So I know we have been MIA…I blame summer. Between vacations, fitting in some medical procedures and just life in general; we have not been around. But it is really no excuse. As much as I say, “I have just been busy”…it is a lie. Truthfully, I have been avoiding you. I know that sounds awful, but hear me out.
A year ago today, we were starting our injections for our final IVF attempt to expand our family. I did not realize how fast time flies, until I have been reliving the past, through the infamous “Facebook memories.” Every day I have been reluctantly visiting that tab on my computer, knowing how it would make me feel. But I have mastered the art of disconnection. I have been acting like I was a spectator, taking a look into someone else’s life. After all, that is what it feels like. I feel almost invasive that I am peeking into someone’s most intimate memories…then I remember; they are mine.
To think about how we could be living final months of pregnancy right now; as we would be due next month. I imagine I would be cursing the sweltering Southern Louisiana temperatures, convincing myself that snoballs are indeed the 6th food group and I would be preparing my son for what it will be like to be the big brother.
Then I blink. I am brought back to reality.
Reality is, that is not where we are. Yes, I am still cursing the boiling temps, indulging in a Southern delicacy, that is snoballs…but the last step; the one that I was most looking forward to, is not our reality. We did sit down with our son and talk to him about why momma and daddy could not give him the title of big brother.
Okay, let’s stop there a second. That may sound weird or strange to you. That we would sit our 5 year old down and explain how life is not always fair and that sometimes it just kinda sucks. We talked about heartache, we talked about how our plans are not always His perfect plan, we talked about how he would make the very best brother and that if we had our way, he would be just that. What happened next reminded me of our why. Why we endured months of emotions, months of discomfort, months of unknowns, months of expectancy. Our boy sat there listening intently and said so simply;
“It’s okay momma, I love our family. It’s my favorite and I know our babies are with Jesus.”
In that moment, my heart slowly started to piece back together. It will never be completely full; as every baby that we never met, took a piece to heaven with them. But my boy was right, our family is my favorite too. But I would be lying to sit here and say that I have not been walking through the emotions of loss since that day.
I am still healing, I am still wondering, I am still sad, I am still thankful. I know, I know; what on earth could I possibly be thankful for?!? Trust me, it has taken 8 months for me to rest in this place of thankfulness. I have processed this journey with mentors, pastors, friends, my husband and yep, my 5 year old, and I have always walked away with the same thought…
This leg of our journey, was never about me.
It was about getting back to the basics. Basics of what this life is really about.
Trust, Obedience, Faith, Endurance, Transparency and Hope.
Trust- When we decided to jump back in the deep end of fertility treatments, we had no plan. We just knew we were supposed to do it. We did not know how, when or even why. I mean of course we knew we wanted a baby at the end, but why now? Why again? Why this way? That we did not know.
Obedience- We did not concentrate on the unknowns. We just listened to our hearts and knew we were to be obedient and so we said, Yes. We said, if not us, who? So with that, we jumped in.
Faith- They say faith is in the unseen. If anything reflects and requires faith, it’s Infertility. Talk about the unseen. You believe for something everyone else has. Something that is not supposed to be this hard to get. Something that without faith that you will have your heart’s desire, you would miss the point. You would miss the purpose of the fight.
Endurance- This is a marathon, not a sprint. A sprint may be when you can just say, “hey babe, let’s have more kids…(do the deed)…POAS…celebrate…” that may be a sprint. Infertility is NOT that. It is waiting, waiting and more waiting. But with endurance comes sweet rewards. Not always the bundle of joy with a pretty bow at the end, but along the way, there are rewards. As a healthy woman, you may never jump around in celebration, that you have 10 follicles growing, you may never cry with joy, after hearing the doctor was able to extract 4 eggs (when 16-24 is “normal”), you may never hold your phone in your hand waiting for a call to hear if you have embryos growing in a laboratory. But these are all “rewards” when you are walking (sometimes crawling) through this grueling marathon.
Transparency- If your story is not for sharing, what is the point? Hear me out, I totally understand the privacy, the sensitivity and the shame that comes with this journey. I have been on both sides. But I can promise you this, there is something so freeing about transparency. Something so beautiful about owning your story. Will everyone understand, no, will everyone be supportive, no…but it is because they do not understand. It all goes back to them not understanding. But why is that? It is because they do not know, they have not been educated, they have not been taught. But why is that? It is because people are not sharing, not owning their story, not being transparent…Get where I am going with this? Where do you start? No, starting a blog with the world, may not be your audience. Maybe it is around the kitchen table, at Sunday dinner, with your immediate family. Start small. But guard your heart. Be ready for questions, confusions, or pushback. But remember, it is not directed AT you… it is because they do not understand. Make them understand, they do not have to ever agree…but this is your story, not theirs…Own it!
Hope- Once you have invited the other aspects of this journey listed above into your life…Hope comes next. You will give someone around you hope, that I promise. Hope to Trust, Hope to Endure, Hope to Obey, Hope to have Faith, Hope to Own their Story, and in the end; permission to Hope…
This journey is not pretty, but it is yours, it is mine, it is ours…
Let’s get back to the basics…Let’s Own It!!!
Photos by Karen Lodato Photography