Tag: strength
Status

Closed Doors, Open Windows, and the Hallways In Between

When God closes a door, he opens a window, but it sure can be Hell in these hallways!

I love that quote.

It says that even when something doesn’t go as expected, there is always another way.  The path to that “other way” can sometimes be dark and scary, but have faith because it’s out there!

I have found myself in these dark and scary hallways a lot in the past few years.  I always thought that the path to the next appointment, or next doctor, or next blood test was wearing me down, but I may have been wrong about that.

The hallways are where I’ve found myself… My true self.

***

I realized yesterday that I was thankful for something I never thought I would be:  Infertility.

You see, my dear friend lost her baby just a few days after I miscarried.  She was just a week or so ahead of me in her pregnancy, and she had a D&C a few days after they found that there was no longer a heartbeat.

Yesterday, while she was crying in the waiting room of her OB’s office, surrounded by pregnant women and babies, I found myself thankful that even though I’ve had to endure so much, at least everyone in my doctor’s office understands.

I felt terribly for her, and wished that although she does not have a fertility issue, she could come see my doctor.

The women in the waiting room are not pregnant, or at least not visibly so.

They don’t bring children with them, if they even have them at all.

They smile sadly when you walk in, acknowledging that we are all members of an elite sisterhood of survivors.

The doctors and nurses don’t ask mundane questions like “How are you?”; instead they ask specifics like “Do you want to talk about how you’re handling your miscarriage?” and “How are you really feeling about trying again?”

The situation my body has put me in has also put me in a special setting when it comes to getting, and staying pregnant.  Everyone takes greater care not to ask the insensitive questions, and that is very reassuring.

I’m thankful for that, at least.

And to my friend who had to endure the meat-market OB visit yesterday… My heart goes out to you.

I’ll say to you the only things that have helped me:

I am so sorry.

You are so loved.

Your baby mattered.

This will always be with you, and I will always be here to listen.

***

Sometimes the worst things in your life end up being your defining moments in the end.

Although I am still navigating the rough waters of infertility and miscarriage, they have ultimately turned me into an iron-willed warrior and given me a better idea of who I really am.

I am strong.

I am a survivor.

I will not fail.

I’ll come out on top.

I am not defined by what I’ve lost, but rather by what I’ve gained because of my losses.

***

Look out, world…

I might be stuck in the hallway right now, but when I find that damn window, I’m going to fly right through.  🙂

Status

The New Normal

I’m a Sagittarius.

You probably didn’t know that about me, unless you and I are acquainted in real life.

Then again, maybe you could tell…

We fire signs tend to have a bit of an obvious personality.  😉

So, being a Sagittarius, I have a nauseatingly optimistic outlook on life.  I also have a wicked sense of humor, and a tendency to put my foot in my mouth.

Affable buffoon, some would say.

I’d tend to agree.

I have to wonder though, if this set of traits it seems I was born with, and that were fostered throughout my upbringing by parents who encouraged my adventurous, if haphazard spirit, can all be undone by a seemingly endless barrage of bad breaks in life.

Some days I don’t feel very sunshine-y.

Some days I have a hard time believing that this will ever get better.

Some days I cannot even imagine what it will be like to get that BFP I want so badly.

Some days I wonder if infertility is altering my spirit completely.

Part of the Sagittarius charm is the ability to adapt to new surroundings and circumstances.  I have always found this to be the case in my own life.

I relate easily to others.  I find it second nature to put myself in their shoes.  I play the Devil’s advocate more than anyone else I know.  I make friends, tell jokes, and find my comfortable niche in every new adaptation of my life.

Why then, am I having such a hard time adjusting to this New Normal?

Infertility is a circumstance that has befallen me.  I should be able to adjust accordingly.

Somehow though, I just can’t.

Oh sure.  I roll with the punches and make light of all the injection-site-and-blood-work-bruises covering my body, and every Cycle Day One, I joke about drinking a bottle of wine and eating my feelings, but the truth is that I am not comfortable in my own skin right now.

Infertility is slowly stealing away the things I love about myself.

Do they come back?

If I get that elusive BFP, will I be happy again?

Will this inner sadness be permanent?

Will these circumstances permanently scar my sunny outlook?

Am I doomed to be a Debbie Downer?

Please say this will pass…

Please tell me this gets better, easier.

Please tell me that a baby will bring back my smile – my real smile, the one that reaches my eyes and has real happiness behind it.

Please tell me what will happen if that BFP never comes…  Is this me, forever?

Does it get worse?

Does it start ruining my relationships?

Does it drive away the people that love and support me?

Does it start wreaking havoc on the lives of those around me?

…Do I want to know the answers to these questions?

For now, no.

I don’t want to know.

Maybe by sticking my head in the sand I can avoid having to contemplate a life of depressing desolation.

That in itself is another way that infertility is robbing me of my core personality strengths; I am not the type of person who runs from a problem, rather I prefer to meet it head-on.

Avoidance has been my coping mechanism of choice lately, though, and choosing to dodge thoughts about the future should not come as a surprise.

The truth is that I am terrified.

Terrified that if these treatments don’t work, I will be childless forever.

Terrified that I will be forced to watch those close to me have their third, fourth, fifth children in the time that I’ve been trying for one.

Terrified that this change in me will last forever, and that it will cause those I care for most to turn away from what I have become.

Terrified that I will be alone.

Because that is the one thing a Sagittarius can never be:  alone.

Sagittarius is the sign of the Archer.

Half-man, half-beast.

Half destined for feet planted on Earth, and half aiming for the stars.

That’s me.

Weighed down by infertility, but never letting go of my dreams.

Perhaps my inner Archer is stronger than infertility.

Perhaps I’m stronger than this.

Perhaps I will survive after all.

Quote

Good Timber

Good Timber

The tree that never had to fight
For sun and sky and air and light,
But stood out in the open plain
And always got its share of rain,
Never became a forest king
But lived and died a scrubby thing.

The man who never had to toil
To gain and farm his patch of soil,
Who never had to win his share
Of sun and sky and light and air,
Never became a manly man
But lived and died as he began.

Good timber does not grow with ease:
The stronger wind, the stronger trees;
The further sky, the greater length;
The more the storm, the more the strength.
By sun and cold, by rain and snow,
In trees and men good timbers grow.

Where thickest lies the forest growth,
We find the patriarchs of both.
And they hold counsel with the stars
Whose broken branches show the scars
Of many winds and much of strife.
This is the common law of life.

by Douglas Malloch

I used this poem back in high school for part of a youth leadership group project.  I had no idea it would come back to me so poignantly in adulthood.  I guess you just never know what the deep recesses of your mind will conjure up exactly in your time of need.

I do know this, however:  I’m putting down roots and digging in for the stormy season ahead.

I will survive this, and I will be better for it.

Bring.  It.  On.

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