Yesterday, I sent Lawyer Guy an e-mail giving him the heads up that I'd started spotting and would be getting my period soon. I told him I loved him and tried to keep an upbeat and encouraging tone; he told me he loved me and that we'd get through this. I had an event last night that prevented me from getting home until late (by which time AF had taken up residence), and when I walked through the door, Lawyer Guy confessed that he'd been sitting alone feeling sadder and sadder that this cycle didn't work out.
As I've written before, it hurts to see Lawyer Guy taking our troubles so much to heart. But as I hugged him and tried to put on an optimistic attitude, I was also glad that he felt comfortable enough to share this with me. Six months ago, he wouldn't have. Six months ago, he was worried that I was an emotional hurricane waiting to happen and needed to be handled oh-so gently lest I break out in another storm. I'm glad that he feels that his fears and sadness deserve equal weight with mine, and I'm glad to be able to give him some of the support he's given me the last eight months.
While I put on as positive a face as possible--for his benefit and my own--I'm feeling pretty worried under the surface. Maybe "we did it once" doesn't actually count for shit in the reproductive stakes. Maybe "it's bound to happen sometime" is a big fat lie. But we've only got two or so more months until we start testing with an RE in the fall, so I'd like to be as positive and happy during these two months as possible.
And in the service of that goal, I decided to think of reasons to be grateful right now. Not just reasons to be grateful for my life generally, which I am and which I have listed before, but specifically reasons to be grateful for the difficulties that we've faced in trying to have a child. I'm grateful for this challenging time because:
- I believe I will be a better mother for it. I believe I will appreciate and maybe even enjoy my children more than I would have if they had come easy.
- I will never wonder "what I missed" by having children. I will never feel cheated of youth, of time with my husband, of my career. I know what is most important in my life and in my heart, and it's not amazing career opportunities or nights out on the town or a stunning physique (which I've already lost). It's being a mother and having a family with Lawyer Guy.
- I will never use birth control again. Score!
- Lawyer Guy and I have both decided that we will welcome as many children into our lives as we are lucky enough to conceive. For a long time, I wanted a large family while he wanted no more than two children. But after the last eighteen months, we both agree that we will be grateful and thrilled with any "oopsie" pregnancies that come along, something I can guarantee would not have been the case with him if we hadn't lost the m&m or struggled to conceive afterward. And given my age and our recent track record, I think we can all safely assume LG and I are not going to turn into the Duggards of the 21st century.
- I've stopped caring so much about the petty, superficial aspects of parenthood. I used to want the best stroller and crib set and bedding and preschools and diaper bag that money could buy. That all seems so pointless now.
- Lawyer Guy and I have grown as husband and wife and as friends. We've worked through some incredibly upsetting situations that might have derailed other couples and have found ways to build a stronger relationship through them. We have become even closer and more intimate as partners. We've learned to grieve with each other and laugh with each other through our grief. And we've also learned how to handle when our feelings don't match up, when one of us is sadder or angrier or more worried or more frustrated than the other. After almost ten years together, I didn't think it was possible for our relationship to grow like this so quickly, but it has and I am so grateful for that.
I don't know what comes next: if we'll get to testing, to treatments, to a pregnancy (and healthy baby) in months or years. But I'm going to try to keep growing closer to my husband and making our marriage the center of everything we do (even our fertility treatments). Today, I feel confident that ten years from now, this will feel less like wasted time and more like the sturdy foundation for beautiful family.
I'm back, and it's hopefully not a once-off!!
11 months ago