This month marks two years since my husband and I started trying for baby number two. Two years later and still no sign of baby number two. We have a diagnosis, and we have a plan of action. I am also beginning to talk more openly about our infertility, which is not always easy. One of my experiences, however, is especially relevant as we approach Thanksgiving.
Waiting, Waiting, Waiting
Infertility involves a lot of waiting. Waiting for the next doctor’s appointment, to see a specialist, and for a second opinion. Waiting in exam rooms disrobed from the waist down. The endless wait for test results designed to diagnose and treat. Waiting for several cycles as you try something new. Tracking your cycle as you wait to ovulate. After a while, waiting for your period while cautiously hoping for pregnancy.
Waiting for people to stop asking when you’ll have another baby. Sitting and waiting in silence as your friends carelessly talk about how many children they want and how to space them. Waiting until you are alone to process yet another pregnancy announcement. Watching some friends celebrate not one, but two pregnancies, while you continue to wait.
Waiting so long you start guarding your heart against too much hope because higher highs mean lower lows.
Combating the Wait: Gratitude
At some point, I realized I was spending too much time focusing on a future event — due to all the waiting. As a result, I was feeling sorry for myself, and I was missing out on the present. I knew what I needed to do: intentionally live in the present and be grateful for the blessings I have.
I still have lots of sad moments, but my overall goal remains gratitude. Now, more so than two years ago, I am grateful I have a child, grateful I experienced the miracle of pregnancy, and grateful my daughter’s labor and delivery was empowering and positive.
I am grateful I am only experiencing secondary infertility. I have endless gratitude for my daughter’s healthy growth and development. I’m thankful to be at home every day, molding my daughter and bearing witness to her daily progress. I’m thankful for the benefits of having only one child. Praise God for quality one-on-one time with my daughter and the ability to participate in activities that would be difficult or impossible if I had another little one. I am grateful for sensitive friends (you know who are). I am grateful for my husband, so very grateful for him.
Initially, I chose to be grateful for my current blessings because I wanted to stop missing out the present. Being grateful, however, has also been a source of comfort as I continue to deal with the struggles of infertility. And for that, I am also grateful.
November is a season of gratitude. This November finds me reaching a not-so-happy anniversary. Nonetheless, I am more grateful than I’ve been in a long time. I am grateful and still waiting for baby number two.