I just wanted to share with you some excitement and delight I have had recently. A beloved, dear friend just had a baby, who is really nothing short of a miracle. My friend, the baby’s Mom, experienced 7 miscarriages and a very late stage stillbirth (only a few weeks before the due date), before this joyous event. She experienced all this heartbreak in less than 3 years, at an age when conception is less than likely, and a successful pregnancy even less so. And now here comes this gorgeous baby!!! Victory at last.
Successful pregnancy is a delicate matter at any age, and given a poor track record (even without one), despite all the help of modern science today, a happy ending just doesn’t always happen and isn’t always possible. I know of so many people who have tried endlessly to no avail, and many have had happy outcomes through other avenues, like adoption or surrogacy. Being determined doesn’t always get the result you want in pregnancy, no matter how hard you try, how desperately you want it, or how much money you pour into it. Sometimes, it just doesn’t work. And it’s wonderful when it does. Or when an alternate solution brings a happy result!!
What impressed me this time, with the friend in question, was how doggedly she pursued her dream, despite failure after failure and loss after loss, some real tragedy and heartbreak, and endless tears (hers, and the tears of those who love her, watching her go through it), in spite of everything, she kept trying again, determined to have it work. After a while, despite all my good wishes for her, the odds just seemed too overwhelming, and I couldn’t imagine a successful result. And interestingly, she herself had taken a break, and got pregnant naturally—–and this time it worked. As the pregnancy progressed, we all feared another disappointment for her. We were very reserved with our excitement and so was she, and all who know and love her are jubilant now over this victory. I am stunned with joy for her, and truly impressed that she never gave up, kept the faith no matter how hard it was and kept on going. I’m made of pretty sturdy stuff, and can be stubborn, but I would have given up long before this. I wouldn’t have had the courage to try this many times. But what a fantastic result for her, and reward for her enormous courage.
It’s a reminder and a lesson to me. As I said above, there are complicated elements in the issues of pregnancy, so one can’t generalize. If there is a serious impediment to pregnancy, it won’t work no matter how many times you try, and at some point, you have to be reasonable about it, and give up the dream, or find another way to put a baby in your life. Although I do have a few friends who were told there was no hope, and then had surprise babies (one of them even had four babies in 4 years, after being told she never would). But barring the medical issues, I can’t help but be impressed by this kind of courage and persistence. To go through 9 disappointments in order to achieve success is heroic and astounding.
My only example of persistence was in my early career, when I sold my first book, no one would touch my next five books (they still live in a box in my basement), and finally on my seventh book, my writing career slowly began to take off. I often remind young writers that if I had given up before #7, I would never have the career I have today. It’s something to think about. I just kept writing and trying and starting again, and at last it worked. The same is true of my friend with her brand new baby.
Wisdom should always rule the day, if there is some serious concrete reason to give up, sometimes one has to, and try to make one’s peace with it. But if not, persistence always wins the prize, as they say. There is a lot to be said for following your dream for as long and as far as you can. As Winston Churchill said “Never give up, Never, Never, Never, Never give up”. Wars have been won with that kind of determination, lives have been saved when it appeared impossible, fabulously successful careers have been built against all odds, improbable love stories have had happy endings…..there is something to be said for not giving up, no matter how daunting the circumstances or how bleak the outlook along the way. And for my friend with the brand new baby, Bravo!!!!….and may God bless you both…..