I see her eyes follow me through the restaurant as we search for our table. I see them land on baby J as he stares out of his car seat with big round eyes. I don't know her at all, but wonder if she sits like I used to, with an empty womb and a hole in her heart that longs for her own sweet baby. I want to tell her my story, I want her to know that I don't take this gift for granted, that he was prayed for and waited on for a very very long time. I wonder if she's in a place of peace while she waits, or if she feels incredibly alone.
J fusses and I take him out to be nursed, again feeling eyes on me but when I look to meet them she retreats back to her table and conversation with her significant other. I don't know every woman's story, but after the road I walked for so long I know that there ARE stories. Did she just come from a doctors appointment where they told her she had "unexplained infertility" or perhaps she had seen those pink lines yet was told at her next ultrasound the baby no longer had a heartbeat. Maybe she and her husband are just not in a place financially where they can start a family, or they are dealing with physical struggles that are overwhelming.
I want to tell her that it's okay that her journey looks different than her sisters, or her best friends. It doesn't matter if her mom didn't have these issues, or if people in church question her decisions regarding treatment. She is going to be okay because there is so much more life still to experience, so much more still to learn. Will it hurt? It could. It could hurt badly, but the healing that follows and the joy on the other side is beyond compare.
I look down at sweet J, remember that I am now experiencing living out my dreams to be a mom, and yet still feel so vividly what if felt like to be on the other side...waiting.