Lessons of Another Year

Way back in June I had planned to spend my summer blogging away. I wanted to share lots of anecdotes and thoughts with you all about our experiences. It all remains on my to-do list because this summer the war, my freelance work at The JerusalemBlueprint and visits from many friends and family members left me with little time to keep up with writing here. Guess it will have to wait until next year.

I could not let the new year pass without sharing something, but it will not begin to compare with what I wrote last year. Though last year is where I want to start as it’s been a year, nearly two, since we first began IVF.  I’ve stopped counting how long ago we started to trying to conceive. It goes without saying that all of this has influenced nearly every aspect of our lives both as individuals and as a couple.

Here is a short list of observations and lessons from the past year:

Communication: I have found our experience with infertility to be a mixed blessing of sorts, because as difficult as it has been, through the process Tommy and I learned communicate with one another in a way that I’m not sure we could have done otherwise. We have learned how to talk about complicated, emotional, and difficult issues and trust that the other person will listen. Most important we have learned to love right through all the trials and I feel privileged to have him as my partner.

Control: I’ve always been a bit of a klutz- Tommy calls me “tipsy Toby”- so leave it to me to end up cutting my head open and needing stitches while on complete bed rest. You’d think it be easy enough to just stay in bed and take it easy, but somehow I manage to turn that into an accident. It all goes to show you, how little control we have over the things that we have to deal with in life. Arriving at  the realization that many things are out of my hands ceased to be scary and instead I found it to be both refreshing and liberating.

Change: While the laws of inertia make it easy to stay the course, at times it is important to pause and consider a different approach, or maybe even a slightly different goal. Change does not always come easy and like most things it is both a risk and a process. I have discovered both the challenges and the benefits of change.

Hope: This word is the scariest word for a person dealing with infertility. When should you be hopeful? How do you temper your hope with realistic expectations? These questions apply to many different situations and over the past few days I have heard people express the wish that the upcoming year will be better than the previous.This tricky emotion allows us to push forward and believe that with a bit of effort the future can hold something better. I’ve learned that I do not need to ignore or qualify this feeling but rather embracing my hope helps me persevere through the challenges.

I enter this year taking all that I have learned with me and excited for the new lessons that lie ahead.

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