This post is going to be written as a letter to me from me. I hope that you can take what you need from this and use it to better your own self during your journey to baby.
I'm writing to you because a few months ago, a dream came true-- you got your first ever positive pregnancy test after 3+ years of trying. It's been an interesting journey since actually getting pregnant and that's what I want to talk to you about: the misconceptions, the truths and the things that have truly surprised me about pregnancy and the opportunity to have this experience.
Trying to get pregnant was a long journey. There are so many emotions and experiences you could never imagine are coming. Depression and anxiety are very real and it's okay to get help for both of those things. Medication and therapy are incredible resources and you don't have to be embarrassed that you need them. (note: I did not take medication or go to therapy, but I wish I would have)
So many people will be so, so kind to you. They care about you and your journey. Their comments come from a place of love. Everyone that says "it's all worth it" are telling the truth, but it's also important to know that throughout your pregnancy, you'll feel guarded and nervous. The cautious hope you had while enduring fertility treatments is the same way you'll feel through pregnancy. The fears and nerves don't just go away with a positive result. You'll hold your breath at ultrasounds waiting to see your baby and hear its heartbeat.
Something that was so surprising to me with pregnancy has been the amount of respect I've gained for mothers everywhere. Pregnancy is no joke. The exhaustion is real and morning sickness just isn't pleasant. I know that at this point you'd give your left leg to experience the fatigue and morning sickness, but know that your pregnant friends aren't complaining to be a jerk or make you feel bad. It's honestly a hard experience and one that is just so unique. I can't describe it in a way that will make you feel better, but try to find it in your heart to respect the hard parts of pregnancy while your pregnant friends are trying to respect the hard parts of your fertility journey.
For years, you'll wonder why it feels as though the line between you and God has suddenly been cut off. You'll wonder why at the time you feel you need His Presence and love the most, is the time you feel it the least. Keep holding on to the hope and belief that He is listening and He does care. There are experiences and things He has prepared for you to do during this trial that will show you He's been listening all along. Don't give up.
Sometimes, you'll feel completely and totally broken. Sometimes we have to break in order to be made whole again. It will take time, but you'll feel happy again (without even being pregnant) and you'll have hope again. Just keep holding on and talk to Parker, your family members and your friends when you're struggling. They'll be the angels you didn't know you needed and they will say the right things at the right times.
Have compassion for the people who are trying to help you through out your journey. Some people will say some really stupid and ignorant things. But it's coming from a place of love and they are doing their best with the knowledge they've got. In these moments, you have the unique opportunity to educate those friends who want to help or say the right things, but simply just don't know what is helpful. (Remember, you were in their shoes once too…)
There are so many things that this journey through infertility will teach you. You'll (hopefully) be a better person because of it. The years of struggle will become a sacred time for you because you learned that you have purpose simply because you are here. You'll forget some lessons and have to re-learn them. You'll realize that becoming pregnant doesn't miraculously heal you of infertility, but that the true miracle is that even through infertility, ALL of your dreams can still come true.
That day when you were ready to throw in the towel-- know that you'll make one of the best decisions you'll ever make when you decide to keep holding on, to stay here and to keep trying. There are miracles in every single day-- even if they are seemingly small compared to the big miracle you're asking for.
I'm so proud of you. I'm grateful you decide to keep going and keep trying. You are brave, strong and capable. You've got this.
To those who may be struggling: keep holding on. Trust your instincts. Trust the small whispers of that still, small voice that helps you through the hard days. Believe in miracles and look for the miracles. You can do this. You've got this. I'm cheering you on.