Alright everyone, this is going to be a long one so you might want to get comfortable. Maybe even grab yourself some water. I’ll wait.
Are you back?
Okay, let’s get on with it, shall we? It may not be my best piece of writing, but there’s a lot to cover, so here we go…
A little over two months ago, my boss handed me some sample job descriptions for a position he wanted to hire for and asked that I put one together to post. As I’m reading over the samples, I quickly realize all of the parts of my job that I love, will soon be taken from me and given to a new person. I went home pissed and hurt. How did he not think of me first? Had I not succeeded at the majority of these responsibilities, and more? Tim thankfully took me out for a drink to help me get some perspective. Yes, I had a right to be mad. But at the same time, I needed to fight for it. I went home and wrote out all the reasons why I felt like I should have the position, listing all of the accomplishments I’ve had over the last three years to further my point. I was determined to make my case for the new position.
The next day my boss asked me if I had had the chance to look over the samples and I said that yes, I had looked over them and that I wanted the job. He was taken aback – that possibility hadn’t even occurred to him. I outlined my points and he said he would think about it. A week or so later, he told me to put together the job description…for me to fill it. I was excited and scared and proud of myself for fighting for the position. Unfortunately, what quickly came with the promotion was the fact that I would be doing two jobs for over a month before we could hire someone to take over the duties I would no longer be doing. What followed were weeks of late nights and days filled with not even a minute to breathe, and all of a sudden, I found myself with a job that kept me up at night worrying about the things I had to do. I was afraid I would fail and be out of a job as a result.
In the middle of all of this, Tim and I attended an information session on California’s foster care program. An hour or so into the meeting, we knew it wasn’t for us. For reasons I don’t feel like getting into right now because this post will be long enough, it just didn’t sound like something we would have the energy to do. Nor did we think it would be fair to his daughter/my step-daughter. At the end of the session, we met with a social worker who ran the Foster-to-Adopt program for the county. She explained the process and as she was speaking, it was as if a light turned on…it sounded like something that could really work for us. I knew it was on the table as an option when Tim started asking questions. And just like that, our world opened up and there was a back-up plan.
I felt like that piece of the puzzle – the lack of a back-up plan – was the final weight pressing down on my heavy shoulders. I walked out that door and the weight was gone. Finally. For years now I was burdened with the very real reality that I may never be a mother. In the past, adoption had never been on the table for us (due to the cost), so in my mind, my only option was to succeed at a pregnancy. With my history, that felt like a longshot. If I couldn’t make the next one work, I’d be facing a future without a child ever calling me “Mom.” It was a future I was scared to death of facing. And all of a sudden, that future changed.
But back to work….As I became more and more busy at work, I found I had no time to read blogs or write on my own. Additionally, when I would get home from work, I had no desire to turn on the computer after staring at one all day. As a result, radio silence quickly occurred on this here blog. But what I didn’t expect was how free I felt. I, of course, missed those that I had followed for years/months, wondering what was going on in their worlds. Except as my positivity in this whole loss mess continued to climb, I began to think that maybe it was good for me to step back from this world. When I’m in it, I’m in it. I read the words of those struggling to get pregnant, those losing another chance, even those fighting against their fears while being pregnant, and I feel all of them as if they’re mine. I’m inside their (your!) head and I can’t get out. After being forced to step out of the world for a month, I felt alive again. I felt like maybe, just maybe, I can do this. And if I can’t? I’ll be okay. After this realization, I found myself fearful of stepping back in.
Somewhere in the middle of all of this, I was ovulating. So in addition to being insanely busy at work, we were getting busy at home. (Sorry, I couldn’t help myself.) I was temping and doing all the things I needed to do, including taking progesterone on the chance I did get pregnant. Tim and I had one really amazing weekend alone (we usually have my step-daughter on the weekends), and I was feeling so good. Confident in not just our future, but in myself and my ability to fight for what I want at work, something I had never done before. We celebrated my promotion, the day that we met and the anniversary of our first date. February has always been a heavy month for us, and this fortunately was proving to be one of the happier (albeit stressful) ones.
You still there? Because it’s about to get good. So wake up!
The week of February 13th was insane. We had a huge announcement as an organization coming up on the 16th, and I was spearheading it in my new position. To say I was stressed would be a bit of an understatement. I felt like my ability to prove myself in this position was about to be tested and I couldn’t fail. The day of the 15th, I arrived to work at 8 a.m. and stayed until 11:30 p.m. When I got home, I continued to make a few minor tweaks to the website from bed. I was exhausted. And at this point, I knew I was 11 dpo and that the next morning (the 16th) I’d be 12 dpo. I had decided I wouldn’t test until all of this was over, I knew that whatever the result was, it would distract me from the work I had to get done. I had planned on waiting until Friday to test when I was 13 dpo, but when I woke up on Thursday, I had to know.
It was positive.
Instead of the normal waves of fear that come rushing with those two lines, I felt nothing but joy. I didn’t feel like this time would be it, I had no instincts what so ever, but what I did know was I wanted to feel joy. So I did. For the fifth time in two and a half years, I was pregnant. But this time I was happy.
I get to my office and find out that all of my hard work paid off, we had made it onto the cover of our local city’s newspaper (above the fold even!). I couldn’t stop shaking. That was certainly too much excitement for one hour. The day flew by and I couldn’t believe how insane it all was. The next few weeks were filled with telling my closest friends and family that are in the loop with my history, that we’re going to do this again. Asking them to please send us all their good thoughts and prayers.
Shortly after I got the positive, Mo found out she was going to lose her sweet Nadav. I was beyond devastated and knew that that was not the time to announce my pregnancy in the blogosphere. I felt so helpless and have so much love for this woman, I couldn’t believe it was happening. In fact, I think I was in a bit of denial for quite some time. As a testament to what an incredible and caring person she is, since she knew about the pregnancy she told me I needed to take care of myself, that the last thing I needed to do was take her pain on. I promised her I would try my hardest. And despite an extreme sadness that up until that point I had never felt for another human being, I didn’t take it on. For the first time ever, I was able to separate her pain from my situation. I strongly believe that it was because I had been out of the blog world for over a month that I had the ability to separate myself. As much as I love this community and have grown from being here, this is the part that I have always struggled with. This is the part that is unhealthy, but unavoidable.
Then of course a few weeks later there was that whole debacle (you know the one I’m taking about). I did briefly come back to read about it…but instead of inspiring me to write, it sort of confirmed my reasoning for taking a step back. This is an incredible community. I can’t stress that enough. The combined strength of the women here could move mountains. I’m proud of being a part of this, and know that I have gained so much as a result…but as I’ve found myself headed out of it for quite some time (as a result of knowing my journey’s end is near, in whatever form it comes in), I have questioned whether the benefits outweigh the negatives. And witnessing the battle between the infertiles as a silent witness, I had an even harder time wanting to come back. I’m still on the fence about what my participation will be here on out. I guess I’ll just have to wait and see what feels right.
(And now you’re probably wishing I had just stayed away if I was going to write a novel like this…but bear with me, I’m almost done. Aren’t you glad you got that water now?)
Before I got pregnant, I told myself that the next time I was going to take it day-by-day. Since this is the last time I’m going to do this, I wanted to make sure that I enjoyed it. The baby deserved that at the very least. Due to the control I tried to have over my last one that still failed, I finally knew that no matter what the fate of the pregnancy would be, that I had no place in that outcome. Letting go of that control is exhilarating. In addition to this, because of the amazing piece that Jjiraffe wrote about me in her Faces of ALI series, I had a newfound compassion for myself and for what I have gone through, so I knew that all that was left for me and the baby was to be in the moment. I am so proud to say, that for the most part, I have succeeded at this. I have faced this pregnancy as a new pregnancy, one with it’s own chances of making it, with it’s own particular fate. Every night when I go to bed, I tell my baby that I’m thankful he or she is here, that no matter what happens, I love him and want him so badly. I thank it for growing and for trying. And the next morning, I do it all over again: I face the day.
I told myself I’d wait until after I reached the fateful 7 weeks 5 days that the past ones have gone downhill or ended to get an ultrasound. There was no point in me seeing the heartbeat when it hasn’t meant anything in the past. Plus it felt good to not be filled with the anxiety of my doctor’s office on a weekly basis.
Yesterday I finally went. At 8 weeks 2 days, it was measuring right on target and with a heartbeat. It’s already further than any of it’s siblings. And I can’t stop smiling.
Except, I can’t look beyond today…and today I’m 8 weeks, 3 days pregnant.
Today, I am pregnant.
(You may go now. For those of you left, thanks for sticking it out. Hope your legs haven’t fallen asleep…or your eyelids for that matter. Thanks so much for reading! And for those of you that said you missed me, you still miss me now?)