Saturday, January 28, 2012

The Trick Is...

So I've learned a little trick about marriage recently.
 It's loving an imperfect person...perfectly.
 And it goes both ways,
 this imperfection.
 In the past month we have had to confront our imperfections
both as individuals as well as a couple,
 and it brought out the worst in both of us.
 We were intolerant,
 and unhappy.
 Soon that unhappiness that we couldn't place
 turned into a panic to escape it.
 The D-word was thrown out
 and our world spiraled faster than either of us saw coming.
 We were watching, star-struck,
 as our marriage started to crumble.
 We did things purposefully to hurt each other,
 we said things meant to cut to the bone,
 we both emotionally checked out.

And now we're busy trying to put the pieces back together.
 The stress of trying for kids,
 the stress of our jobs,
 the stress of his schedule,
 it was all just too much.
 So we've stopped trying.
 We also have cancelled the wedding,
 which broke my heart,
 but I know it's for the best
 so we can concentrate on us as a couple,
 on what we are going to do to fall back in love again.
Because the D-word should never enter a marriage;
 it's like a black fog that comes in and covers everything
 clouds the mind
 places blame
 makes you lose all that beautiful white fairy-tale love that brought you together
makes you lose sight of the big picture.
We have kept this very private,
 and intend to keep it that way.
 But I wanted everyone to know that I hadn't disappeared,
 and I feel like this will be an amazing testimony in the end.
 But God is working at clearing the fog.
 I haven't stopped praying since it all began.
 Sometimes I got bitter,
 that me, the "baby Christian", was having to carry all the weight of trying to pray our marriage out of this on my own.
 But now I realize it's the best thing that ever happened to me.
 God has entered my life and my heart like I had always wished He would do.
 For the first time in my life, I FEEL Him. 
 Deep down.
 And know he's there, influencing everything, protecting me, giving me grace.
 This weekend we are going on a weekend-long date,
 getting out of the house for a while
 so we can talk on neutral ground.
 Things have been great the past few days,
 but we need some "us" time.
 Time to watch those awful papers finally leave the kitchen table
 and go up in flames where they belong.

 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Monday, January 9, 2012

One Step Forward

 in love, in careers, in life,
things get hard.
 Lately we have gone through a rough patch
and it hasn't been easy getting out of it.
 I finally got health insurance through my work,
 and could finally go to an OB/GYN of my choosing.
 After telling him our whole story
 he labeled me.
 The one word I have been terrified of hearing for all this time,
 the one I had so much hope I could avoid,
 the one I never wanted to associate with myself.

 BE couldn't be with me because of his classes,
 so when I came home I told him about the Clomid prescription they've put me on
 the tests they want run,
 the samples they want from us both,
 other treatments that may come down the road.
 But with all the medical jargon,
 some lines got crossed,
 and we had a big misunderstanding
 about when things would be done
 and how much they would cost,
 and it created a sudden fissure in our relationship
 that very nearly destroyed it.
 And may I be the first to say,
 that infertility is one of the worst words you can hear
 when you're not rich.
 Because that word alone means money will have to be put out somewhere down the line.
 A lot of money.
 It's scary.
 The huge-ness of what this diagnosis could become.

 Fortunately we were able to dig our way out of the darkness
and remind ourselves why we decided to do this in the first place.
 Remind ourselves that we are a couple first,
 that our marriage is more important than anything,
 and that we need to get better at communicating.
 This is something we want so badly,
 to be a family,
 but it's stressful.

 I'm hopeful for the Clomid,
 mostly because I'm just trying to stay hopeful.
 Hoping I can still do this myself
 without crazy interventions
 and test after test.
 My new doctor is wonderful,
 caring and willing to undertake this challenge with us,
 even willing to refer us to a reproductive endocrinologist if the Clomid doesn't work.
It has made us confront the difficult questions:
 just how far do we take this?
 Do we eventually talk about IVF,
 or do we say enough is enough
 and look into adoption?
 Those questions fortunately won't have to be answered for a long time,
 but at least we have talked about them.

 We're also still planning our renewal of vows ceremony,
 I had a car wreck the other day so now we have to have those repairs done,
 I'm interviewing for a second job so we can save some,
paying college loans,
 and now wading through this new course of action with getting pregnant.

 It's a lot,
 but I'm heading into it all with high hopes,
 a light heart,
 and a renewed drive.
 We will figure out our way through this
 with smiles on our faces
 and happiness in our hearts.
 Five friends have had children this month,
 and two more will within the next week.
 I'm trying not to be as sensitive about it.
 Mostly because it's too exhausting.
 But nothing changes the fact that I wish I could know how it feels to be pregnant.
 Maybe within these next 6 months
 I will come to know 


Sunday, January 1, 2012

The Year of Miracles

Christmas was hard for us. The end of November came and went with no visit from Aunt Flo, and needless to say we were getting pretty excited. I probably jumped the gun a little and started imagining all the fun ways we could tell family when we traveled around for the holidays (how perfect, right?) I could see my whole family gathered in my grandparents' living room, all holding identical boxes that I would make them wait to open until the suspense had properly built up. I watched myself grab the camera to catch every second of their reactions when they opened them to see the little cards I had placed inside that read, "You're going to be a Nana/Grandpa/Great-grandma/Pop-Pop/Uncle!" I could see the tears, the hugs, everything. But instead, Christmas just happened like every other Christmas happens, with no mention of the fact that despite being two weeks late, I had started just before we began our trip. No mention that there was almost a baby. 

The end of the year marked a huge space in time for me - an entire year done and gone and still we are a couple, and not a family. We got invited somewhere for New Year's Eve, but declined to go once we knew that one of the very pregnant girls in our group was going to be there. Not exactly how I wanted to ring in the New Year, staring at someone else's about-to-burst belly. I feel like 2011 passed me by. I got my RN and a job, but other than that, nothing happened. I see peoples' statuses on Facebook talking about all the amazing things that happened to them last year, most of which included babies, and it tears me apart. For the most part, I try to be happy and positive and light about the situation, and I think that's why it always upsets me when I have a down day and I get jumped on for it. Everyone is so quick to remind me of what I do have and the blessings I've been given, as if I don't already know that stuff. It's not that I don't think I'm blessed at all, or that I'm complaining about what I have been given, like a loving husband and a good job, I'm simply saying that it's frustrating, it's tiring, it's saddening to want to complete your family and to have been trying this long and there is still no end in sight, no answers on the table, no way to know if it will ever happen for us. I don't feel like I'm wrong to get down about it once in a while.
This past year, all I've heard is, "Don't worry, it will happen for you soon!" from women as they bounce their toddler on their hip, "God's timing is perfect!" from unmarried young mothers, and, "You know, it will happen right when you stop thinking about it," from women who either got pregnant the first few months of "trying" or have five kids racing circles around the house. I just agree for the sake of not starting an argument and roll my eyes when I turn away. Cliche phrases do nothing to comfort someone whose heart is broken. I know people mean well most of the time, but these days I almost wish I could just lock myself in my house and avoid the whole pregnant world. Like the other day when I saw an EMS worker come into my hospital who had told me a few weeks ago that she couldn't go into a certain patient's room because she was pregnant. I went up to her and asked her how the pregnancy was going and how she was feeling, and she promptly replied, "Oh, I'm not pregnant. My boyfriend and I just decided we didn't want a baby anymore, so I just went and had the surgery and got rid of it." As if that was the obvious thing to do. All I could say was, "Oh" before I had to leave the room to avoid crying in front of all my coworkers. 

Anyone who has ever tried for a baby can tell you that once it's rooted somewhere deep down in your brain, and the motherly instinct has kicked in, you can't NOT think about it anymore. You can't NOT try. Even in a spontaneous moment, when your actions weren't driven by a baby-making agenda or a thermometer on the bedside table, afterwards the thought always is there - "maybe that time was it..." It might not always be your conscious thought, but it's always there, somewhere. I bought my own health insurance through my job just so I could go find a doctor who will actually run a test or at least try to figure out why this year has gone by with no luck. I have an appointment with a new OB/GYN on the 3rd, and I'm just praying that this one is proactive. We also requested a packet of information from an adoption agency, even though I'm hesitant to send it in. My only motivator is that I know how long that process, too, will take. 

I'm hopeful for 2012. So many times passed this year that would have been "perfect" if I could have gotten pregnant - now we get into the territory where my husband's future deployments are inching closer and closer and family members are getting sicker and sicker. I hope that this is the year when we find out we will be more than just a man, his wife, and their dog. I hope that this is the year when all of our prayers get answered and we realize that there was some purpose to all of this heartache. I hope that this is the year when I will know what it feels like to be a mother, to have something greater than myself to live for. I hope that this is the year when our lives change and we finally weep with joy instead of defeat. I hope that this is the year of miracles.