Sunday, January 6, 2008


We went out and saw Juno last night. Great movie! I didn't know anything about it, other than my sister-in-law said it was hilarious and my husband looked it up on and it had great reviews. Deservedly so!

It's about a high school girl, Juno, who gets pregnant and decides to give the baby up for adoption to Mark and Vanessa, played by Jason Bateman and Jennifer Garner. Because my SIL deemed it "hilarious", I was expecting the funny stuff. Juno's dialogue is really funny; her attitude and mannerisms were great.

What I didn't expect was the rush of emotions it was going to bring up for me. I saw so much of myself in Vanessa; at least myself four years ago. She's a woman who desperately longs for a baby, but for some reason isn't able to have one of her own. She's likely been down the infertility road with no success, and even been burned by another potential adpotion. I never made it that far down that road; I was lucky enough to be blessed with D. But for 2 1/2 years, I was her. I read books and websites about fertility, and infertility. I tried with marginal success to educate my husband on the ins and outs of babymaking (which is slightly more complicated when it isn't working - a little more than, "let's go have sex without birth control"). I hoped, I prayed, I researched and I tried to do everything I possibly could to have a baby.

But more than all that, I felt that desperation, that longing. I felt that overwhelming desire to be a mother, and the paralyzing fear that I wouldn't ever be one. I went up and down the spectrum, from being hopeful and optimistic, to madly researching international adoptions and doing spreadsheets detailing how we'd pay for it. I made lists weighing the pros and cons of spending our hard earned money on the more expensive fertility procedures versus moving straight to adoption, which at least guaranteed a sure thing. And, hardest of all, I contemplated my life with no children. I looked into my future and tried to see a life with no kids, a life where I was not what I always assumed I would be - a mother. That was the hardest of all, to try to view it in order to move a step closer to possibly accepting it.

I was almost moved to tears several times during the course of the movie. At their first meeting, Juno makes a comment to Vanessa along the lines of, "You're lucky this isn't you," referring to her pregnancy. I cringed, outwardly and inwardly. Oh how such a comment would sting! Many an infertile woman has wanted to bang her head against the wall at all the pregnant teens out there, at the unfairness of it all. In a later scene, they meet by chance in the mall and Vanessa is able to feel the baby move for the first time. I'm almost teary now, just thinking about it. Here is a woman who wants nothing more than to be a mother and she is deprived of feeling that miracle grow inside her own body. Yet she's accepted that reality and still wants a baby to raise; and there it is, moving inside another woman's body, responding to her voice.


Obviously, my worst fears have not been realized and I've been abundantly blessed with two amazing children. I love them so much my heart aches with it. Being a mother is harder, more challenging, more frustrating and infinitely more wonderful than I ever could have imagined. But my experience with infertility will always be with me, always a part of me. It changed me in some ways, and I don't think I'll ever be quite the same.

Having such an easy time conceiving the second time went amazing lengths to heal my infertility wounds. I never thought I'd be able to see a pregnant woman without feeling that sting of jealousy, even after having D. I was surprised at myself when D was a baby and I still felt that pang of envy upon hearing someone I knew was pregnant. I thought, come on, you HAVE a baby! What more do you want! But it's hard to turn that off; the experience sticks with you and colors how you see things. After I got pregnant with G, (the first month we tried, talk about opposite experience), those feelings dulled so much. Even now, I'm rarely hit by those pangs of jealousy, rarely reminded of the ache of infertility. But this movie brought it all back.

I found myself feeling such a kinship with Vanessa; I felt her pain and understood how hard it would be. I know the longing, the heartache, the pain. I felt it again last night. I didn't expect that, in this movie deemed "hilarious". It was much more than a comedy. It had a big heart and, in my opinion, a pretty neat ending.

I hope young girls see this movie and maybe some will be moved to chose life for their babies, if they're ever in Juno's position. Maybe they'll see what a miracle it is to have a child, even an unplanned one. Maybe they'll be the ones making a dream come true for someone, someone who is a lot like I was four years ago. I hope so. I don't know if this movie was made with that kind of agenda; but the message was still there.

I came home and G had woken up (of course, the one night we're gone he wakes up early). I spent a long time holding and nursing him. And I hugged both my boys extra tight this morning. I'm so freaking lucky! SO lucky!

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