I swore I was never going to become one of those “everything happens for a reason” people. I want to protest and maybe as long as I don’t say the words, I can maintain that promise to myself.
But I am starting to appreciate the ways that my failure to conceive a child has actually blessed me.
I was so ready my last IVF cycle. I was so sure. I was “healed”. It was time. I had been through enough. It was my turn! But I was also “she who is never not broken” and I began to accept that I would never feel whole again. That my new normal was this somewhat tenuous “okay”. Or I thought that I would seal the cracks by being a mom and that this child would seal me. I’m so glad I didn’t become a mom then. What kind of mother would I have been if I placed the entirety of my self worth in a child? That’s a heavy burden to place on such tiny shoulders. I’m glad I cancelled the next cycle the day I was supposed to start it. I regret wasting the medications, seeing as some people never become parents due to their inability to afford them. I paid a very small percentage and they all expired in our fridge. For that I am sorry.
As a result of cancelling the cycle, I changed my life forever. A month later, I had a consultation for weight loss surgery and now, around the time of what would be Blastkap2’s first birthday, March 22, because you never forget that stuff, I’ve lost 103 lbs and gained a wholeness I didn’t know was possible. It’s kind of superficial to say that I didn’t heal until I lost weight, but that’s also not the whole truth. There’s this cliche that weight loss is less about what you’re eating and more about what’s eating you and there’s clearly some truth to it. I would put the level of misery of the weeks (and months) after my surgery pretty close to the profound sadness of our infertility losses. It makes sense though. I couldn’t eat (or drink) away my problems anymore. I was left with no choice but to confront my bullshit. Every day I’m still left no choice but to confront my bullshit and either push through it or find a different route around it. Not every day is a push through it day. Some days are pity party days and I escape to reality TV. Some days I lean on those close to me and they remind me that I’m a brave warrior princess and/or they remind me that I don’t have to be one all the time. A lot of days I just have to kiss it up to God and just say “Help me help my stupid self”. But some days, slowly but surely, I fake it until I make it and I’m doing ok.
I have found a level of confidence I didn’t know I had. I’ve started to advocate for my own needs, knowing that I’m worth it and scary as it seems, knowing that I can walk away from situations and relationships that aren’t in my best interest.
I started a small business which was a huge leap of faith and continues to be a huge leap as I try to grow it, but it is also my “baby” of sorts and it makes me so much the “me” I want to be. Plus it’s 99% social media, which anyone I’ve ever done training for knows is my favorite way to pass time. I maintain that should I ever be on a unit for people with dementia and I’m agitated, the staff should hand me a phone and tell me to scroll Facebook and I will calm down.
I’m not saying I’m not still kind of a hot mess and my kids are going to have to accept and forgive that but I can say I’m truly glad I have had a little more time to become a little less broken…and I still have seven more months to become my best me before it’s even a bridge we need to cross again.