The End of 2016
At Christmastime we went through our final round of fertility treatment. Nightly we prayed the St. Andrew Christmas Novena & I held onto it like a lifeline. I offered up many petitions, mostly for a baby, and in my heart I hoped this would be the action that changed everything. Go ahead, you can say it:
that’s not how it works, ya dang Catholic.
I know better than to approach prayer that way, but desperate times & all that. Did you want Christmas pics in the last days of January because:
In the midst of buying gifts & making cookies & addressing envelopes & wondering how much vegan egg nog is too much, we made the executive decision to stop. Not the “stop trying and it will happen” magical kind, but a full-stop. The stop-so-this-doesn’t-consume you kind. Infertility was wrecking us, and it was starting to show. Many people have said things like, “you seem really happy & joyful given the circumstances”, and that is the truth but not the whole of it.
I am genuinely very happy. I have very few real complaints, and I am grateful for all of the goodness in my life because my cup overflows. But we all do well to post the highlights of our lives, and I am not exempt from this. The things we want the world to see, things that show our success and our happiness, are the parts we usually shed light on & that is good. We need to celebrate one another & be uplifted & see the beauty in the world. I just like to clarify this, because social media makes it easy to fall victim to comparison when we’re only viewing the final filtered picture & not the hundred on the cutting room floor.
Steve & I were strong, because our suffering was unitive in a way, but that was also the problem. We weren’t strong in the way we should be, bringing out the best in one another. Our strength was uniting in our sorrows. This heartache was pulling us closer & driving all the other parts of ourselves away. We weren’t the people we first married, and we knew it.
Not fun-loving, not joyful, not creative. Not even very hopeful.
Hollow, harrowed, rote: this was us.
There were plenty of things to rejoice over, but when you spend month after month in a perpetual timeline of Maybe This Will Be the One it becomes the only thing you believe sparks joy. And it is a scary & unhealthy cycle to be stuck in. It was this realization that led us to where we are now.
And this is how it works, actually, for me. God answers my prayers, but often in a way I don’t expect, or in an unanswered way, or on a timeline I definitely do not approve. He isn’t like,
SHAMANAN HAMMANAN HERE IS YOUR BAAAYYYYBYYYYY (gregorian chant)
He’s more like,
Here I am, my daughter & here you are. Here is your spouse, your vocation. Be here.
And so here I am, being. Writing about this very vulnerable situation in a very public place. Trying to unearth the parts of me covered with dust & soot. Attempting to explore all the things I love about life through this blog. Trying to be intentional instead of distracted. Starting anew, letting the light back in. Breathing & learning & seeking & LIVING. So thanks for being here, and for following along with this new old version of me. And Lord have mercy if this entire three-part series isn’t just an ever-long ABOUT ME section, lolz.
What Comes Next
In fertility terms, I have decided to go forward with a surgery that Steve & I believe will help us. It’s a procedure called an Ovarian Wedge Resection, and it is scheduled for February. Google that s*^% at your own risk, because gross.
At first I wasn’t sure when I would be able to have the surgery due to my irregular cycles & I was driving myself mad trying to time everything, per usual. Then the office called out of the blue last week at which point I voiced my concerns. They were so helpful & easy to work with & I was penciled right in. In layman’s terms here is what will happen:
They remove a wedge from each ovary & sew them back together. It is a laparoscopic procedure & is usually finished in an hour. I will go home the same day. Because of the enlarged state of my ovaries this procedure aims to reduce my hormone imbalances, help with insulin levels, and help me ovulate on my own or have a better response to medications like the Clomid & Femara that I referenced in previous posts.
The statistics of women who resume a regular cycle & conceive following this surgery are encouraging, and we are hopeful that we will be one of the success stories.
And so, that is where we are now & where we are going next. I am hopeful to have a potential solution, and I am grateful to take a different approach, both emotionally & medically.
This may not be The Thing That Works and that is ok, because I am shifting my focus. Choosing to live day by day, rejoicing in the beauty that’s in front of me, and journeying through my vocation in every season of life. I am trusting that, to paraphrase Sara Bareilles, “where I stand is where I am to be.”