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.