PAIL turns one this month and the June Monthly Theme is “Looking Back.”
Looking back at the where I was in June of 2012 is hard. My daughter was turning two years old. We had been trying, and failing, to have a second child after months of therapy the year before to get to a place where we were BOTH actually comfortable having another baby. I already felt anger and resentment that we had waited so long to start trying and was upset that it wasn’t happening easily when so many of my IF friends (with children much younger than Isa) had fallen pregnant quickly or without trying. I felt like the family I had always wanted to slipping through my fingers and I was sad.
In fact, I was so sad, I was pulling away from everyone, even this community. The 20+ pregnancies I was following on Twitter and in my reader were making it especially hard to endure our TTC failures. I was struggling so much that I stopped going on Twitter completely and scaled back my blog participation. Of course the resulting isolation made it all the harder, as the loneliness of pulling away was compounded by the guilt of not being willing (or able?) to support those who had supported me.
Little did I know the year was only going to challenge me more. Little did I know we would spend thousands at the RE finding out we both have infertility issues and that with our combined diagnoses the chance of conceiving again was depressingly low. Little did I know we’d be spending the new year walking the fine line between preparing our bodies for the one attempt at treatment we could afford and starting to accept that our family of three might never be blessed with another. Little did I know I’d be miraculously pregnant three months after our diagnoses. Little did I know that a year after writing those despondent posts, I’d be feeling my son kick inside me every hour of the day.
Looking back on that time is hard for me, because I had no idea how much pain awaited. And yet I also had no idea how much joy was in store.
So much of this journey has been like that, a strange juxtaposition of pain and elation. On the one hand, I’m so incredibly grateful for this pregnancy–there are moments every day when I can’t believe how lucky I am to have this baby kicking inside me. And yet, when I’m faced with friends who have children much closer in age than mine will be, I’m immediately thrown back to that difficult time; I am reminded of how hard those 18 months were and how broken we both felt. I’m reminded of how the landscape of our family will be forever marked by the struggle we endured. And yet, I can’t linger there too long when the miracle of what we have is thriving inside me, when I remember that the landscape of my family will be far richer than I had any hope to believe it would be. It’s a strange oscillation between despair and elation. They are difficult emotions to manage and I find myself avoiding triggers even now, when I feel so lucky and have so much.
Looking back even farther I am stuck by the mountains and valleys that have defined this era of family building in my life. Two years ago I was hoping to start trying and Mi.Vida was adamant we wait. The next six months marked some of the darkest in our relationship.
Three years ago we welcomed our daughter into our lives. The joy I felt after her safe arrival marked the beginning of the happiest weeks, months and years of my life.
Four years ago today I was gloriously pregnant for the first time, ignorant of the fact that I’d lose my baby the next month. Ups and downs, mountains and valleys. So much suffering and so much celebration. I guess, ultimately, that journey through good and bad is what life is all about, infertility just magnifies it ten fold.