Thursday, January 1, 2009

A New Year

It seems like forever that I've been saying, It's been almost two years since we've been TTC. Really, after I hit that 18 month mark, it just sort of turned into almost two years in my head.

Well, now it really has been two years.

I thought I would be ok with it, that I would welcome the challenge with open arms this coming year, not at all like last year when I was sad, upset, even a little bit mad. And I was definitely bitter. But then something changed, and I spent this last year happier then ever. I enjoyed baby showers, welcomed new pregnancies, and in the midst of it all handled two failed IUI's rather nicely.

But today, as I struggle to write my feelings in this entry, I find that it still hurts. Actually hitting that two year mark proves even more devastating than the one year mark I hit last January. And I didn't expect this at all.

As my infamous spotting returns and I prepare to start my 24th cycle, thoughts from the past 2 years have come flooding back. I remember November 2006 when my husband asked me, in the middle of the theater during Charlotte's Web, if I was still on birth control. The original plan was to ditch it a year after getting married, which became six months, and here we were, at only two months. I smiled I said yes, knowing where this was going. He simply asked, "Why? I thought we were going to have a baby?" I just stared at him, trying to keep my cool and act non-chelant while I was bursting inside. And right then in there, in the midst of watching an adorable pig talk with his unlikely spider friend, we decided to secretly finish off the last pack of birth control that I had just purchased and start our new family in January of 2007.

January came, but not soon enough. I was more than happy to throw out my third and last empty pack of birth control. I spent the entire month preparing for the baby that we'd have in nine months, mentally turning the guest bedroom into a nursery, evaluating how my clothes would work as a maternity wardrobe. I'd even picked out the announcements that would go out with the sonogram picture on them, sharing our pregnancy surprise with everyone. And I'll never forget shopping with my mother in-law; passing my reflection in a store window and patting my belly while I whispered a few words to the child that I just knew was growing inside of me.

About a week before my period was due my sister called to let me know she was pregnant with her first, and I was thrilled inside to know that we would be pregnant at the same time! She would have a boy, I would have a girl, and we would make our parents grandparents together.

But it wasn't meant to be, for either of us. My sister lost that baby just a week later, about the same time my period came. We were both devastated. Fortunately for her, the very next month brought a new pregnancy, and the little boy she always wanted.

Our baby plans finally became public about 8 months later in August. I suppose I'd tried so hard to hide the pain, fear and questions for those long 8 months that I needed them released before they consumed me. It felt so good to let it out to our families, to feel their love and support lifting that weight. I came alive again, surrounded by their prayers and kind words encouraging us not to give up. But none of us had any idea how long we'd have to wait.

We're still waiting.

I debated whether or not to write this post. I know I'll look back on it tomorrow and part of me will want to erase it. Because it doesn't fit. It's not as happy as the rest of them. It doesn't match.

95% of the time I am happy, and that's a pretty good statistic from where I'm standing. But 5% of the time I'm sad, confused, frustrated and self-absorbed. I'm only human and I know it's normal to have these feelings, but I'm still embarrassed by them sometimes. I'm disappointed in myself for being disappointed, month after month. It's like I have this huge scar that I'm constantly covering up and an infertility label that I let define me, simply because I don't understand it. Sometimes I still don't believe it.

Although this post isn't as uplifting as I'd like it to be, it's not all that bad. It's raw, honest-and despite the negativity-hopeful. Because no matter how frustrated I get with this battle, I'll always have God on my side. And when I step back and take a look at the bigger picture of who I am today compared to two years ago, I'm proud to say I'm a much better person because of it. All the pain, tears, frustrations and questions have made me harder, more determined. But they've also brought compassion, honesty, and wisdom. They've improved my relationship with God and my family. And they've encouraged me to shine in the dark void of infertility, to show others-and even myself-that God can turn even the most seemingly unfair situation into something to hope for.

For 2009 I have no set resolutions to turn into broken promises, no unrealistic goals to grudgingly follow through, no senseless plans to watch fall into place-or fall apart. Just the undying hope that whatever this new year brings will continue to chip at me and soften me, making me a better, stronger person.

And a mother.

"Should you shield the canyons from the windstorms, you would never see the beauty of their carvings."
-Elisabeth Kubler-Ross


Melymel80 said...

Oh hun... huge hugs. Although we didn't deal as long as you have, I still know too well the pain of IF. Please understand it is totally normal to feel this way. IF breaks you down and will bring you to your knees. It will shake everything you thought was true. But, honestly when your day comes, I promise you that you will look back and be amazed at the strength you really have. IF will change you in so many ways. Some days it will make you bitter, angry and just downright nasty. But the changes it makes to your spirit will be evident for a long time later. It will make you grow as a person. Feel what you feel right now. It is part of the process. Allow yourself to kick, scream cry etc. IF sucks and you are allowed to be pissed at it. I am praying that this ends for you very soon and you get that baby you have been praying for....lots of luck!

Dave and Elaine said...

I loved your post. I also love your blog because you are so positive. It's okay to say what you said though, because when another disappointment comes along your way you are sad, mad, angry for a time. But then you move on. That has been my goal through each of my 3 failed IUIs. We can move on because of the hope we have in Jesus Christ. Thank you for this post and I pray 2009 is another year of God teaching you truths about Himself and the year you welcome your baby!

RDgirl said...

I totally understand where you are coming from. I have had that same positive attitude for the first 2 years of TTC without success. But when my 30th birthday hit I went through several months of feeling very down and sad. That is how I ended up blogging; as a way to get out my feelings and sort things through. And I felt really bad about my posts because they were not reflecting the positive person that I normally am but instead the sadness that I could not shake when I hit a few infertility milestones.

What I learned from it though is that it’s better to let out that sadness than keep it in. Acknowledge it, name it and then give it over to God. He has been so faithful to heal me and bring me out of it. And it hasn’t just been through His word but people that He has brought into my life. By being open with my support system of family and friends they, literally, engulfed me with prayer. And by being open on my blog I’ve had so many wonderful bloggy friends that also helped to pull me out of my sadness and encouraged me. Some, simply by being honest about where they were at (which is what you are doing)! By doing this God has revealed so much to me just in the past month alone. Even though this past month was another bust I truly have never been happier and I could not have said that a month ago. So go ahead, let it out! Be open and be ready for what God has in store to show you too!

John and Angel said...

Praying that you have peace and strength in the waiting (because I know the waiting sucks - this year makes 6 years of "waiting" for us), but also praying that you won't have to wait much longer!!!

Hoping for our own Peanut said...

what a great post. i am feeling so many of the same things you are. particularly the being in a bad dream and not being able to wake up.

i hope both of our dreams come true in this fresh and new year. :)

The Baby-less Mama said...

I found your blog a little while ago and absolutely love it. I love how honest and real you are but also how positive you are about things. I read your post tonight and so much of it resonates with how I am feeling right now. Mau 2009 make us all stronger and all mothers :)

Ashley said...

Thanks for commenting on my blog!! Your post was EXACTLY how I feel from thinking I would be pregnant right away to being happy 95% of the time. Don't worry abou that 5% that's what makes us stronger woman!! I am going to add you to my blog list. Good luck in 2009! I will be praying for you;)

Jennifer said...

This was a very moving post, Tab. I hope and pray that 2009 brings you everything you deserve. You're very uplifting and selfless and I know you're going to make an amazing mother. I know that, for me, it was very hard to remain positive all of the time even though I really, really wanted to be, but like you said, we're only human and can't help the way we feel sometimes. Even though I didn't ask for it, IF made me a stronger, more understanding person than I ever thought I could be. I wish it didn't take that to prove it to myself, but it definitely did. I will continue to keep you in my prayers and may this year bring you the baby you have been praying for.

Dianne said...

Hi there I found your blog through Shannon. Reading your post is like looking in a mirror! I find myself thinking and saying the same things everyday! Dont' feel bad for having a bad day - it is impossible to be happy all of the time - especially going through infertility. Hang in there! I hope to get comments from you!!