'Tis the season...to be thankful (I know what you were thinking). A few months ago, I wrote about my deep appreciation for my Lifelines along this perilous journey. On this day - a day for which I am desperately trying to do my part in preserving the gratitude that seems to be slipping into the abyss of door busters and early-bird savings - I will seek to expand on the thankfulness that seven months later has instilled in me. And hopefully perpetuate the grand defense of the turkey.
So, to begin the belaboring of food-related puns...let's dig in!
I am thankful for this blog and for all of you out there reading it. I have vented, whined, lamented, hoped, and observed. I have found a peace of mind and a soothing of heart here in Internet-land. Admittedly, this whole thing started for purely selfish reasons, but I know it's grown beyond my own healing. I am so thankful for and humbled by the mutual support and camaraderie flowering from each post.
I am thankful for "alternative" medicine, this whole new world that has opened up avenues of health for body and mind.
I am thankful that my body is responding to treatment - whether it be Western, Eastern, or au naturale, by body is responding and normalizing. At this point, it is only a matter of time and routine to get us to our goal.
I am thankful I know my body. If I have learned anything along the way these past 2 1/2 years, it is how to read my body. It is how to pay attention. And it is knowing the effect outside elements have on my body - good or bad. I've said it many times, but it is SO important that I will continue to preach this: Learn how your body works. Know what is normal for you. Pay attention when normal interferes with basic functions. Speak up when what you know - through your own research and intuition - is not being properly addressed by medicine. Be your own health advocate. Do not be afraid to try, fail, try again, fail again, and continue to explore new things until something adjusts normal into the basic function that has eluded you.
I am thankful for financial security. Without it we would never have been able to pursue any kind of treatment. We would be in the dark about our obstacles. It is a travesty that couples in our position need to spend so much emotional currency on the stress of money, but it is where the healthcare system of our society sits at this point. Parity is rare to non-existent when it comes to fertility treatment. Jeff and I are fortunate to be in a position where we have managed to scrape by paying out-of-pocket for my fertility specialist and for weekly acupuncture and periodic naturopath appointments. I am tempted to ask why we have to in the first place, but just being able to is enough to make me grateful.
And in that vein, I am thankful to have a job that offers me the flexibility to be able to go to the appointments I've needed to go to. To be an emotional and hormonal wreck (at times). To take a break every now and then to focus on my personal crises. This has been a support system in and of itself.
I am thankful for humor and perspective. Coming (nearly - the saga continues) full circle, looking back, and anticipating the future, my heart has only been able to heal - scarred though it may be - because of the love and support of those around me. But also because of those lighter moments of laughing at the completely absurd nature of human fertility, conception, and pro-creation. To my dear friends who keep me smiling (you know who you are), you have saved me time and again.
I am thankful for me. All narcissistic undertones aside - and fully recognizing the role others have played in my survival - I have been through hell. I may not have climbed completely out yet (call it the shallowest circle) but I'm still going strong. Human beings are incredible creatures, and I find it perfectly acceptable to acknowledge when we've been particularly resilient. I was reminded of this by watching a Good Morning America update on the condition of Robin Roberts - a woman whose seemingly immeasurable strength beautifully exudes through her spirit. Here is what she said: "We're all a little stronger - just a little bit stronger - than we think we are. And that is all we need." We tend to overlook our abilities to thrive, but I will take this moment to admit I am both proud of and surprised at my own fortitude.
And finally, I am thankful for traditions - for good food and beautiful family, for the Macy's parade providing the day's soundtrack, for wishbone breaking and watching "Christmas Vacation" after Thanksgiving dinner, for "A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving," for mom's carrots and pumpkin pie drowned in Cool Whip, for holding out and not turning on the Christmas music until Friday - for all of those things that remind me why I keep fighting. Viva la Turkey-day!