Sunday, August 31, 2014

The Start Of Something New: Yellow Shoe Diaries

Changing of the guard! 

My faithful pink shoes ran their last 9 miles yesterday. I achieved things I never imagined in those shoes. Can't wait to see where my new pair takes me. 

Welcome to the Yellow Shoe Diaries!! 

Make sure to follow me on Instagram #yellowshoediaries for all my Yellow Shoe Diary adventures as I will only be highlighting the most significant or my favorites on the blog.  

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Threads of Hope: Our New Direction

Have you ever struggled to find the right words to explain your feelings but every time you try to communicate them the words never come? This has been me for the last month or so. Even when talking to my own husband, I struggled to find the words. It was so frustrating for me and I am pretty sure it has at times caused tension between the two of us. That is what I think I hate the most about these emotions.

Just when I had sort of given up hope, it happened. I was sound asleep and something woke me up. I don't remember what it was, everyone else in the house was fast asleep. It was like a light switch went off in my brain in the middle of a random night, suddenly the words were there. I laid in bed, tears streaming down my face as everything I had been struggling with suddenly made complete sense.

(You might want to grab some refreshments or run to the restroom, because this is going to be a long one!)

Imagine you decided to knit a blanket. Even though you don't work on it every day, it is always in the back of your mind. There are periods of time you are so focused on it you can't think clearly about anything else. Overtime you look back at what you have already completed, you begin to see areas of imperfection and other parts that are stitched it perfection. Imagine running your hands over each stitch, reliving all the joy, heartbreak, excitement and frustration you have experienced while making it.  More prayers and tears than you can recall have been stitched in, one by one. Yet no matter how much you want to finish your blanket you just keep going and going...for nearly 5 years.

Our struggle with infertility is a lot like that never ending blanket. And right now I am doing my best to hang on to it by a few threads. Threads of hope.

Earlier this summer it became clear that even though our insurance would help pay for some of the IVF treatment, we wouldn't be moving forward with it. After considering all the pros and cons, we decided the risks were too great. There would be multiple surgeries, concerns over the hormone injections required, and even with insurance a very significant cost for just one shot. Even though I was the one who essentially came to the conclusion first, it was really hard to say it out loud.

With that decision, the chances of me ever carrying a child (aside from a miracle from God) were over.  It was heart breaking to me but I almost feel like it was a relief to Kipper. You see, ever since I can remember he has always felt like we were supposed to adopt. When we first started talking about having a baby he wanted to talk about adoption.  I have always thought of adoption as a beautiful way to grow a family, but I wanted so badly to have a child on our own so I dismissed talk of anything else.  I am pretty sure this is a prime example of me wanting to follow my own plan when God had another one. We just took the long way around.

As excited as I was that we had made a decision on how to move forward. I have been overwhelmed. Adoption is an emotional roller coaster and I am going into this somewhat emotionally drained from our infertility experience. And then there is the fact that on paper, I have no clue how we will be able to afford it. Seriously, I have no idea and it terrifies me.

Kipper and I agreed that we would stick to the same plan with adoption as we had agreed on with IVF. We would get through October and his Half Ironman before we proceeded. It would give him the opportunity to focus and it would give me the time to research our options and just give my mind a rest.

But I have been struggling and couldn't figure out why. How is it possible to be so incredibly happy, yet sad at the same time?  There were even moments when I really thought about going back on an antidepressant. Maybe the help it would provide finally outweighed all the horrible side affects I fought so hard to get away from. But just when I was to my breaking point, my middle of the night epiphany made everything so clear.

I have been grieving. Mourning the loss of what most likely will never be. 

The excitement of telling family and friends. Morning sickness. Hearing the heartbeat for the first time. An ever expanding belly. The feeling of tiny kicks. Being surrounded by our loved ones as we find out the gender. The look on his face first time Kipper could feel them move. Swollen ankles and feet. Sonogram photos. Singing and talking to my belly. Doctors appointment. Back pain. Creating a birth plan. And as crazy as it sounds, even labor and giving birth. 

As I type these things out, I feel selfish for how I have felt. There are so many precious children in this world that are just waiting for a loving family and here I am having a pity party for myself. But I have dreamed of being pregnant and having a healthy baby for so long, this change in our plans has left me feeling like I have lost something. And until this week I had no idea that is what was really going on.

I am so thankful for this epiphany because it feels like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders and I can finally begin to emotionally and spiritually prepare myself for what is to come.

As we move forward in this journey, I ask for your continued prayers. Not only are we praying to grow our family in whatever way that may look like, we are also praying for on guidance on how to make adoption financially possible for our family. And once we step on the adoption roller coaster I know we will need lots love, support and understanding. You have no idea how much the prayers and support mean to us.