As I sit here this evening, my son cuddled in his pajamas, my husband working on his laptop, and my dog snoring on her bed, I can’t help but feel whole, to feel complete. But this isn’t always the case. After the loss of our daughter six years ago, my days have been a mixed bag. The first couple of years were filled with small triumphs. If I made it out of bed, I was doing well. If I made dinner for the family, I was doing well. If I didn’t cry myself to sleep, if I went a day without talking about Lydia, if I stopped asking God why, then I was doing well. Now, five years later I am actually, truly doing well, most days.
Some days though, I get a little down. Today is one of those days. You see a year after we lost our daughter to Trisomy 18, we decided we were brave enough to try again. Only this time wasn’t so easy. In fact, here we are, five years later and still trying to make our family complete. But what makes this day different is that we are throwing our hands up now, we are asking for help. Tomorrow begins the process that we hope will end with another child; and we are scared, but optimistic.
We have tried all we can by ourselves. We have charted, and tracked. I have texted him more times than I like to warn him that I am ovulating. I have suggested weird positions that I saw on Pinterest. Pinterest, y’all. I once bought a kit that was supposed to show a happy face or a sad face and my face ended up being “Ambivalent”. Jerimiah wanted to know if I got the “ambivalent” face kit in the Walgreen’s clearance aisle. I called him an asshole and everyone ended the night in sad face.
We have taken vitamins. I have Googled “Does Fish Oil help sperm health?” My husband has been tested, his first step into the world of “What the hell are we doing”. “In a cup,” he said after the first time. “You have to get it all in this cup.” He wasn’t the happiest that day, but he did it. He did it for me. He did it for our future child. Even though he couldn’t make eye contact with the nurse when he dropped “the cup” off at the window. He did it.
His results came back “Not good,” said our doctor. That was three doctors ago. Doctor number two disagreed. Doctor number three confirmed. It doesn’t appear to be a “problem” with him. That means… yeah, it’s me.
So tomorrow we start this new journey. Tomorrow I go in for a series of tests, that are just the beginning of another series of tests, and hopefully in the end we find out what the “problem” is and how to fix it.
In. The. End. That sounds final, doesn’t it? I’m not sure what “the end” is or what that even looks like, but I do know that on days like this my optimism is harder to find. I read stories everyday about women my age. Thirty-five. That dreaded age where all we know about ourselves supposedly dies every day along with our desire to productive members of society. That age where our future children are all suddenly in grave danger. The age where I am supposed to hang up my hat, thank my lucky stars for the healthy child I do have, and move on with life.
I wish I were able to do that.
I wish I were able to be happy with what I have. To decide that sometimes life isn’t what we wanted it to be. I wish I could take “no” for an answer, but I can’t. And I won’t.
Sometimes we have to give up on goals. Sometimes life isn’t what we want it to be. But sometimes there is help out there. And sometimes you have to ignore the barrage of negativity and push forward. This is our line in the sand. We are pushing forward.
So tomorrow, though I am nervous, I will push forward. I will let them stick me with needles, put God-knows-what up my hoo-hah, and say things like, “You’re doing great!” and “Oh, was that too hard?” I will just close my eyes and deal with it. I will tell myself to be brave. Brave like I have a million other times before. Brave and maybe a little crazy. Cause we all have to be a little crazy from time-to-time. So there it is. And here I am. And tomorrow, there I will be.
Here’s to brave and crazy.
Here’s to a husband with good sperm.
Here’s to friends and family who support and love us.
Here’s to our son, our daughter, and our future son or daughter.
Here’s to the “God-knows-what” being well lubed.