(This post, although tagged as secondary infertility, talks about infertility and my current pregnancy.)
Every new year, people are expected to reflect on the passing year’s triumphs and trials. We expect ourselves and others to take these triumphs and trials and learn from them, make them all mean something. Sometimes, you just can’t get the bad things to make sense. Sometimes, you just can’t find the good or the silver lining. I am beyond blessed as this year closes to be aware of many more triumphs than trials. I also find myself slightly overwhelmed by the past year’s events as I reflect, looking back on where I was a year ago.
Last year, I was desperately wanting my body to cooperate with my heart’s desire. I wanted a baby, and I couldn’t have one. My body wasn’t functioning well. I was fighting what felt like a losing battle with my weight to try to control my polycystic ovary syndrome and the insulin resistance that went along with it. I had Eva, my then five-year-old daughter, but it was looking more and more likely that she would never have a brother or sister (at least not from me). All of those ladies out there that have been where I was a year ago know that I am leaving out big chunks that resemble jagged, broken messes of emotion. There isn’t a way to explain the emotions that infertility can evoke. I don’t think for a second that the emotions are the same for every person, either, but I know that there is a woman reading this right now nodding her head in agreement. She knows what I knew last year. Her heart hurts and aches as mine did last year. She feels the same as I did about resolutions last year–that they are pointless when the only thing you really want seems to be completely unattainable.
Last year, I struggled with eating right. I started juicing; I joined a gym. I hated that I devoted at least eights hours of my time a week to exercise. Eight hours I felt I should be spending with Eva and my husband. I couldn’t stop, either, though. I could not control my ovaries or my hormones, so I gained control where I could with eating right and exercising. I remember spending snow days with Eva, pulling her along in her sled as I ran because I couldn’t make it to the gym to exercise those days. I ran in snow boots, with shin splints, because it was something I could do when there wasn’t much else to be done. This is the photo that sticks in my mind:
It was the best way to help with the pain of the shin splints. Eva always thought it was rather funny to see her popsicles on my legs. I started going to Zumba, changing my exercise routine to try to keep my body from plateauing. I found that I enjoyed Zumba, too, which was definitely nice. I had friends there and support as well from a dear friend that ran with me after we just spent an hour sweating. She listened as I poured out my frustrations. She listened as I poured out my hope that Clomid would be it for me. It wasn’t, and she listened to my disappointment as well. Thank you, friend, you know who you are. You made it all a little easier to take.
So, yes, a picture of my shins being soothed by popsicles is what sticks in my mind for last year around this time. But, this year, so much has changed. I hope next year, this picture will be what sticks in my mind about New Year’s Eve:
I got to see my precious little boy today in more detail than we have yet seen him. I got to hold these photos in my hand, to hold them up and compare his face to his father’s. I got to see the likeness father and son share. There is a woman reading this right now that knows this feeling, too. She knows what this means to my heart, my being. This little baby is a restoration of hope. He is a reminder that sometimes life isn’t perfect, but sometimes the imperfections can make life so much sweeter in the end. I can’t express it all; I’m just not that articulate.
This year, I can find my silver lining. I can make the bad things mean something. I can look favorably on my life tonight, with a heart softened by circumstance and ultrasound photos. I can find all my hope that had been withering at this point last year. My hope is fed and freshened by my son with every kick and punch and jab and roll he takes. God has answered my most fervent prayers this time with something other than a no. I don’t know why, but I just know that gratefulness doesn’t cover it. I am beyond thankful for my family.
Now, this next year, I just wish I could eliminate infertility for every other woman out there struggling. I know that there isn’t anything I can do or say to ease the pain of the woman that is struggling tonight with infertility. She knows that most attempts to ease her pain by others usually results in more pain. There isn’t a single good thing to say to someone dealing with infertility. There just isn’t; so I don’t try. I usually offer hugs when I comment on many posts, because hugs are the best I can offer. Tonight, I do the same.