The Gratitude in it All

{November 28, 2016}

The holidays were the worst through what felt like countless years of infertility. My go-to top self-preservation technique was my ability to smoothly retreat from family and friends, especially ones with young kids. I deleted the Facebook app off of my phone way too many times to count and rolled my eyes at so many of the November “thankful” posts. If I am being honest, I didn’t feel grateful for much during that time. What I wanted was the world to stop spinning for a minute and mourn with me over the baby I didn’t have to hold.

I’m not here to tell you to count your many blessings. Trust me, they’re there. Your life is full of really beautiful silver linings. But, finding them is up to you and you’ve got to do it in your own time, and that’s okay. What I will share with you are the 20ish reasons I’m grateful. I really am grateful for this horrendously hard, yet beautiful journey of infertility that I’ve been asked to take.

1. My body can do hard things. I mean really, it’s amazing.
2. I learned that although Motherhood is my greatest joy, it isn’t what defines me. I’m lucky that I got to know myself so well as I’ve walked this journey.
3. I know what it’s like to have my heart break.
4. I know what it’s like to have my heart find its way back together.
5. I know what it’s like to really long for something.
6. I know how to fight for something. I am full of grit and determination.
7. A husband, a partner who loves me enough to fight alongside me.
8. The opportunity to be a voice for others who haven’t found their own yet.
9. Meeting amazing women whom I’m lucky enough to share this special bond.
10. Finding what it really means to have empathy… Having the opportunity to mourn with those who mourn.
11. Coming to know the power of the human spirit.
12. Feeling the power of prayer work miracles.
13. A mother who would’ve laid her own life down to fill my empty arms if it would’ve helped.
14. The REIs and embryology team at Fertility Specialists of Texas.
15. IVF.
16. That I was born in 1983 and not 1963. I thank my lucky stars that I was born in a time where science/technology offer hope to women like me.
17. The opportunity to long for and love my children long before they were ever born. I walked to hell and back to get them and I would do it all over again. It’s the testament of my love for them.
18. Even though my babies weren’t conceived in the privacy of my bedroom or on a trip to Hawaii, I wouldn’t trade the opportunity to watch our talented, and brilliant RE- Dr. Goldstein transfer our embryos. It’s miraculous.
19. The little pictures that hang in my house of our embryos on transfer day. Who else can show their kids their first picture when they were quite literally 5 days old.
20. The fact that my kids weren’t just the product of efforts between my husband and I. We had an entire team give of their time, energy and talent to not only help make it happen, but to be our biggest cheerleaders along the way.
21. Certainty. That even through the darkest times, the sun still rises. Every day starts anew, and there is always hope.
22. That even though I lost myself for a while, I found a better me on the other side of all this.

Someday, somehow you will find your way through this. Maybe you already have. Maybe you’re in the middle of it and are clinging to the blessings you know you have as a lifeline. But, maybe not. My hope for you is that when you come through on the other side, that you find that all this stuff… this stuff that was REALLY hard… this thing that almost broke you … didn’t. And because you went through it and survived it, you’re better for it. You see, we’re the lucky ones. We’re the silent warriors who fight the noble fight to bring new life. We’re the ones who when they hold their baby for the first time not only get to inhale motherhood in all it’s glory, but also feel the rush of a heart as it pieces its way back together. It’s exhilarating. And it’s ours because we walked the road of infertility.

#IVFMom
#1in8
#FertilitySpecialistsofTexas

brie-signature-copy

Hi! I’m a proud IVF mom of two amazing boys, thanks to the expert care at Fertility Specialists of Texas. I know, first hand, how lonely infertility can be, which is why I write personal entries for the FST blog  — it’s my way of helping break through the isolation. To let you know you’re not alone. And, neither am I. If you ever want to chat with someone who’s had empty arms, who knows the heartbreak of this journey, I’m here. And, I’d love to connect: fstivfmom@gmail.com.

Brie Dance

FST Patient & Guest Blogger