I am working on a new / old project. I am back on a project I worked on briefly just before I fell pregnant. And I don’t think I have even set foot through this clients’ doors since falling pregnant. As I was driving to client site this morning I was reminiscing on how I was feeling about life when I was last travelling this journey. Actually I was thinking about a phone conversation I had with one of my besties whilst driving to this client what must be more than three and a half years ago.
And the realisation dawned on me how different my life is now. How different my conversations with my besties are and how my world has changed.
I considered putting a post on the Fertilicare Forum telling those still in the trenches that there really is light at the end of the tunnel and advising them to look after themselves and go gently with themselves. But I thought back to that sad, bitter person I was who was struggling to hold onto my hope with all my strength and not become despondent and I realised that for many on the forum my words would not be a healing balm, but possibly salt in the wound. I could hear myself thinking to a post like that back then “yes yes you have YOUR baby, your life is fab, whoopy twang for you”.
And so I just wish I could send a letter to my infertile self. I wished more than anything else whilst going through that struggle to just know what the outcome would be. If I could have just KNOWN that there was going to be success at the end, I would have handled it all very differently. But the not knowing was so hard.
Dear Juanita (aged 34 and just deciding to tackle the infertility diagnosis and see if we can have a baby)
I am you in five years time and I just want to write a big HUG to you. I know you can’t write hugs, but as we are separated by time I can’t give you a hug, so this is all I have, if only I could get it to you somehow. I know that actually the thing you need more than anything is gentleness from yourself. But the place you find yourself hasn’t left you any strength to give yourself love. I wish I could ease your pain by showing you just one picture of what this future looks like.
The road ahead of you is going to be the toughest ever. Nothing you have ever been through will compare to the journey you are embarking on. But I have the most amazing news for you.
You and Chris are going to learn to love each other more deeply and with more honesty and openness than it seems possible can exist between two people. You are going to stand together and conquer.
Yes you are going to get to carry and hold in your arms your amazing husbands biological child. And not just one child, but two. You are going to see your husband’s eyes crinkle with joy as he touches your belly and feels the life move in there. You are going to get to see your husband’s perfect nose on your daughter and see his sense of humour in your son’s laughter. You are going to watch two little people rush with joy into their father’s arms shouting “Daddy!” You ARE going to have the happy ending.
I am now on the verge of turning 40 and doing plenty of party planning and even my thoughts around this reflect how much has changed from where you stand. Now I think of how I can incorporate the beautiful, smart, loving kids into my celebration. When I stood where you stand now I planned a gothic small dinner party in a wine cellar full of cobwebs and maybe that most of all is reflective of your state of mind. Now I know it will have to be a party where I can see my beautiful daughter dance and twirl with her Daddy and watch my amazing son charm the prettiest girl in the room.
I wish I could send you deep breaths and peace and love and the reassurance that for you the happy place is coming. Hold on and gather strength because the parenting journey isn’t that easy either, but it is so full of love and joy that all else fades.
Here is that picture I wish I could give you.