We have done our best this past month to make memories that will give us boldness to face this time apart and to help bring us through the first few weeks while we settle in.
I think we've done a pretty good job. Making memories. We've had quite a bit of fun the last few days reliving the memories of this last month together. While I'd love to hash through them all again here, I will instead focus on two moments that were not particularly comfortable, but will stick with me for quite some time.
Over the 4th of July holiday, my husband and I travelled a few hours North to spend time with my siblings and their families. We were daily among a total of ten of the dearest children I have ever known. We love being with all of them and were blessed to have had this opportunity to spend such quality time with them before my husband leaves.
The night before we left, our family asked if they could pray for us before we all went to bed since the two of us would be leaving before anyone else would be awake. It was a blessing and I was reminded once again, as I listened to the prayers, what an amazing gift we have been given to have such a supportive family.
After the prayer time, we all said "goodnight" and "goodbye." I found myself in a conversation with one of my nieces (age 5) and one of my nephews (age 8) that went something like this:
Niece: How old are you?
Me: I'm 33.
Nephew: WHOA! You're older than my mom!
Me: Yes. Yes, I am older than your mom :-)
Nephew: (gears turning in his head) And you don't have any children.
Me: No. No, we don't have any children.
Niece: (interjecting while Nephew processes) When are you going to have children?
Me: Well, I don't know :-) We're surely trying.
Nephew: (with a look of concern, spoken with pauses) Do you think, maybe, God made it, so that you and [your husband] can't have children? (the concerned look remained)
Me: Yes, Nephew, that's exactly what I think (I smiled, he nodded- still processing the thought)
Niece: But you're going to a doctor! (spoken with enthusiasm and a smile)
Me: Yes, we are. We're going to a doctor to get help to have a baby.
And as quickly as the conversation started, the conversation ended. I love how easy it is to have conversations with children! There's no pretense, just straightforward conversation.
And what a precious conversation that was to me! My 8-year-old nephew took a moment in a day to process the reality, the weight, of the fact that we don't have children. There are few adults that can, or will, do that! This is a memory I will treasure.
After we returned from our holiday trip, we felt
It is extremely hot in Texas this time of year, so the gathering was actually a pool party. We did not wear bathing suits as we only intended to stay long enough to say "goodbye" but I would have been much more comfortable in something other than blue-jeans.
However, the discomfort of wearing blue-jeans in the heat was nothing compared to the emotional discomfort I felt about ten minutes into our time there.
Let me set the stage:
- DH and I had limited time together and I was keenly aware of that fact and did not want to share him with anyone, much less a bunch of people I'm still not fully comfortable with...
- We had just returned from a trip to Austin for a baseline ultrasound appointment at which DH had to sign papers to give me permission to transfer our frozen embryo and/or have a fresh IVF cycle using his sperm while he's away...
- I had worn my #hope t-shirt for the occasion, but was feeling pretty hopeless in light of the fact that my favorite person on the planet was about to be taken away from me for who-knows-how-long...
- And (just for good measure) I had been taking estrogen (you know, the hormone I often describe on twitter as "not a happy hormone"), so on top of being emotional about my husband leaving, I was also dealing with hormonal mood swings and hot flashes.
So, my friend (the woman who was the maid of honor in my wedding, whose husband we were there for my husband to see...the one woman in that group who actually knows the depths of who I am) came up to me holding her third child while her other two children swam in the pool.
My husband had gone off to visit with the guys and I was standing beside a tree trying to avoid getting sucked into any conversations, but I was glad my friend came to say hi.
We had a lovely chat in which we commiserated over the woes and angst of being apart from our husbands, and I was encouraged.
Yet in the midst of that conversation, it was as if in an instant, a world out of focus came into perfect clarity. (It was like something out of a movie when a person's lost and in danger in a crowded place, disoriented, and all of a sudden they clearly see their enemy standing with their sights set on them.)
I was standing there in my #hope t-shirt, my friend beside me holding her infant, two women beside the pool with their new-borns laying in the shade, children FILLING the pool, pregnant bellies in bathing suits walking around the pool, a visiting grandmother cooing at a baby, toddlers walking past me to get food from their parents.
I am not kidding when I tell you that I looked around in a slight state of panic, desperately seeking one adult among the group who was not a parent!
I was standing there beside a tree, my husband far from me, and the reality that THIS group of people is the group of people I'm supposed to fellowship with over the course of possibly a year or more WITHOUT MY HUSBAND, and I have NOTHING in common with them! (Now, of course, that is an exaggeration. I do have things in common with them. But at that moment, the two things that mattered most to me-my husband leaving and not having children-were the commonalities I was looking for.)
In our group, there are three couples besides us who do not have children. One couple thinks they may be infertile (which is NO consolation), one couple is a blog post of it's own, and the other couple called us the day after this party to tell us we had missed the announcement at the party because we left early, but they wanted us to know they are pregnant.
Thankfully, we left very soon after my moment of panic. Thankfully, we left before the big pregnancy announcement. Thankfully, I have had time with my husband to myself since then. Thankfully, we have a frozen embryo and the opportunity to transfer him/her in the near future. Thankfully, we have frozen "swimmers" in case the FET is a bust. Thankfully, even in my husband's absence, I am not truly alone. And thankfully, I have this day ahead of me to spend with him.
The sun has finally risen and DH's alarm just went off (not to mention this blog post is forever-long), so I will close.
Thank you for taking the time to read this. If you think of us this week (and are one who prays), please pray for us as I'm sure we'll need it.