Apr 27, 2018

NIAW: All The Feels

Hi guys. Happy Friday and happy good weather week!
My mood is ALWAYS guaranteed to be brighter when it's warmer, anyone else?

So, today is (almost) the final day of NIAW, or National Infertility Awareness Week.
And I won't bore you with possibly redundant details about what it is. If you're interested in learning more, head over to the Resolve website and educate yo'self.

I also guest posted over at Fertility Bridge, in case you missed that article!

What I wanted to talk about today are the feelings and thoughts that come along with this week.

When you start re-hashing your infertility journey, whether you are holding a baby in your arms or not, it starts drumming up a ton of emotions that you may have been ignoring or pressing pause to.

For me, this week has filled me with both a sense of community and overwhelming grief.
It didn't help that I got my period halfway through the week. The hormones will obviously run rampant, and I may or may not have spit some venom towards Mark about bringing in some delivery boxes from the front porch because I was feeling really sad at the time (I did that, and apologized).

You see, it is easy to fall back into the dismal past where despair and frustration and loss consumed our lives during our stint in IVF treatments. It's easy to let the sad and angry thoughts consume your entire brain. It's easy to let them win. It's easy to stop pressing forward, in whatever way, shape, or form eases you out of the normal routine of gloom and doom.

I have said it many times because it's true; knowing we were constantly met with dismal results at the end of each IVF cycle became oddly comforting, because it was all I knew, and I was well-versed in failing.

I forced myself to become uncomfortable when I said no to further treatment.
I put myself in a vulnerable position that doesn't have a forged path.
I am choosing to bow out of the grief cycle and try to see the light in a different path.

You see, it is EASY to continue the cycle of addiction that relates to "trying again" with fertility treatments. You know exactly what to expect and can easily just rewind and do it all again.
That may seem harsh, but it is so, so very true. It is EASY after you have completed one IVF cycle, to do it again. Even if it means a huge hit to your mental state and finances.

There will always be more money.
And there will always be therapy.

So why stop? Why not keep trying until it works if both of these things are technically limitless?

That answer, unfortunately, is not cut and dry. It's something that evolves over time and will be different for every. single. person. 

NIAW week drummed up a lot of the older struggles and made me start questioning if I'm doing the right thing. It made me sad all over again for our losses and made me feel less than because I never became a mom with all my efforts.

But you know what also happened during these trying years?
I met and connected with HUNDREDS of like-minded women.
We have shared stories of triumph and loss, and have laughed and cried together.

I have met SO. MANY. local couples in the same boat, and because I was blessed and fortunate to have excellent insurance coverage for medication, I donated A LOT of my meds to those in need.

And you know what?
I helped SIX couples find their dream.
I helped build SIX families.
I helped create SIX miracles.

That is astonishing to me. It would have never happened if I hadn't struggled myself.

Going through the droves of infertility has been one of the hardest lessons I have had to learn. It has shaped my life in ways I didn't even know were possible. I have gained an immense amount of empathy and understanding for other people around me. I have slowed down and truly absorbed the beauty that life has to offer. I completely understand what a miracle it is to conceive and bring life into this world. I have learned that a family is built on love, not necessarily DNA.

I will always carry grief with me. I will continue to sow it into my soul and sit with it just as I sit with laughter and confidence and happiness and honor it's presence when it wants to join in.

But I won't let it consume me.
I am too driven in my life to let anything take over so completely that it negates all my other efforts.
And believe me, there are PLENTY of pots to fill up.
There are plenty of ambitious things and dreams I am looking to fulfill, in whatever way I can make them happen.

Backing away from fertility treatments and choosing to stop spending all of our hard-earned money to make a baby does not make me weak, less-than, or a failure.
It makes me sensible to know there is a stopping point.
This was my stopping point.
It takes courage to put your foot down, even if you are putting your foot down with yourself.

I want every aspect of my life to flourish.
I want to continue to love, honor and respect my husband.
I want to continue to give undivided attention, care and love to my pets.
I want to continue to cultivate a tribe of beautiful diverse friendships, both in real life and on social media.
I want to continue to excel and find success in my career.
I want to continue to improve our home and flex my creative side to make our house a home.

And I can do it all in time. With balance. And patience. And love.

We are all worthy of the life we are willing to create for ourselves.

This is my story.

I hope you continue to follow my dreams as I am following yours.
Thank you so much for reading. XO

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