There is a certain challenge that goes along with finding joy in the journey. I have accepted that challenge but would never describe it as easy. Over the past few years I feel like I have experienced every emotion under the sun, from the extreme excitement that comes along with getting my hopes up thinking that “This month might be the month!” to the sadness that hits like a brick wall and seems to stand still right in front of me. The world goes on but my dream, my biggest dream, still feels far away at times.
Since I wrote last about our journey we have been hopeful. The days following laparoscopic surgery were exciting, except for when the pain medicine wore off, then they were painful. But for the most part we were excited that a baby would be coming soon. We started to plan a little more, talked about it almost as though we were already pregnant and thought that the surgery most certainly did the trick (I’m not saying that it didn’t, it just hasn’t happened yet). The surgery was scheduled to take about 30-45 minutes to complete but nearly 2 hours after it began I was still in the operating room. The doctor went out to the waiting room and informed my husband and my mom that she had found stage four endometriosis, polyps, and cysts, all that needed to be removed. The surgery was a big success and I am so thankful that we decided to do it. The doctor then told us that she would like for us to try on our own for three months. That means no doctor’s visits, no medicine, no blood work, no ultrasounds, nothing, just us. I remember thinking that I felt free and a little scared at the same time. For months and months, we had been to the doctor almost on a weekly basis and to know that we would go for three months without a single visit felt a bit odd.
December rolled around quicker that I had expected and two days before Christmas we found out that there was still no baby. Out of all the months of trying to conceive, this one was by far the hardest. We had high expectations and when they weren’t met it hurt. I told my best friend that it almost felt like I had lost someone I loved. Christmas time is supposed to be the happiest time of the year but I was unknowingly stressed, overwhelmed, and though I hate to admit it, sad. I have a hard time welcoming sadness. I am an instinctively happy person and prefer to live in joy 99% of the time. It took a little bit of self discovery paired with several days of good ole momma time for me to realize that I needed to take charge. I couldn’t allow myself to sink into a hole of self pity and sorrow. I have learned that it is okay to cry and it is okay to feel sad but I can’t allow those feelings to reflect on who I am and where I am going.
I have been called to be in this journey for a reason. I may not know the reason now, but I do know that I have grown as a person, as a wife, as a daughter, and as a child of God during this journey and for that, I am thankful. Unfortunately, I don’t know the expiration date of this road but I do know that I need to make the best of it while I am here. Women (and men) who experience infertility feel lost at times and don’t know how they will ever get out. Even though I am not on the other side yet, I am here to tell you that it is worth it! If we change the way we think about it from “why is this happening to me” to “what good has happened to me because of this journey” then we gain strength, courage, and satisfaction that we’ve never had. It will not be easy but it will be worth knowing that there is always joy to be found in the journey.