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.