Thanks for all the positive, supportive comments about my marathon results! I'm still reeling that it actually happened! And my legs still hurt! And I am probably going to lose a toenail for the first time ever!
Anyway. Because nothing can be great for too long, I am now focused on the fact that a year ago today was the first day I didn't start a new cycle of birth control pills. So we've officially been trying to conceive for one year.
A year ago, the world was wide open in front of me. My life had been going, essentially, according to plan. I was educated, happily married, and working at a job that challenged and excited me. I had just been in Spain for an amazing nine-day vacation with Hubs. I had absolutely no clue, no inkling in the world, what the next year would have in store for us when we decided on a whim to try making a baby.
We were giddy those first months. It was "our little secret" that we had pulled the proverbial goalie. We spent hours talking about baby names, nursery ideas, ways to tell our parents when we got pregnant. We bought pregnancy tests and knew nothing about EWCM or charting or Premature Ovarian Failure. It never occurred to me that I might not be pregnant a year later. I figured it would take a few months - six maybe, max, but I had no doubt in my mind on May 22, 2011 that I would be pregnant by May 22, 2012.
My diagnosis in November shattered that idea and I know now that I'll be lucky to ever carry my own biological child. The odds are not on my side.
Infertility has, undoubtedly, torn me to shreds. It's left me feeling often battered and broken and more sorrowful than I knew was possible. I'm a different person now than I was. I know everyone changes a little from year to year. We grow. We learn. We develop new ideas. But the past year has been so different than the normal year-to-year growth. I feel... hardened. Wiser. More bitter. I'm sad that the woman I was a year ago is gone. I no longer see the world the same way she did. She was hopeful and bright-eyed. I am cynical and jaded. My world is filtered through infertility-colored glasses.
That's not to say I haven't had some good moments. I just finished running a marathon. I ovulated twice, maybe three times, which isn't great for a whole year, but at least it's something. I was the Matron of Honor in my sister's wedding (and it was so much fun!), and I realized how to lean on my friends when I need to.
And as heinous as infertility has been, it has also brought my husband and I closer. We've had a wonderfully happy marriage from the start, but over the past year we have really solidified ourselves as a team. There have been times when it would have been easy for us to turn away from each other out of resentment or frustration and instead we turned to each other to lean in and take a deep breath together. I don't want to take anything away from our first year and a half of marriage, but the past year has definitely made us stronger, especially because there's a dark place in my heart that wouldn't blame him for wanting to walk away. It's hard to admit that, but I know he didn't expect this when he married me. And instead of displaying even the slightest bit of disappointment in me, he has continually reassured me, comforted me, stood by me, and loved me. He's seen me through my very lowest moments this year and he has never wavered for one second. That man is the most loyal, strong, steadfast person I know, and I am damn lucky to have him. Infertility has reminded me, again and again, of that fact.
I know one year pales in comparison to what some of you have been through. And you all - my new friends in the blog world - have been such a blessing in remembering that I'm NOT alone in this. That it's NOT my fault, and that the feelings of inadequacy, frustration, anger, sadness, and bitchiness are NORMAL reactions to a devastating reality. I read your blogs every day and I am so inspired by you and grateful to be a part of this amazing group of women. You help me get through this. Your comments support me. Your posts of strength lift me up. Your posts whining how crappy IF is validate me. Your posts sharing your stories help me understand my own story better. Thank you for including me in your own journey and for reading along as I share mine. I don't know that I could have made it through this year in one piece if it weren't for you all!