Strength I Didn’t Know I Had {NIAW}

Well, it’s the last day of National Infertility Awareness Week.  I meant to have my last blog up by now, but this is really the first bit of solid time since yesterday that I’ve had to sit down and kind of process everything.

I know that infertility awareness is supposed to make people who have never dealt with infertility more educated on the fact that it’s a disease and how to respond to people who confide their struggle in them.  And I did receive a couple of comments about how friends were learning from my posts (SWEET!).

But mostly I just feel like this week has made me more aware of my infertility.

Mother Nature has a twisted sense of humor because, in honor of NIAW, I started out with a REALLY rough cycle (I even felt like maybe I was having another early miscarriage because it was that heavy and painful).

And then on the last day of NIAW – today – was my best friend’s baby shower.  Her sister, another close friend of ours and I have been planning it for a few months now.

As we were doing the planning, they were both so understanding when I would start feeling overwhelmed and have to take a step back.

I just kept telling myself  “you got this, D.”  I got a lot of encouragement from friends which really meant a lot to me.  I got text messages from a few people today telling me they were thinking about me and hoped I was doing ok.  It’s touching to have people take a moment out of their day to just tell me they care.

I was in charge of the games and I’d put off getting everything together for so long that the date just kind of crept up on me.  I’d ordered some things online a few weeks ago, but I spent most of this week running around to different places trying to find the perfect finishing touches.  My sister helped me GREATLY last night by making a game for me on Excel (since my subscription ran out and I can’t use Office anything except online – ugh) but I was up til after 1 am getting everything completed.

This morning,  I got up, showered and had a stern talk with myself about not crying or ruining the day.  After I’d pushed back the tears a few times while doing my hair, I finally gave up, crawled in bed with J and let myself cry for a little bit.  He just kissed my head and reminded me that our day is coming, and whether I get pregnant or we adopt, we will be parents one day.  (Have I mentioned I love that man?)

The shower went beautifully.  The decorations were flawless, the cake was ADORABLE and the company was enjoyable.

My bff’s mom and sister, as well as a couple other people who were there, know of my struggle.  I felt their glances here and there and even got a couple “How are you doing?” – which is always hard to answer because I don’t think the answer they’re looking for is “eh”.

I think they caught me brushing away tears a couple of times.  Or biting my bottom lip to keep it from quivering.  But I think overall (after a pep talk in the bathroom mirror – don’t judge), I did pretty darn good!  I only had to escape to the bathroom for a meltdown once.

Trying to figure out what to get her was kind of difficult.  The thought of browsing through the baby department was just more than I could bear.  Watching her open all her gifts and seeing those precious outfits and baby gadgets made my heart break a little with every “awwww”.

What I ended up making for her was a “New Mommy” Coupon book.

coupon book

It took me FOR-EV-ER!  Made painstakingly with love.  It has coupons for mommy & me manicures, bottle feedings, venting phone calls, movie night in, date night with babysitting, housecleaning, emergency trip to the grocery store, etc..  She cried while reading it, which in turn made me do the same!  (Hence the one bathroom meltdown.)

When I got home, I just fell into bed and slept for a couple of hours.  After waking up and sitting on the couch remembering the day for a while, I got teary and emotional.

I feel like today taught me a few things:

  • I might just actually be stronger than I feel sometimes
  • I can make it through situations that I don’t think I can
  • there are some people who you will just deal with painful emotions to be there for
  • I don’t think that I’ll be attending any other baby showers in the near future

I have so much respect for the women that can go to every pregnant friend’s baby shower.  Someday, it make get easier but, the last few days have really taken a LOT out of me – emotionally.  For now, I’m going to have to protect my heart because doing what I did today took a strength I didn’t know I had.