(Apparently, I like meme’s a lot!)
Last night I did something that almost made me feel like a “normal” woman again! A woman who doesn’t wake up and first thing remind herself what cycle day it is and what treatments are in store for that 6-8 pm window. Last night, I did something that I won’t be able to do once we conceive and IT FELT GREAT!! I met my friends for sushi and sake! I ate the raw fish and drank the dreaded rice liquor (cold, cause hot sake is gross!) that are apparently very, very harmful to growing embryos and for about 4 hours, my main concern wasn’t my progesterone level or the anxiety that comes with being in the middle of another IUI cycle. Granted, it was slightly different than any other girls night that I’ve had before as I had to take a shot of Gonal-F and 2 Letrizole tablets right before I ran out the door. Of course, our infertility struggle was talked about with good friends but I was encouraged and relieved to be able to hear what is going on in other people’s lives rather than be so immersed in my own. I was able to share some funny stories and hear of other people’s failures and successes in the world of infertility. I was able to laugh from deep in my belly about funny stories and horrible first dates and it felt like I had a piece of me back. I even got to show them why I love my husband so much as he kept sending me texts and pictures of himself eating alone at Five Guys with quotes from Celine Dion’s “All By Myself”. He’s really funny. And he really hates to be by himself.
This group last night included two married women and two single gals. One of us is a mother and the rest are not yet. When surrounded by my usual group of treasured women, I am usually the only one without children so it was good to hear other peoples struggles that don’t revolve around pregnancy, children, birth, and child-rearing. It was good to remember what the other struggles I have faced have looked like by women who are facing them right now. It reinforced something that I have been cognizant of since we realized we were having trouble to conceive. Infertility is hard. It just is. But it is not harder than a lot of things we have already faced or a lot of things we are yet to face. It’s just hard because it’s the season we are in currently.
I realize that I was desperately in need of some God-given perspective. I needed to be reminded of the uncertainty and pain the can come with singledom. I needed to remember that horrible first dates can be so discouraging. Dating the wrong guys (over and over) can feel like there are no good men left. Laughing with a friend who was pretty sure her date was going to the bathroom and snorting cocaine made me realize that God has provided over and abundantly for me and helped me remember to pray for my friends who are still looking for their “Chad”. The situations are not entirely the same but we are both waiting. Maybe we are all waiting for that next step and it’s just as frustrating and hopeless sometimes for us all, regardless of what we are waiting for.
I needed to be reminded that grief and loss are real and devastating. We have weathered death and losing people we love. We lost Chad’s dad to his 18 year cancer battle 6 weeks after we got married. It was awful. I currently counsel a woman that I have seen off and on for years who lost her 27 year old husband to cancer after only being married 2 and a half years. I attended their wedding. I did their premarital counseling. The loss and pain she feels reminds me that there are worse things to be going through. Working with her has also shown me that platitudes in the midst of huge grief do nothing. Sitting with someone in their grief, passing tissues, and crying with them goes a lot further than “having the right thing to say”. I needed to remember that death creates wholes in peoples hearts and sometimes the best thing we can do is listen.
Several weeks ago, seven of my friends shared a post entitled “This Phase of Life: It’s Hard!”. This particular article was talking about being in the mid to early thirties and having 1-3 kids. But, once I got over my sad feelings at not being in the same phase of life as my peers, I realized that title could apply to many, many life phases. Last night helped me remember that the hardest part of life is usually the one you are currently facing. We long for the “careless days of youth” forgetting that we were just as angsty about things then but remember those days with rose colored glasses. Empty-nesters long for the days when their houses were filled with kids forgetting the nights without sleep and horrors of potty training. This infertile woman longs for a baby with everything in her and forgets what it was to long for a husband, a good man, with the same intensity.
To paraphrase an often used quote, “Be Kind, everyone is just as overwhelmed by their current life circumstances. “ Or something like that. Can we all just accept that every stage of life is hard and just be grateful. Can we all support each other regardless of what our lives look like, whether they are the norm or not? Can we learn to accept His yoke that is easy and let down our own? That’s my prayer for all of us. No comparison, just perspective.
And now, I am going to kiss the good man God sent me, eat some soft cheese and more raw fish, and probably wash it down with things that I hopefully cannot have after our next IUI.