I've been unsuccessfully trying to have a baby for Nine. Whole. Years.
I've been trying to wrap my head around that statement for a few weeks now. I've thought about all the friends that I've met in the trenches over the years ... and how they have all gone on to successfully have at least one child in one way, shape or form.
It feels like I'm the last one standing.
But not for lack trying.
I tried to count how many IVFs, FETs and procedures that I've endured over the last nine years in the name of infertility. I honestly couldn't recall. The number is amazingly HIGH.
I tried to think about all the money we've spent trying to have a family of our own. I lost track at $50,000. (Funny how we thought the medical route would be cheaper than adoption...)
Nine years of insanity over a dream. And what remains? Two years of cancer.
Whenever I try to bring my little sister into my pity party she looks at me squarely in the eyes and says "Get up!". It's her way of reminding me that I can do really hard things, because our people do really hard things.
Our people, once upon a time, walked across the plains. With nothing but the clothes on their back and a few poor provisions in their hand-cart, they walked. And walked. And walked. From east coast to west coast. They couldn't even afford a horse. Yet after all that walking... they eventually made it and built beautiful lives in the western wilds with nothing but hard work and faith.
I have a great aunt, my grandmother's sister, who buried 9 babies. Nine. And she never did go on to have a child of her own. I have no idea how Aunt Lottie did it because I weep buckets over one tiny grave. But she did.
Another ancestor had to birth her baby on the kitchen table. By herself. Her husband was gone and she fell off the horse in the rain one night as she tried to go for the doctor when something was going terribly wrong with her labor. She was wet, and muddy, and after the hardest night of her life alone on that kitchen table... she then had to get up to bury her baby before her other small children woke up.
So for nine years, my sister has emphatically told me to "Get up!" because I can do this. My line of women are strong and I'm no exception.
It's the reminder I always need to move forward without fear.
I have no idea where this journey is going. Today, I'm just trying to get through my chemo meds One. Day. At. A. Time. It's really hard, but I still have a thread of hope. It's a really thin thread mind you... but there is a thread none the less.
As I was getting my hair cut the other day my friend looked down at me while she was washing my hair and asked if we would eventually do the frozen embryo transfer (FET) which was halted with cancer two years ago. I replied, "I don't honestly know."
"Why?" She asked.
"Because I'm 41."
"So what!", she said.
When I looked a little stunned by her abruptness, she went on to add, "Have you seen the news?! Women - and I mean a lot of women - very successfully have children later in life. If you want it - keep going for it."
And that, was that.
My beautician just told me to "Get up!".