Well, that's not even the whole truth. I'm sorry. But I'm also not sorry.
And that dichotomy pretty much sums up how I've been feeling these past few weeks.
I'm full of joy. And I'm full of sorrow.
I'm grateful. And I'm guilty.
I'm humbled. And I'm proud.
I'm amazingly calm. And I'm anxious.
I'm starving. And I'm nauseous.
I'm fatigued. And I can't sleep.
I'm horny. And I'm gassy.
My emotions and my physical symptoms aren't the only things that appear completely at odds with themselves. I also can't wrap my mind around HOW to blog, anymore. WHAT to blog. WHO is blogging...
That's the real issue. I feel that I have lost my identity. I have always been TCIE. The veteran infertile. A.S., the FertilityCare Practitioner and RDMS coming to a Skype near you every two weeks and a transvaginal ultrasound probe near you (very near you) over holiday weekends and the like.
Don't get me wrong. I don't lament my shedding of that identity. Because I've gained a new one, one I've been preparing for for 8 years (or, if I'm being honest, much longer than that, in my mind's eye).
Now, I am a mother.
I'm a veteran infertile. And I'm a mother.
But, you see, that's not the truth. It's not the truth, at all.
I'm NO LONGER infertile. I'm simply, and miraculously, a mother.
And that's an identity I'm not yet familiar with.
I don't know HOW to be TCIE, the Mother. (I'm a professional at being TCIE the Infertile FertilityCare Coordinator and Sonographer.)
I just got promoted to the job of a lifetime, and it will take me some time to stop performing all of the job duties of my last job - that job I held for 8 years, and climbed to the top of that career ladder.
But the weird part is, I still feel a sense of obligation to my prior job, and all of the people I served through it. And that's where my heart breaks in two.
When I announced my pregnancy to family and co-workers alike, every single one of them commented about how great it would be for my patients, clients, and blog readers to hear this news. And every single time, I balked. "Uhhhhh... well.... it's incredibly hard to explain.... yes, they'll be happy. Yes, it may be a source of hope for them. But, it won't be met without pain and sorrow."
The words I was choosing were not really being understood, however. I just couldn't seem to find the right words to convey what, perhaps, only other infertile women would understand.
But then, I received this email response from Rebecca at The Road Home. Her email had exactly the words I was searching for, exactly the emotions I was trying so hard to convey to the "non" infertiles in my life. I read it to my mother. And through her tears and nods, she responded that she understood. She really understood. And she would pray for Rebecca (and The Man), and for all couples still carrying this cross of infertility.
With Rebecca's permission, I will share that email response to my personal email announcement to her, here:
This might be the most honest email I've ever sent - so please feel free to ignore it.
I've wondered if I should tell you that twice last week I felt compelled to pray for you and resisted the urge to tell you I was having "good feelings" - for fear of sending you on an unnecessary roller coaster. (As having been on the receiving end recently of "good feelings" and "dreams about pregnancy" messages I realized those aren't especially helpful to receive.)
I almost emailed or texted you yesterday to vent and didn't - and only because I felt the Holy Spirit nudge me not to.
I have wondered if you realize you will SO be the story that people tell about "this one lady I know..." ;) (really, smile and giggle at it while rolling your eyes)
I will be honest and admit that I finally shed tears this evening when I read your post - tears purely for myself and not for you, and I share this ONLY because I KNOW you know what I mean. These tears that now we are different, that I am SO SO SO happy we are different, but that we are different. That the island of infertility is a little less fun because you are off it, and that I am so glad you are gone, but that I already miss you.
I miss you so much it hurts.
And I feel awful for that, because I miss you, but as much as I miss you, I am infinitely more glad you are gone from this island.
And at the same time as all of this, I see beauty.
Beauty that I know I will hit send, because I know you "get it".
Beauty that I confidently call you friend.
Beauty at what has transpired in your life and marriage in the last 12 months.
I am praying for you - that you are soon throwing up and feeling quite awful as that sweet baby takes over your life. I am praying that you are holding a sweet child in 9 months and all that follows because we both know that the sadness of infertility isn't just about a BFP, but about a life unlived. I am praying you experience every. single. second. possible. of the life that will be lived.
I am giving thanks for the healing in your marriage. And for Rob's health. All of it.
And, finally, if I may, I am asking for prayers. I began a 54-day Novena yesterday asking for God to make His will known in our lives as it relates to pursuing parenthood. There is more behind what led to that, but all that is for another day. For now, I am placing my desires at His feet and begging Him to make His plan known to me, no matter what. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't scared, but I am fighting it and trying to trust.
I don't know what else I want to say, just that I hope you relish and enjoy every moment of this new journey you are on. We both know it is not one that can be earned, but when it comes after such a long wait, it should be rejoiced in fully and without apology.
Life is gift. Nothing more. Nothing less.
And for that we can say, Deo gratias!
Love and prayers my dear dear friend!
I get it. I assure you... I get it.
As do so, so many women who may be reading your words this very moment.
At times, I just cannot contain the joy I feel in my heart, feeling my baby within me, knowing there is life in a once barren womb. But that same heart that is full of joy also breaks with compassion for my sisters in Christ who are pained by my blessing. NOT out of jealousy. NOT out of envy. But out of yearning for a blessing, themselves, and not having any answers why some crosses are visibly lifted while others are not.
I get it. I so get it.
For my dear sisters in Christ, those who are friends IRL, friends here on the blog, friends from other online sources, and even those who read and have never commented, I want you to know that I get it. You need not explain ANYthing that you do or do not do as it relates to me or this blog in the future. You are mothers. Every single one of you. Your maternal hearts are what need protecting, now, and to seek others who are where you are- feel how you feel- without judgement, without drama.
To that end, I would like to share here a group on Facebook that is specifically designed to serve your needs for support, advice, commiseration and celebration, no matter what stage of infertility you are in (even those with prior infertility). It is a way to bridge the gap and grasp the common thread together, through our shared Catholic faith. It is a secret group, meaning it is not searchable nor will any of your posts be "public" on your Facebook account.
To be added to the group, please email Rebecca, the group's founder, at:
To conclude, I promise to keep writing and updating in the future, as I go back to that post I wrote just before finding out I was pregnant - the post called "Acceptance" - and realize, hey, maybe I should take my own advice, eh? My current identity is that of a pregnant mother to an unborn child. That is my Present. The most important thing to Accept. While I acknowledge and accept my past infertility, and my still unknown future, I accept that I am currently with child (and will always be a mother), and embrace that blessing.
This Blessing, I (will work constantly to) Embrace, in the same way I worked to embrace my cross of the past.
God bless you all.