Sunday, December 2, 2012
What a Difference a Year Makes....
Yesterday, I cried with joy. We put up our Christmas tree and whilst the tree itself is a study in imperfection (a bit lopsided, not all lights working, the star has seen better days) the moment was perfection itself. I watched as my beautiful, miraculous son delighted in placing every bauble on the tree. My stomach felt heavy with the weight of our new baby coming. My husband and I exchanged looks and hugs of joy as the perfect afternoon of family enveloped us. This morning, I took my son to the Wiggles final tour where he and his cousin sat enthralled, danced and sang to the Wiggles songs. This afternoon, we instituted a new family tradition - Sunday evening movie night and all through December we are watching Christmas movies. JBB sat between us, eating popcorn and watching the movie - he smiled, laughed and enjoyed himself. He didn't last the whole movie but no matter, we had an amazing time.
This time last year could not have been more different. JBB had been fighting sickness all week and on this day last year, I sat in the hospital, comforting my beautiful, sick boy - my heart was clenched in fear, I was not recovered from the failed cycle in October / November and I thought my first miracle could be taken away from me. I was absolutely exhausted from sleepless night after sleepless night but nothing was worse that the fear that my little boy was hurting and may be irrevocably damaged from a mysterious disease. I was beyond feeling by that point. The only thing that I could focus on was pouring all my energy, love and attention in getting my boy better.
I changed from that experience last year. It has taken me a long, long time to recover. I felt like I had received too many blows and I was no longer able to function as a valuable parent, wife, friend, daughter, sister or niece. Only mere weeks after JBB was out of the hospital and recovered, I went to Thailand for another cycle, a failed one and only weeks after that my Father found that he had the cancer back. In hindsight it was lunacy going to Thailand for that cycle - I was a complete zombie. I was absolutely empty and no where near recovered from JBB being sick. I wouldn't really recover from these experiences until I had some serious counselling months into the year.
The joy that I have felt over this wonderful weekend is tinged with the loss of my Dad but he loved Christmas, it has always been a special, special time for his family. Ever since I can remember, even last year, in December he would always say to us 'he's on his way'. It makes me happy to think of him, remember him and I will pass this on to my boys and he will live on in my memory.
I feel so grateful. Since the beginning of our journey into the would of IF, Christmas time was always a marker to me. Before our journey, it was unreservedly my favourite time of year but as our journey progressed, it became a marker. For many years, a marker of sadness from failed cycles and yearning for the completion of my family. When we were given the gift of a successful cycle in December 2009 (we got a BFP on Christmas day), it was the best gift I had been given in my life - a beautiful Christmas miracle. 2010 was also memorable for being JBB's first Christmas with us. 2011 was a difficult one.
I am not naive enough to think that the 'worst' is over. I am sure life has many ups and downs to throw our way. What I have realised when thinking about the terror of losing everything last year to the utter joy that I have felt in the past couple of days is to really sit in the moments of joy that you experience. Make the most of them, enjoy them and be thankful every day that you have them. We don't know what tomorrow may hold and I try not to worry about what is to be.
Today, as I sit and write this post, I couldn't be any happier than I am right now and coming from 12 months ago being in such a dark place shows me how quickly that things can turn around. My wish for all of you is that you revel in your joyous times and if you are in a dark place, please take comfort that happiness is never that far away, despite how dark it is.
For me, I am grateful for my family. My wonderful husband whose comfort, humour and love have saved me many times in our years together - I love him more with each passing year. My precious son, whose personality, capacity to learn and gentle nature amaze me every day. The new baby that sits so close to my heart who I can't wait to shower with love - I am so excited to see his personality emerge. Last but definitely not least is my little JourneyDog who is Woolly. People told me that he would become less important to me when the babies came along but they misjudge my loyalty - especially because he has provided such comfort to me on our journey. I am so grateful for my family.