats, and special activities throughout the week (yes, it ends up being about a week long). It probably looks “extra” to some, but to me, it’s not enough to portray my gratitude. There’s not enough hoopla in the world to outwardly express the joy my heart feels to get to celebrate birthdays each year.

Only a few years ago, I wondered if I would ever be here, if I would ever have these little hands to hold. The despair, bitterness, and emptiness infertility caused me years ago make these milestones and celebrations even sweeter. I still honor and remember the crushing sadness it brought, while simultaneously feeling the sadness being actively redeemed now through baby giggles and toddler curiosity.

Celebrating birthdays after infertility

Just the Beginning

Birthdays are a big deal in this house because we didn’t know if we’d have birthdays to celebrate. Now that we do, we celebrate HARD. We did get to cross that infertility finish line, and it will never be lost on me how blessed we are. Birthdays are our chance to reflect that gratitude and appreciation.  

After all, the finish line is just the beginning.

We are thankful to work with UAB Medicine on our Lullaby Wishes series. Their position as a major center for research leads them to constantly investigate new advances in fertility treatment, but their team’s heart for the men and women affected by infertility is what truly sets them apart.
Read more from some of the team here:
Lullaby Wishes :: UAB Medicine’s Heart Behind the Care
An Expert Talks Infertility :: Dr. Sukhkamal Campbell of UAB Medicine
Our Lullaby Wishes series is in partnership with UAB Women & Infants Services. This is sponsored content.
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Audra Smith did not spend her childhood in Alabama, but got down here as fast as she could! Originally from Ohio, Audra met and married her husband (of nearly 6 years now), Brian, while in college, and they decided to move to Alabama on a whim a year after graduation, resulting in the best decision ever made. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Family Studies/Child Development. Audra spent the first few years after the move working for The University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa within Early Childhood Education. After years of working in close proximity to Big Al, it’s safe to say now that she is a faithful Tide fan. Audra is an Army National Guard wife due to Brian’s military service and dedication to the great state of Alabama and our country. After enduring years of infertility, Audra and Brian were miraculously blessed with their daughter Nora Jo, who was born in March 2018 in the heart of Birmingham. Audra now resides in the Chelsea area (Sterrett) with her husband Brian, daughter Nora Jo, and living security system (lab/hound mix) Hamilton. When she’s not wrangling and chasing after a spunky toddler, Audra enjoys a good book, just about a million cups of coffee a day, embracing/celebrating the wild ride of postpartum, any DIY crafty project, and being on the water. She initially went to college for Vocal Music, and still enjoys music and singing very much as an outlet (even if she’s mostly singing “Baby Shark” these days.) Audra is passionate about raising awareness for Type 1 Diabetes, as she lives with this disease every day. Audra is currently a stay at home mom who makes it a priority to cultivate side projects related to her passions. She enjoys connecting with other mamas, women, and anyone who needs someone to talk to. Instagram has become a virtual tribe for her, and if you’d like to participate, head on over to @audrashoupesmith whenever you need a dose of “real life.”