I’ve stalked this dress ever since we started trying to have a baby. I’d tell myself I could buy it when I was finally pregnant. It would be a splurge, yes, but I imagined weekly photos in this dress with my bump growing as the days progressed so it totally seemed worth it. I pictured a maternity shoot in this dress, with a little love in my belly and my big love on my arm, glowing with happiness in a field somewhere. And then later, a photograph in this dress holding our precious newborn. This would be the dress that I would be wearing in photos when our child looked back many years from now. I don’t know why I put so much pressure on this dress. I didn’t even own the damn thing, I just looked at it online a whole bunch. But over time, it became my light at the end of the tunnel. It helped me to look forward. If I was wearing this dress, it’d mean that we finally made it to the place we had worked so hard for.
I never got around to buying the dress because we haven’t really made it that far yet. So, you can imagine my surprise when, after sharing my story with one of my oldest friends, I received a package in the mail. Inside was THE DRESS. Perfectly wrapped with a beautiful note attached. Naturally, I wept. I cried because it caught me off guard. I cried because it was finally mine! I cried because I was empty – I didn’t have giant boobs or a baby bump to fill it with. To be honest, I loved it so much and yet, I couldn’t look at it. It reminded me of all that I didn’t have.
A couple weeks went by and I came across the box that I had hidden in the back of the closet. I tucked it away back there with my feelings, I guess. I took the dress out, stared at it for a while and finally worked up the courage to try it on. It was so perfect. It was everything I had pictured it to be. I didn’t look sad. I didn’t feel empty. I felt whole. I felt beautiful. I felt strong and proud. And suddenly, I didn’t hurt anymore. I felt happy. I finally felt like I was enough.
I realized then that I don’t need to wait for a baby to start living. It’s definitely something I’m working tirelessly to achieve but sometimes I get so caught up in the future that I forget to live for today. And today, I have a pretty good life. I realize it sounds silly that a dress could move me in such a way but it did. Call me crazy but something clicked that day and I’ve never looked back. Since then, I’ve been able to talk about our journey without bursting into tears. I feel strength in my story. I realize I control my emotions and I choose hope, joy and positivity. I choose to feel full with all that I do have. Because of all that, I finally was able to throw on that pretty dress that had been hanging over my head for so long and own it. You want to know why? Because pregnant or not, I will always be enough.
Special thanks to my dearest friend Sandy for giving me this gift (it taught me so much, who knew??) It’s still my light at the end of the tunnel, I just get to twirl in it in the meantime! And to my sweet Megan for trekking into a field to capture this stage in my journey.