Thursday, November 24, 2011

Giving Thanks

Today is a wonderful day to stop and reflect and take stock of all the things I have to be thankful for. Sometimes (oftentimes) when embroiled in my arduous fertility journey, it can be hard to step back from the unfairness of everything we are going through to recognize the wonderful things that we do have. And even to take a look at the challenges that we have and find little things (sometimes big things) to be grateful for, even within the process of getting pregnant (or not) via a complicated, exhausting, expensive medical process. I have spent time writing about things that I am grateful for before, but I think it's important, even if it's redundant, to keep thinking about those things that can still buouy me up. To make these little moments of gratitude a mantra to keep me going in the dark times, the times when if someone else were to say to me "think of all you have to be thankful for!" I would have to employ serious restraint to keep myself from losing it.

Today I am thankful...
  • ...that these options are open to me--that in these awful and uncertain economic times we can afford treatment, that we have an amazing clinic that is closeby and constantly working to improve protocols and procedures, that I have a place to go for holistic treatments that is also nearby.
  • ...for the help we have received from family--whether it was financial help to make three fresh cycles so far possible, being there for or after procedures, visits during difficult recoveries, thoughtful good luck surprises in the mail, emotional support. We appreciate it all and are lucky to receive such support and understanding.
  • ...that we have an amazing doctor--compassionate, knowledgeable, flexibile, responsive, talented--who has brought us as close as we've ever been to the magic moment where we are pregnant and can stay that way until there is a baby (or two) in our arms.
  • ...that we have an amazing medical team of nurses, techs, embryologists, receptionists, financial coordinators, counselors, and so on who are all compassionate, talented, relentless cheerleaders for our eventual success. (I'm going with they genuinely want to see us succeed and not that they are sick of our faces by this point and can't wait for us to move on elsewhere, ha!)
  • ...that I have a network of infertile friends at various stages in the process (from just started to new parent after success with infertility) who have been instrumental in getting through this semi-sanely with the knowledge that we are not alone, we can survive this, and we can become parents if we want to, through one channel or another.
  • ...that I have amazing pre-infertility friends who have handled this new hurdle well and have been supportive and responsive to my ever-changing needs during this time of crisis and hope. Friends unafraid to stand by in this time of discomfort and never quite knowing what the right thing is to do or say. Friends who can make me laugh in my darkest times and accept and forgive my mood swings as "Jess-for-now," knowing that eventually I will come out the other side of this (probably not unchanged, but probably not completely broken either).
  • ...that I have a network of friends and family that I am not physically close with but who have been so supportive, especially through this last lovely experience, via virtual channels. As much as I hate the immediacy of our instant-access technological culture, it has made support over the miles and despite a lack of real-time connection possible and beautiful.
  • ...that I have a workplace that is flexible, caring, and supportive that was able to accommodate my needs at the start of the school year and hopefully will be able to accommodate any other challenges that may come our way. And may those challenges be related to late-term pregnancy.
  • ...that I have a wonderful husband, a man who embodies patience and flexibility and love. A man who is a support for me and together for us, who does everything possible to help us be successful. A true partner in love, life, and hardships. I am so, so lucky to have found someone who not only can handle this challenge, but handle it with grace and a sense of humor. And the best hugs ever.
And I am thankful...
  • ...that we did get pregnant, so it is possible.
  • ...that my ectopic pregnancy was caught before it ruptured and so I could have scheduled (albeit same-day) scary surgery but not collapse-and-ride-in-an-ambulance scary surgery.
  • ...that we have frozen embryos, and they are beautiful. That we have the opportunity for this bonus round of putting little Bryce-and-Jess hybrids in my uterus and hoping that they take.
  • ...that I have the resilience to keep doing this over and over and over again. That as hard as it can get, I still have the ability to scrape myself off the floor and put a genuine smile on my face and put that sharps container on my kitchen counter again. That I have the capacity to hope for success, despite getting continually stomped on.
  • ...that Bryce and I are truly in this together, on the same page, and working as a team to make our dreams come true.
I could go on and on, but I have to make the gluten free piecrust for my pumpkin meringue pie and I just can't procrastinate any longer. I hope that everyone is having a wonderful Thanksgiving with their families--families of two, families of three or four or giant tables of extended family galore. What a wonderful holiday based on thankfulness and gratitude (and food).

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