Today is Thanksgiving (or as people across the pond know it The Day Americans Eat Themselves into a Coma Before Spending 10 Hours in Line to Buy a TV)
It is a day to remember what we are thankful for and spend time with family and friends. Unfortunately, this time of year has become commercialized and many retail workers won’t get to spend the day with their families because they have to work tonight. I am thankful that I no longer work in retail and am no longer required to sacrifice this time with my family. I worked retail for five holiday seasons, and while the pay was good and the hubbub of all the sales and chaos was exciting, it was not worth the time missed with family.
This year, more than any other year, I realize how thankful I am for our families. As we struggle to have children, I realize how much our parents loved us, even before we were born. I realize how much they wanted us, the desire to meet us and the hope they had. It took my parents five years to conceive me and now I understand the emotions and everything they went through. Especially my mom. I am thankful that they never gave up and I am thankful that God saw fit to give my mom the opportunity to become a mother, because she is the best mother I could have ever asked for. I hope that one day God sees fit for me to become a mother as well and if I can be half the mom that my mom is to me, I will consider our children blessed.
Infertility is unlike most other medical conditions when it comes to family support. There is no question that a family will rally around a grandmother stricken with cancer or a father suffering a heart attack. They will do everything they can to help that family member however and wherever the need lies. Infertility on the other hand seems to go one way or the other. It can either bring a marriage and family closer or it can alienate each other. I am so thankful that this journey has brought me closer to my husband, closer to my family and, most importantly, closer to God.
Without the emotional support of my husband, I would not be able to endure to never ending injections, examinations and surgeries. He has stepped up in ways I never knew I needed him to. He truly is my rock and not only makes each step of this journey doable but also exciting and hopeful. I am thankful for his generosity, selflessness, enduring optimism, never ending patience and quiet strength.
Without the financial and emotional support of our parents, our journey to parenthood wouldn’t be possible. I am thankful our insurance offers a infertility benefit, however the cost of treatment that it doesn’t cover is too high for us to afford right now. As anyone undergoing infertility treatment knows, time is of the essence and each year a woman ages, her fertility dwindles. If we did not have the financial support of our parents, we would be several years away from making our dreams of parenthood become a reality. I am thankful for the willingness of our parents to support us in our journey and I am thankful they are in a good situation where they are able to do so.
The emotional support we have received from our families has been nothing short of amazing. When we began this journey we knew it was going to be difficult. We didn’t know how our families would react and if they would be supportive. I am Catholic and IVF is a big no-no within our religion (having been planning on writing a post about this for a while). My mother is a devout Catholic and honestly I was afraid of telling her about needing IVF. She distanced herself during the first IVF cycle. She was there when I needed her, but she did not want to know any details of the process and didn’t want to condone it by assisting financially. Everything changed when she saw the pictures of her grandbabies as embryos. After the transfer, she decided she was going to support us 100% and has been with us every step of the way since. I am so thankful I have a beautiful, understanding and gracious mother who is open and willing to accept me for who I am and support us.
Without my renewed relationship with God and the spiritual support I receive from Him, I would not be able to endure the consistent twists and turns of this journey and the heartbreak that comes along with it. I am thankful that I have God to rely on and I know He has plans for me, even if I don’t know them yet.
I am thankful for the amount of people this blog has touched and how many friends have reached out to me to share their journey. When I started this, I did not have any expectations. I figured it would be a nice way to document our journey for our little ones as well as a consistent place to keep family and friends updated. I had no idea how many of my friends had similar struggles. I had no idea I would be blessed to make new friends across the country and across the world as we are all sisters in the infertility world.
I am thankful for our furbabies and the love and comfort they provide.
I am thankful for our beautiful home and to have a roof over our head and shelter from the cold.
I am thankful for my job and the flexibility it provides for us to be on this path to parenthood.
I am thankful for our doctors and nurses who are not only wonderful, smart professionals, but who genuinely care for us and have become extended family over the past year.
I am thankful for science and the always evolving research into infertility treatments. Without the intelligence and perseverance of scientists, we would never have the opportunity to become biological parents.
This year I have a lot to be thankful for and it is extremely humbling.