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6 1/2 Years Later

I wanted to refer back to my post from 2/17/14, entitled "A View From the Other Side." Again, not to boast or brag about my daughter in any way. Merely to point out how the fertility challenges we all faced, or are facing now, never really go away. However your journey ends, this experience somehow weaves its way into your life now, however many years after the fact. I have come to accept it as sort of an old friend at this point. Without the years of struggles and pain, I never would have gotten to this point.

So here we are, 6 1/2 years out from when my daughter was born. She's in first grade now, loosing teeth, excelling in school, participating in dance/gymnastics/swimming/ Girl Scouts, navigating friendships and trying to understand the world around her. She is officially the age it took for us to have her. It is completely mind-blowing to me that in all this time, THIS moment is what marks the totality of time and effort and money and tests and procedures and disappointments and everything that led up to her existence.

When you are IN IT, focused on achieving your goal of parenthood, whether you are just beginning your journey, or are years into it, you can't see beyond where you are. How can you possibly imagine something that is completely and utterly out of your control? How can you predict the outcome when you are still unsure of what your options are? It's impossible. So, you put your game face on, full steam ahead, putting one foot in front of the other and do whatever you need to in order to forge ahead. One day at a time. One test at a time. One procedure at a time. And slowly but surely, you make progress.

The important thing is not to get too far ahead of yourself. Stay focused on the here and now. The things IN your control. Decisions that you need to make - with or without a partner. Each step and decision will get you moving forward, somehow, even if it feels like you are on the edge of a cliff, looking down. Rely on your faith that whatever is meant to happen, will. And it will all be worth it in the end. I promise.

In the meantime, I want to stress how important it is to take care of yourself at this time, especially. 
1)  PHYSICALLY...if you're up for physical activity, go for it (naturally, check with your doctor first). If not, listen to your body and take care of it accordingly. 
2)  MENTALLY...if you work, sometimes diving into work is a great distraction. If you are able to carve out time in your day to "check out" and shut your mind down for a while, I highly recommend that.
3)  EMOTIONALLY...a good cry is never anything to dismiss. It's healing and cleansing, and clears out space in your heart for something else.
4) SPIRITUALLY...maybe take a walk and be in nature. Or if you're near a beach, go sit by the water. Or visit an animal shelter. Or go volunteer with underprivileged kids. Or go visit a nursing home. Something to take yourself out of your own situation and be somewhere that is bigger than yourself. It really helps to put things into perspective, at a time when you really need a clear perspective.

Lastly, my friends, know that no matter what, you are not alone. Whether you have tons of people around you to support you, or not, all it takes is a smile from a stranger, or someone offering you a seat on the bus, or a fellow patient sitting next to you in a doctor's waiting room, to know that you are not alone. I am pulling for you from afar. I am praying for you that you can find the strength and fortitude to keep going. To see this through to the end, and hope that whatever happens, you find peace and fulfillment. I'm here if you need me.

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