I survived 2015. I think I deserve a medal for this one. In hindsight, 2015 will go down in the record books as the most difficult year of my life. Today, as I type, my soul is still wounded, but I know that each day I am getting stronger.
For nine months of 2015, my focus was a 100% on the quest for a child. Those nine months were spent either preparing for IVF, doing IVF, or surviving failed IVFs. We did two attempts of the miracle treatment– one in February/March and a second one in August/September. I have come to appreciate that IVF is a physical sprint and an emotional marathon. Nothing can prepare you for the emotions, mind games or physicality that this treatment demands from you. Most people just think it’s the money that is the hurdle, but really the money for treatment is just the first bitch-slap before the fight really starts.
On the other side of two failed treatments was the October diagnosis that we are dealing with poor egg quality and further IVF treatments was not recommended. As devastating as this news was, it was also a relief. I had a reason, an explanation….as a person who thrives on facts…at least an answer adds up to some sort of release. These answers lead us to pursuing adoption and, although the adoption road is long, it is as close to a sure thing as we have ever had. It was exciting and therapeutic to pull all the pieces together to make our formal application a reality in November.
By the end of November, the pressure was off…it was almost a relief to have a much broader take on life again. By choosing the adoption route, I could let go many aspects of a neurotic, infertile brain. I let go of what day of the month it was, I stopped symptom spotting and I let go of trying to control everything. I want to be a mother and I have faith it will happen, but I really have no control over how fast or what scenario that it will happen in. So, in the meantime…enjoy the ride!
Little did I realize that the ride I was just taking a turn for the worse. I thought the quality of my life could improve again…the road ahead was flat and long. But then, out of nowhere the road dropped off again when my parents announced their separation at the end of November. After almost 40 years together in what seemed like a picture perfect marriage, the white picket fence family I thought I knew was gone. It shook my foundation and added a whole new layer of grief to the mix. On the positive side, it forced me to really step back from the infertility….I know whole heartedly today that life is so much more than that one quest.
Today I am thankful I was able to let a lot of the infertility stuff go this Christmas. It’s definitely there still, but it isn’t bubbling at the surface like it was a year ago. I know I won’t crumble at the first hint of a question about kids. At the same time, I think I went into some sort of self-preservation mode…I notice I don’t ask my pregnant friends about their pregnancies or birth stories, I really don’t spend a lot of time with their kids and I like to avoid holding a baby. For now, I acknowledge the bubble I am living in and I am rather content to stay here…it’s safer that way.
2015 was a brutal year…I don’t think I have ever teetered on the edge like I have in the last 12 months. This year it feels like I ran to the edge of a cliff and then hung on to the edge with the tip of my one big toe. I swayed back and forth a bit …but I am happy to say that my feet are firmly planted back on the ground, while quietly exhaling out, “Yikes! That was close.”
Now, what else can I say but bring on 2016!