The timelines in our head are sometimes the roughest part of all this. The ‘I hope I am pregnant by x date’ ‘ Please let us be matched by Christmas’ ‘ another wedding to attend, I only wish they don’t announce a pregnancy before we do’.. the list goes on and on. These arbitrary timelines put so much added pressure on us and don’t really mean much except meeting our own expectations. I occasionally found it hard to be lapped by people with a child much younger and also found holiday milestones to be tough at times.
One thing I did pretty early on in this pursuit was to really battle my mind to get rid of these timelines. I forced out comparisons, tried my best to not calculate what a pregnancy this month would mean or not mean and did everything I could to soak up holidays in whatever way I could (extra wine anyone) and not use them as another measure of time passing me by. This is no easy feat and took lots of me training my brain to let go of thoughts creeping in, getting off or minimizing social media where I could get glossy and often staged reminders of what others are doing that I am not. The strategy of part sheltering myself and part brain strength made most (not all) of the passing time while I wait actually enjoyable.
I think close to 100 percent of people who end up with a child in their arms will tell you they would do it all over again, go through all the pain and endure the long wait for that specific child and only that child in their arms. Hearing this while you are waiting kind of registers and it helps sometimes but is not truly understood until said child is in your arms. Especially when you are crying over a lowering beta, or yet another box of meds to unpack or a cute pregnancy announcement from that girl from HS who has like 5 kids already. It is hard to see through that pain.
For me, I trained my brain to see every failed cycle, every terrible phone call, every bill paid, every holiday passed as one more milestone and one more day closer to my baby. A countdown to the end of this hell and to a miracle. Not another day gone by without it. To be fair here- I had also made a decision with my husband that we would find our way to a child. We were willing to choose third party reproduction, adoptions, foster care, whatever we ended up needing to pursue. This made my countdown so much easier. I recognize that not everyone has the ability or desire to pursue any route possible and I am fortunate and grateful that we do.
For those of you with limited options or paths– my heart goes out to you because that is truly a hard road. I wish you peace along the way. But for those of you with options and avenues I hope you find a way to make it a countdown to the miracle not a fight against passing time.