Soooo… Here we are.
Five years deep.
Five l o n g years of trying, failing, struggling, treading water, and just… waiting. Waiting for our turn, waiting for our two lines.
Waiting for our family to happen.
Year One was the picture of a happy-go-lucky newlywed with all the time in the world.
Year Two saw me attempting to combine Clomid with crinolines, in a sweaty scene straight out of a TBS sitcom.
Year Three had me unhappily (and soberly) awaiting the results of what would be yet another failed IUI cycle.
Year Four ended full of retrospect, acceptance, wisdom, sadness for what could have been, and an amazing amount of hope that Five would most definitely be THE YEAR.
Yesterday was the end of Year Five…
And today? You’d think today was the first day of Year Six…
…But today is actually the beginning of something completely different.
Some things have changed recently.
Actually, I don’t know if it’s more that things have changed, or that I have, but my direction has clearly been altered of late.
At my most recent acupuncture appointment, I spent some time talking with Dr. McStabby extensively about stress in my life, and the emotional toll infertility can take.
“Infertility causes infertility”, as Dr. Randine Lewis says. While I agree that infertility has been a major stressor in my life, especially in the past few years, things have improved for me recently in that department. I’m no longer as stressed as I used to be, and I think acupuncture and TCM has helped greatly.
But… so has time, honestly. We’ve been at this thing for a long time. We’re kind of getting used to disappointment after five years, know what I mean? It’s become so regular that it’s not like it’s a big shock any more.
We’ve been trying to get pregnant for our entire marriage, essentially, and the husband and I have put a lot on hold to pursue this life that we have been so desperate for. He and I talked recently, and at great length, about where we want to go from here… We finally had that talk that I’ve been afraid to have for a long time.
He is ready to get back to being a married couple instead of a TTC couple.
*cue deep sigh of relief that he doesn’t straight up want to divorce my crazy ass*
More than that, he says he won’t resent me if we can’t get pregnant, and he won’t resent me if I decide to hardcore pursue Western treatments again (although, I’ll be honest, the odds of that are slim). Basically, I have the husband’s blessing to move in whatever direction I feel comfortable, even if that is just varying degrees of backing off the whole TTC thing completely.
We may move onto just being a healthy couple who lets whatever happens, happen. We’ve both accepted that we may be that couple who doesn’t have kids. Maybe we’ll be the ones who can travel at the drop of a hat, or we’ll adopt (even more) furry creatures, or we’ll be the best gosh-darn aunt and uncle EVER. Maybe we’ll adopt a child someday, if the situation is right. Maybe we won’t.
And you know what? We’re okay with ALL of those situations. Truly.
At this point, IVF is not in our immediate future. We just don’ t feel right about some aspects of it at the moment. Part of the decision is financial, and part is just that I don’t feel like there’s anything physically SO WRONG that we can’t conceive on our own (and neither do any of the SEVEN doctors I’ve seen over the years…). I just cannot justify forcing my body to do something that it doesn’t seem ready to do. Maybe that will change someday, and maybe I’ll regret not going all-in while I still have some remnants of youth on my side, but honestly? It just doesn’t feel right to me today.
It’s a lot to process, I know.
One thing that’s stuck with me though, is a conversation I had with McStabby recently. He asked me, “Do you feel like you deserve a child?”
I was taken aback a little. I honestly had to think about it.
He asked because, in his line of work, he sees women who have certain emotional hang-ups that he suspects can prevent them from conceiving, whether it’s a past trauma, a lack of confidence in their marriage/family life/maternal skills, or something else. Regardless of his motives for asking, it’s a jarring question to be asked, for sure.
After a minute, I came to a conclusion. Yes. I do. I deserve a child.
Does that feeling mean that I will necessarily have one? No. Because life’s not always fair, and sometimes the harder we squeeze a handful of sand, the more of it slips through our grasp. Just because I believe that I deserve a child, doesn’t mean that I’m going to force my body to submit to my timing.
Soo… I don’t want to just come out and say that we’re taking the “Just stop trying…” non-approach, but in some ways, we kind of… are.
Wait, wait. Before you freak out and tell me I need to rename my blog, let me ‘splain.
We’re not saying “just stop trying and a BABY will magically happen”.
What we are saying is, “just stop trying so HARD and LIFE will happen… and whatever blessings come along with life, we’ll take those too. And if a baby happens to be one of those blessings? Even better. Icing. Gravy. Time for a parade.”
It’s a strange – and strangely freeing – place to be…
For the moment, we’re just kind of bobbing along. Living life. Being married people who don’t have to inject themselves with things or ejaculate into cups.
I’m still going to continue acupuncture treatments for now, and I’ll continue taking the herbs even if I stop the actual acu treatments, just for general health and balance; honestly, I like how I feel, even if I don’t like the taste of the herbal “teas”. Between the husband and I, the door is open for me to go back to the RE if I so choose (I would be interested in seeing if there have been any changes in my blood work in a year’s time), or maybe for a possible medicated cycle one day, but likely nothing more than that.
I’ll also keep working to maintain the healthy habits I’ve gained through TCM, but I will likely stop temping someday soon.
I KNOW. Don’t freak out, or I might freak out and lose my resolve on that
little gigantic decision.
I may never be able to ignore the quality of my cervical mucus, but my body temperature, the chemical content of my urine, and what’s in my underwear will no longer have complete control over my entire life.
So that’s where I am right now… I know I’ve been quiet here lately, and I wanted to provide a little update and insight into why that has been.
I do have some exciting things on the horizon, including my Resolve Peer Led Infertility Support group venture – which should start meeting this month (!), and being invited to attend Resolve’s Advocacy Day in Washington DC, where I will have the chance to speak with members of the House and Senate on the political issues surrounding infertility treatment and coverage in the US. The husband and I are also traveling to San Francisco for a wedding in late May, and are looking forward to that little getaway opportunity as well.
All in all, life is not perfect, but it is most definitely still a good life. I’m appreciative for all I have, including all of YOU, and I’m ready to focus on what I have, instead of beating myself up for what I don’t.
I don’t know exactly what this new outlook will mean for me, my life, and this blog, but I know I will continue to be here, rooting you all on, and hoping and praying for each of you, every day.
I’ll still likely be holding out some far-fetched hope that my own body will miraculously get its shit together, too. I mean, some things will never, ever, EVER change. :)
So that’s it.
Year Six isn’t really a thing. Like, at all.
This is just March, just a few years into a great marriage, just a drop in the bucket of a great life.
A life I’m going to be actively living again.
My hope for you is that wherever you are in your journey, whether your life is completely saturated with the details of TTC, or whether you too are at a bit of a crossroads, that you are able to slow down from time to time and appreciate what you do have.
My hope for you is that you live that little life of yours in a way that makes a difference, impacts others, and allows you to look back fondly one day, free of regrets.
My hope for you is that you live.