I collapsed on the couch on Friday evening feeling like an overwhelmed pin cushion. It was a week filled with blood tests, ultrasounds, and one battle with my local CVS Pharmacy: it was a week of answers I wanted but wasn't happy with. All I wanted was to feel like I had some control over my body. I sat for a while, staring at the blank TV screen and let the silence of our house sink in. For months I had imagined baby laughs filling up our home and, although I'm promised that's still going to happen, I found myself feeling a sense of mourning. We chose our house because it was big enough for us to grow into when we had kids: its two extra bedrooms would come in handy as we grew our family, we told ourselves as we signed the paperwork. I imagined it would expand with love as babies filled our home: the walls would open up and shift, like the staircases in Harry Potter, to fit all that love. As I sat there taking in the silence, I realized my plan didn't work. I, the planner, the organized Type A, lover of spreadsheets and 5-year plans got it wrong. Feelings of grief washed over me and I cried tears of frustration.
I have honestly cried more in the last week than I have in months.
I want to be clear: I know Kyle and I will have kids. More than one, God willing. I know I can still get pregnant, I know that many women with PCOS do. I know there are so many out there who have endured worse diagnoses and had to go to greater lengths to become parents. I know there are women who have waited longer, prayed longer and planned more than I have, only to be given worse news than I.
But, this is a post about expectations, not comparison.
When you're a kid you imagine a life for yourself, at least I did. I would get a basketball scholarship, marry at 24 (preferably to my high school or college sweetheart), we would have 2-3 kids. I would be a big-wig at some high-rise office and never leave my hometown (when you're a kid you don't think about commutes).
Typing that made me laugh out loud and made coffee come shooting out of my nose.
I spent a lot of time on Friday night thinking about the life I had planned for myself all those years ago as a naive little girl. It all seemed so easy, like boxes that can be checked off a to-do list. I have always had a lot of expectations for my life and a lot of expectations for myself. If you know me, you know I'm incredibly hard on myself and I think it's because I see my plan so clearly in my head that when I get it wrong I get so frustrated. My life has almost been the complete opposite of what I dreamed of: it's been harder, yet more fulfilling, it's been larger and more joyful than I ever dreamed of. My life has humbled me and made me grateful, not entitled.
Motherhood, though. Those expectations I'm having a hard time letting go of. That part, I hoped, would be easy. That part, after waiting for a man like Kyle for so many years, was supposed to be the gift I was given: the thing my body was supposed to do for me and say "you know what? You deserve this."
Life is humbling me, yet again.
I'm now on 2 medications. When he gave me the medications, the pharmacist looked at me gravely and said "you have an extremely high dosage here it's imperative that you're careful" and I said, "yeah, it doesn't pay not to ovulate." Only one of us thought it was funny and hint, it wasn't the pharmacist. I have to give myself a "trigger shot" to make my body ovulate. I hate needles. I have to go on an anti-inflammatory diet. Next week, I have to go in for 2 more ultrasounds to monitor how my follicles are growing. If we don't get pregnant this time, we have to do it all over again. I've been poked and prodded and my arms are bruised from the blood draws and not once has any medical professional said: "I'm so sorry, I know this must be hard for you."
People keep asking me: "aren't you happy you have answers and a plan?" People keep telling me not to be mad at my body because it does amazing things like breathe and walk.
Yes, I'm grateful for all of those things. I'm choosing joy and I'm looking on the bright side and all of that. I promise, I am.
But also? Letting go of expectations doesn't happen overnight. I feel sad and that's okay. I feel broken and that's okay. I feel overwhelmed and that's okay. I feel left behind; like the last kid picked for kickball teams and I'm not sure if that's okay but that's how I feel.
I truly believe that, at the end of all of this, there will be joy. I truly believe that, while we wait, there will be moments of joy and gratitude. This experience has already brought Kyle and me closer together and made us more of a team. I truly believe there will be baby laughs and sleepless nights and the walls of our home will expand with more joy than we ever thought possible. I'm happy to have answers, happy to have a plan (even though it's different than the one I expected). I'm learning to find beauty in letting go and peace in surrendering control. It's my hardest lesson yet but I hear that's what parenthood is so I'm grateful to be learning these lessons early on.
I'm trying really hard to be open about this. I ask for your continued kindness and grace. I also ask again that you don't make assumptions based solely on what you read here and I thank all of you who have reached out and offered encouragement or shared your stories with me. I'm really "in this" right now, so if you see me and I seem "off", this is why. Also, the medication is making me a little sick.
The journey continues.......