Research shows that it takes 30 days to form a pattern and about 90 days to form a habit. I’ve been trying to find research on how long it takes to break a habit, because I developed a habit almost 10 years ago and I’ve been most unsuccessful in trying to break that habit for 14 months now without success!
The habit in question is the unconscious way in which I brace myself for pregnancy announcements, pregnancy conversations, pregnant bellies and all things pregnancy related. I find myself drawing in my breath and bracing for the pain and when it doesn’t come I’m almost confused and it takes me a moment to realize that its not painful anymore, it doesn’t need to be painful anymore, that I’m no longer held back by the pain of pregnancy. That Ava-Grace in all her glory, has set me free from that.
I’ve asked this over and over and over in the past 14 months, but I wonder when I’ll ever, if ever, get used to the idea that I am a mother, I have a child and potentially could have another one on the way. Walter is a father. We are a family of 3, we are parents, experiencing all the up’s and down’s and trials and tribulations that come with parenting.
Being a mother to Ava-Grace has come naturally to me. Mothering her is easy, I’ve never felt awkward or anxious in my one on one dealings with her, I’ve trusted my instincts and have mothered well. But for some reason, the idea that I am a mother has not settled in my thick skull.
I wonder if it ever will. I’d always heard and always believed that once infertile, always infertile. That we never truly overcome infertility but rather like drug addicts or alcoholics, we go into recovery but we never return to who or what we were prior to having our worlds rocked by infertility. I know this is not reserved exclusively for Mom’s through adoption as all my “mom’s post infertility” friends seem to struggle with similar issues.
Its rather odd. There’s this sense of disbelief and relief and gratitude that seems to be magnified by the years of struggle.
I think I’ve just answered the question I started out asking. I guess the answer is that I will probably never break the habit of my infertility completely because I’ll never be who I was 10 years ago.
So I guess this is me, warts and all, in “recovery”.