blog safe place celebrated its 3rd blogoversary on 1/17. Throughout December I told myself to get working on a post, but I was, you know, nearing the end of my pregnancy and planning for the holidays while suffering from pericarditis so I never got around to it. Then, after baby boy was born, well, you tell a newborn to hang on a minute while mommy does some writing and see where that gets you.
I’ve been thinking of the passing of this milestone and what it has meant to me to be able to come here, often, and write about what is going on in my heart and in my head. This truly has been “my place to vent, rant, share, and chart my course”. And, while my original intention was to tease out my feelings about whether to proceed in having a second child after so many failed attempts and then how to do so, it has morphed into much.much.more.
So much has happened in the last three years, more life lived than at perhaps any other time just by virtue of the monumental decisions we’ve made (and in some cases, remade). I won’t chronicle every one, but here are the highlights:
- after stepping away from ART, we decided to pursue domestic adoption
- after 15 months with no interest in our profile, on a whim, I approached my RE about cycling with donated embryos
- after 13 years, including one retirement and comeback, I left my career to focus on completing our family (well, I didn’t know at the time that it would turn out to be my focus, but it did)
- my husband started a new job, with Planned Parenthood, that has been challenging but fulfilling for him. I am proud that he works for them
- after 16 years in the same house, we bought a new house and moved
- my (older) son started kindergarten
- I hired a searcher to find my birth mother and she did
- I made contact with my birth mother and we exchanged exactly 2 notes each
- after selecting a set of donated embryos, our first FET was negative, but, after an endometrial biopsy I achieve my first trilaminar lining EVER and even though our remaining 3 embryos did not develop in the 18 hours after they were thawed, the cycle was positive
- I became estranged from my parents, something that continues to this day, going on 15 months
- at 46, I gave birth to my second son
Beyond chronicling these life events, what has happened in the last three years is the cultivation of real friendships with women that I have never met. A sisterhood of sorts has been created without which I could have not gotten through all that I have. I mean that honestly and sincerely. There are things I would not have attempted, directions I would not have known to go in, actions I would not have taken, ways I would not have felt buoyed, had it not been for the support and wise counsel of many of the women who comment frequently here and whose own writings have inspired, touched, and motivated me.
A pivotal point came from one such comment. It was early on in my days writing here. I had post after post wrangling with whether to proceed in any way to have a second child or not and how to proceed if I was going to. When I reread some of those posts, I am reminded how tangled my feelings were and how confused and stuck I felt. My very marriage felt in jeopardy if we didn’t get on the same page. Anyway, it was this post and the comment from Orodemniades at Birch and Maple which I read, then, as “what are you afraid of?” that jarred me into thinking of things in a different way. What was I afraid of, and, moreover, was I willing to let it stop me from moving forward.
Even now, when I am at a crossroads, I ask myself that question and when I delve into the answer (which, sometimes, I don’t like) I am able to move forward, and not always in the way I expected (pursuing donated embryos and being pregnant again would be one such circumstance).
As so many of the bloggers I follow have themselves pondered, I wonder what will come of this space. While my journey to completing my family is over, there is so much more to be written, many more chapters to come. I imagine that, just as it has always been, this will still be the place I come to chart my course. And, just as at age 46 (soon to be 47, inching ever closer to 50), I could use a little work, so could the look of this blog, something else I am working on.
To anyone and everyone who is still reading along, lurking and/or commenting, I thank you for your support, visible and invisible. You have made a difference in my life. And, given that this is just a blog where I share my journey, I find that to be profound. Thank you.