January 04, 2016

Journey's End

Five years ago this month, I threw out my birth control pills as M and I actively began trying to expand our family...

Five years ago.

I can't even.

One part of my brain tells me that five years is not a long time. Another part of brain my brain tells me that the person who threw out those pills is not the same person who is typing these words. She has become like a myth or a fairy tale - there's a kernel of truth in her, but she's not based in any reality that *I* know. Not now.

Over those five years, M and I lived across the country from each other for 10 weeks, got in a car accident, bought a new car, M graduated and got his first "adult" job, we bought a house and moved 45 minutes away from our families. I had more work-related drama than any person should deal with in their entire life and my family endured the crisis of my mom's spinal stroke and paralysis. We have been tested, we have been blessed. And through it all, we tried and tried and tried and TRIED to get pregnant.

At the time, in January 2011, I *thought* I was going into TTC with my eyes wide open. I'd had a PCOS diagnosis since 2006 and I had seen my sister go through fertility treatments to conceive my nephew, A, and the triplets that she lost. I was prepared; my loins were appropriately girded for the fight. I was so. freaking. naive. Nine month wasted trying "naturally" (which was actually nine months spent not ovulating so no shot in hell of becoming pregnant). Four rounds of low-dose clomid which did as much good as trying "naturally". Then spurred to new heights of hope with an RE: surgery and seven heavily medicated cycles over a year and a half. No one could give me a reason for why it wasn't happening for us, but it just wasn't. The RE pushed for IVF, but fortunately I'm a stubborn person who doesn't like to feel pushed into things. I had spent 3 years as a mental wreck from drugs and watching "the whole world" get pregnant around me. The end of 2013 was sad and difficult. It had not been a kind year in a number of ways, but it was the last year I held any hope of being pregnant, of having a "normal" family.

I declared that 2014 would be a year taken off from all things family building. No doctors, no drugs, no agencies, paperwork, or meetings. We would just be us and figure out if that was okay or if we wanted to pursue adoption. I think I started to rediscover myself as a person, no longer a cyclical failure, a monthly pincushion. I needed that time to grieve and heal.

I think 2015 went as well as it did because we took a gigantic pause right as we were at the point of jumping out of the frying pan and into the fire. We needed to know we were ready for that jump and everything that would come after. We had talked through our feelings about never raising a biological child and what adopting really meant, beyond the day someone hands you a cute baby. We dug into the messy, complicated ugliness of what could be in adoption if we did not properly educate ourselves. When we chose our agency and mailed in the application, it felt like a new lease on life, like Hope was a friend again, not a cruel joke. Everything since that day has worked out so well, I pray to God it is a sign we are doing the right thing - finally on the path He set out for us.

 I feel amazingly at peace, so full of hope that 2016 will be our year! 2011 me would be so sad for 2016 me, but that's only because she has no idea - not a clue. I am blessed beyond imagining, beyond reason. I would never go back to any point in the last five years. You couldn't pay me enough to do it. I'm on the other side of that dark, frightening road and life is good.

Happy New Year :-)