a label I never wanted


It's been a really long time since my last diary entry, and I have evolved a tremendous amount over the last few months. From more friends announcing their pregnancies, to working towards acceptance of my own journey, a trip to Italy, and turning 31, my head and my heart have been quite busy. I've been thinking a lot lately about how hard I've tried to prevent this journey from becoming who I am. I've never fully grasped the fact, in spite of all of the tears and the heartache, that while it doesn't define me, this infertility journey is definitely a huge part of who I am, whether I like it or not.


Unlike the designer handbags my husband so generously buys me, this is not a label I wanted. Being that statistic, that "friend" that people refer to, is not something that I ever bargained for. I don't want to be that person that is referred to in a conversation regarding fertility struggles, the one who people whisper about - those removed from my journey wondering why I don't have babies yet. I didn't want this, I still don't, but I have to accept that it's not something that I can control.


This is not something I can control.


Do you know how hard it is for me to say that? If you know me, you know. The stages of grief are so very real. Having been fortunate enough in my life to have never really lost someone I loved, I was completely unprepared for how hard I'd grieve the loss of someone I'd never met. This last miscarriage hit me the absolute hardest, and I was completely unprepared for my own reaction. My therapist constantly reminds me that not only did I mourn the loss of a pregnancy, but also mourn the loss of naivety and control - both things which I constantly long for.


For someone who has attempted to control every aspect of this journey possible, taking a "break" from fertility intervention has been both liberating and infuriating. Month after month goes by, another friend (clearly Beyonce & Amal included) is pregnant, another announces the birth of their baby, and I just quite literally feel as if I'm sitting on my hands. {{CAVEAT: in all seriousness, COULD NOT BE more excited for my girls -- because pregnancy & motherhood is an unparalleled journey}} but nonetheless, this boiling feeling was not a feeling that I was familiar with, and was not a feeling I enjoyed... and it evolved into anger.


Anger is usually a feeling that is fleeting for me. As a teacher I get angry with my students when they don't respect one another, I get angry with my husband for leaving the toilet seat up after I fall in the toilet in middle of the night, I get angry with my friends, my parents, etc. Regardless of the nature, anger was a feeling that went away as quickly as it came on. However, being angry with myself was not something I had really truly experienced before, and it was not a fleeting feeling this time, nor was it something I enjoyed. I shut people out, I cried for full hours at a therapy appointment, I was snippy with my students, I had an anxiety attack at work, didn't feel like I was supporting my friends, -- all actions / reactions that are not who I am - and I hated every moment of this feeling. Conversations about babies or pregnancies made me see red -- and red is not a color in my wardrobe.


After a happenstance run in with my doctor, I finally gained control of my "break", and we had a very candid conversation. After being quite frank with her about my frustrations with a "one size fits all" approach that I felt like I was receiving, she came back two weeks later with a very out of the box proposal for our next and final round of IVF, and sought the input of my aunt who is also an amazing RE. Quickly this feeling of anger deteriorated, and I felt accomplished; I was no longer sitting on my hands. Once again, I advocated for myself and was beyond pleasantly surprised by how amazing and dedicated my doctor was to keeping me on as a patient and helping me achieve our mutual end goal. She continues to make me feel so important, and that is a tremendous hurdle in this journey.


In the meantime, I am thankful that the anger is gone, but once again accept the fact that this is all a part of my journey. I think that I've adequately dealt with the November loss - I think I'll always have a pit in my stomach when I think about it -- or think about how had we not miscarried, I would be having a baby with my friends. I can't control how many embryos come from a IVF cycle, can't control my ride on this emotional roller coaster, and can't control the journey of others. There's so much about this journey that I don't know and obviously cannot control, but I do know that I will do whatever it takes to reach the end result.


Currently, I'm embarking on a quest towards health: I'm focusing on cutting down on dairy, carbs, and red meat (except on the weekends, because a girl still has to enjoy pasta & wine on occasion). I'm focusing on plant-based protein, spinning, fruits & veggies a-gogo, and creating a plan that works for me without becoming obsessive and driving myself crazier than I already am. Who knows if it will increase my chances with our next IVF venture, but at least I can say I did all I could to try.


As we wait for when we're ready for the next cycle, I am basking in the incredibly thoughtful cards and gifts that I received for my birthday. A really close colleague of mine told me that she has never seen a teacher so revered on their birthday. The outpouring of love: flowers, balloons, Twix bars, and hand written cards from 8-10 year olds were innumerable. From friends and family -- cards with messages of love and hope -- letting me know that this was my year, while a harsh reminder of how much 30 sucked, acted as a reminder that the past is the past, and the future belongs to me. Incredibly thoughtful gifts from friends and family reminded me to continue to take care of myself (on their dollar too!), and I could not be more appreciative than I already am for the endless, wide net of support that I know and am so thankful to have... and for those of you godsends that are reading this, I am forever indebted to your support.


Being that friend, cousin, sister-in-law, colleague, that struggles with fertility, is most certainly a label I never sought after, but one that I cannot be ashamed of, and one that like my YSL or Chanel, I must embrace and treat with love.... so bring it on, 31...


I'm ready for you.






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