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Hope During the Storm

Last week I was having a day. You know, those days where you just feel sorry for yourself and can’t seem to get it together. Our upstairs AC had gone out the week before which caused us to replace the whole thing. Yes, that was a big financial strain, but more than that I was so anxious about someone being in our house. Someone that I had no idea where he’d been and who he’d been in contact with, coming in and out. And then our dryer quit working, just as I was about to start the 8 loads of laundry I had been putting off for two weeks. So we’d have one more repair person in the house. And then the babies fought their naps all day. I was just over it all. So I grabbed my last pair of clean ankle socks from the drawer and took babies outside to sit in the empty blow-up baby pool for snack time. The weather was perfect, so I was hoping that would help us all.

I got us all situated in the baby pool and looked down to realize which socks I had on. Socks I hadn’t worn since September of 2017, and I knew that because they said “Believe, Retrieve, Conceive” They were the socks that I wore to my very first egg retrieval with IVF. The one that I was certain would work. The one that I just knew would bring us our miracle baby. I even have pictures of me beaming in my hairnet and hospital gown with an IV in my arm (which I never thought I'd share, because I have no makeup on and look a hot mess. But the joy and hope in my eyes is apparent... so here you go.) I was SO full of hope. This was it. This was the day we would make a baby.

A few days later we found out we had two embryos that had made it to freeze. Two was a very low number, but we had two. Two chances at having our baby. And we were holding on to that hope. Those two embryos were tested for chromosome abnormalities and a few weeks later we found out they were both abnormal. And we were completely shattered. IVF round 1 = big fat fail. No baby, and we’d start from scratch all over again. I can tell you exactly where I was when I got that call and still remember how sad and angry and hopeless I felt that day. So those socks got buried in the back of the drawer. I’m honestly surprised I didn’t just throw them away.

But here I sat, in our empty baby pool, feeding snacks to our TWO little miracles. One of which was one of those “abnormal” embryos from the first round. That we were certain at the time could never create a human. And I can’t believe how perfect she and her brother are, and how much they were specifically designed for me and Reid. Two and a half years later I’m reminded of this. I’m reminded that we lived in uncertainty for YEARS. We rode the roller coaster of hope and despair. We questioned whether things would ever get better, and we were hoping for a true miracle – because that’s what we felt it would take in order to have a baby.

I share this today because I don’t think I had that moment for nothing. I needed that hope, I needed that reminder. And I needed to share it with others.

These times are so uncertain. None of us know what the next few months hold, and when life will get back to “normal”. But I don’t believe it will. Just as we didn’t get back to “normal”… that’s not what we were hoping for. We were hoping for something better than normal. And while it took far longer to get there than I’d have liked, we made it. We have two true miracles that bring us joy every day. We have another miracle walking around and playing with his kids, with the most badass scar from his liver transplant as a constant reminder of that struggle. I believe we will all have scars that we take out of this time. I believe we will all be slightly different versions of ourselves when we come out of this. But I have to believe that we will all be better and stronger if we let this time do that for us. We can look back as I do on our struggles and say “damn that was hard, but look at where we are now”.

The harder the climb, the better the view.  


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