Friday, April 27, 2012

one day at a time...

When you meet the guy you are going to marry when you are just 17, you have your whole life ahead of you.  You are carrying your childhood dreams into this relationship and as the relationship grows, your dreams reshape around you.  When you will get married, where you will live, how many kids you will have, which "real" job are you going to take...  You are wide-eyed and excited even knowing that there will be bumps in the road and that things won't always go as planned.

Anticipating those bumps did not prepare me for the infertility card.

Thirteen years as a couple later and approaching the four year mark of trying, I still can't fully wrap my head around it.  The "no kids" discussion is had more often than the "let's try again" discussion.  It is a discussion that breaks my heart.  And yet, I know that it is probably my reality. 

Recently I said it out loud for the first time... One of those annoying people who just really doesn't know when to end a conversation was pestering me about when we were going to have kids (you know, because it's totally any of their business).  After skirting around the issue for a bit I finally just said it... "We aren't having kids."  And of course this person just couldn't let it go and continued with the ole, "You wait and see."  I replied, "No... we can't have kids."

There is something to be said about saying things out loud.  You can think it, you can write it, you can dream about it... but it just doesn't feel real until you say it out loud.

It is real now and I'm trying to figure out where to go from here.  Maybe we'll change our minds and give it another go.  Maybe we'll be that couple who it randomly just happens to out of no where (I'm not holding my breath).  Maybe... there's just so many maybe's and what if's and possibilities out there.

It's hard to explain to people who haven't been down this road.  To explain infertility as so much more than just not being able to have children.  Infertility changes who you are whether you want it to or not.  It can (and will) break you into a million pieces.  But when you finally piece yourself back together, you find parts of yourself that you forgot existed.  You shape a new life for yourself and pray that this time you will find the peace you have been searching for.

One day at a time.  That's all anyone can really do right?...

"We must be willing to get rid of the life we've had planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us..." Joseph Campbell

p.s. To those who asked if they could share my previous post, please share away.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

infertility is...

Hushed conversations, secret struggles, gross misconceptions, ignorence.

The reality is much more than that.  The reality is a group of people who fight a battle everyday for a glimpse of what seems to come so easily to everyone else.  People who face heartbreak and fear and loss and unanswerable questions every single day.  People who question every choice they make.  People who wonder what they did to deserve this.  People who willingly subject their bodies to tests and treatments and probes and medications... with no guarantee of their happily ever after.

Infertility is...
Getting excited when needles/syringes/medications arrive in the mail:

Having your veins look like this on a good day:

Covering your stomach in patches that leave you bloated and your tummy covered in a residue that fights you to the death to come off:

Carting your cryopreserved potential future children between clincs:

Watching while two beautiful embryos are transferred into you:

Waiting years to see this:

...Only to be told four days later that your dream doesn't get to stay.

It's multiple injections daily that leave you with bumps and bruises in places that are not convenient to have bumps and bruises. 

It's eyes so swollen from crying that you lie with ice packs in hopes of being presentable to the outside world.

It's being stripped of your privacy.

It's laughing at yourself for thinking that maybe, just maybe this is the month.

It's watching "it" happen for everyone else.

It's hoping you'll be "that couple" who was told it wouldn't happen but got knocked up once they stopped trying/went on vacation/stopped stressing/did thisthatortheother thing.

It's is also finding a strength in yourself that you never knew existed.

It's finding new meaning in words like patience... hope... faith...

It's discovering a new path.

It's learning that even in the darkest of days, you will be ok.

Infertility is someone you know... your daughter, sister, aunt, niece, cousin, friend...

Infertility is me...

"Perhaps strength doesn't reside in having never been broken, but in the courage required to grow strong in the broken places..." Unknown

Friday, April 20, 2012

a year...

It's hard to write when you don't really know what direction you are heading in.  I wouldn't say I'm lost, it's more like I'm wandering.

It hit me last week that it was exactly a year ago that we last cycled.  A year.  In one breath I feel like we have given up... in the next I still contemplate what's next.  I've been holding onto thoughts and feelings with no clear picture of how to release them.  There are some things that you just can't put into words, and other things that are simply just hard to let go of.

With National Infertility Awareness Week rapidly approaching, I thought I would take some time to sort out some of my thoughts on here.  Maybe try to make sense of how I feel.  Maybe just take some time to clear my head. 

I also signed up for IComLeavWe (which I haven't done in forever) so that I could take a glimpse into the challenges that others are facing and to remind myself that I'm not alone in this struggle.  It will also get me writing again which I've been wanting to do, but keep putting off.

So here goes nothing... this upcoming week will be me moving on (or at least not standing still any longer).

"My mama always said you've got to put the past behind you before you move on..." Forest Gump