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The Five Year Review

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.

…Starting today.

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.

Live2

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20 comments on “The Five Year Review

  1. Ashley
    March 4, 2014 at 8:36 am #

    Love every single word of this. You deserve a great life, and unfortunately sometimes IF makes us forget that we already have one.
    I needed to hear these words today, so for that I thank you!

    Like

  2. missingmotherhood
    March 4, 2014 at 8:36 am #

    Reblogged this on The crooked path through IVF and commented:
    This blog really struck me and I simply wanted to share Just Stop Trying and It Will Happen’s reflections on a “drop in the bucket of a great life…”

    Like

  3. Jen
    March 4, 2014 at 9:00 am #

    Yes. Wonderful post. Get busy living! 🙂

    Like

  4. Elisha
    March 4, 2014 at 9:18 am #

    “Don’t forget to enjoy the journey while on your way to your destination.”

    Praying for ya girl :). Letting go is so liberating. I have done the same… I let go of what I could do and just let Him do His thing in His timing. Hugs!!

    Like

  5. lucy50
    March 4, 2014 at 9:37 am #

    I love this. Thank you.

    Like

  6. Jen
    March 4, 2014 at 10:56 am #

    I can so wrenchingly relate to all of this. There aren’t good words for a decision like this, because it’s such a mix of wonderful and awful. I’m sorry? Congratulations? A little of both, right? I’ll be holding you in my thoughts.

    Like

  7. Holly E
    March 4, 2014 at 11:25 am #

    I’m so glad you have found a decision you are a peace with! Good luck to you in all that you do and I hope you do keep up with your blog, regardless of it’s content!

    Like

  8. hopefulandhungry
    March 4, 2014 at 11:36 am #

    I’m happy that you are happy, sometimes letting go is the most freeing feeling and it is the time when what should happen DOES happen. Enjoy life and I hope we can hear about your adventures!

    Like

  9. A Morning Grouch
    March 4, 2014 at 2:47 pm #

    I am so glad you’re feeling like you’re in a better place. And I completely understand the *cue deep sigh of relief that he doesn’t straight up want to divorce my crazy ass* – because that is HUGE – I felt like this while trying to conceive as well – and that is a huge stressor that often gets overlooked. Sounds like you are super lucky in love, my dear. Good for you.

    Like

  10. Heather
    March 4, 2014 at 3:38 pm #

    Beautiful post. I admire the peace you are cultivating, it is such a good thing. You do deserve a child and I really hope you get one in the end somehow.

    Like

  11. MaryAnn
    March 4, 2014 at 8:11 pm #

    I love your blog! Hope you all the best in life. You are a brave woman.

    Like

  12. Su
    March 5, 2014 at 5:16 am #

    Beautifully written. Reminded me of my TTC mantra, which became a life mantra, “I am where I am, and it’s ok” (I learned it from Sue Dumais; google her, she’s wonderful). I’m looking forward to reading about your Resolve experience ❤

    Like

  13. NotSoNewtoIVF
    March 5, 2014 at 5:17 am #

    This is so wonderful to read. I wish you so much luck and happiness for your LIFE xx

    Like

  14. Tyger
    March 5, 2014 at 9:46 am #

    I have been following your journey for a couple of years, I can’t tell you how much I admire your courage and tenacity. This post is so full of awesome! Good luck and enjoy living life!

    Like

  15. Jenni Moore
    March 5, 2014 at 2:13 pm #

    I hope you feel as free with your decision as I have when we made the decision to stop treatments. Though we are currently in the adoption process, it was still very freeing for me. I think not so much because we decided to stop treatments, but because I consciously decided to stop letting infertility run my life. I was so tired of every decision, almost every thought, every emotion being about infertility. Having my life back has been incredible. Thank you for sharing! It is refreshing to see other women making this decision as well. Even if we decide to start treatments again or choose adoption, we don’t have to let infertility rule our lives! And… you will be a great PLSG leader! I love our support group and am so glad my friend and I started one together!

    Like

  16. timeshine
    March 5, 2014 at 2:20 pm #

    Love you Tracy!

    Like

  17. Jenn
    March 6, 2014 at 4:05 pm #

    Great great post! One thing you mentioned is very right – you won’t be able to ignore your body telling you when it’s fertile time or O time or AF time. You learn so much about your body, that it never goes away. I know when I get EWCM, I can feel ovulation cramps, and I always know where in my 2WW I am. That is after 3+ years being on a “break.” But not charting is a big step and it will help quite a bit.

    You deserve a good life, I agree with Aislinn!

    Like

  18. Tracy
    March 7, 2014 at 4:15 pm #

    You guys… thank you for the love!!! It’s seriously overwhelming, and I don’t know how to really respond, honestly.

    I just don’t want anyone to think that I’m quitting, backing away with my tail between my legs, or lying down and dying in any way. This has been a hell of a journey, and I know that this is in no way the end of my road. There are still going to be ups and downs, and I know I will still struggle. None of this is easy, and the decision to focus on life again hasn’t been without complications.

    I am super excited to start focusing my energy back on my marriage, and to start meeting with women who need support in my area. Those are going to be my “projects” in the coming months, and I think they are probably the most important undertakings I have been faced with so far.

    Thank you all so much, and know that I will always keep you up to date on my life, regale you with stories and TMI, and be available for support in whatever way you may need it.

    All my love to all of you!! ❤

    Like

  19. invisiblyinfertile
    April 2, 2014 at 10:42 pm #

    I hope that I can get to such a health place some day. Right now my life is consumed with infertility treatment and IVF is just around the corner. Until recently I thought that I would never do IVF so your story hits home for me. I commend you for being strong enough to carve out your own destiny.

    Like

    • Tracy
      April 8, 2014 at 1:46 pm #

      You know, it’s not all sunshine and roses around here, but I do feel as though I’m in a good place lately. I’ve allowed myself to be consumed in the past, and honestly, it never got me anywhere good, although I wouldn’t have been able to stop at the time for any reason. I think only time shows you what you’re really made of, and I know that you are feeling that right now with your thoughts of pursuing IVF. Stay strong, my friend, and know that this obstacle too will be overcome!

      Like

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