Well, I've got a midterm later today that I haven't yet studied for because I've been so busy with class and assignments. And then another midterm tomorrow. I feel short on time... So of course I'm going to log in and jot down a quick post. :)
I feel like I am getting closer to resolution. I know I will still have my ups and downs. I know I am still grieving. But I also know that I like my life now. I like what I'm doing and I like who is in it. I am excited when I think about the future. I don't take any of this for granted for even a second. I know how hard I've worked to get to this point.
The counselor at school asked me a good question. She asked, "What has been most helpful for you in your grieving process?" And I immediately listed off three things. I will share them with you now, in case they can help anyone else.
1. Selling my children's home
It was time to go. That house, that neighborhood, that location- it was all meant for a different life. A life I wasn't having. It was way too big for the two of us. And that neighborhood made no sense for us if we weren't going to be having children. It was a gorgeous house, truly beautiful. But I could no longer walk by the nursery/storage room. I could no longer drive by the neighborhood park. I could no longer live there. Period. And I'm thankful that a large family full of children bought it, and I like to think that they are very happy there.
2. Deciding to celebrate the holidays differently
This was a hard one for me. I love my family, the holidays, and seeing my family over the holidays. But it started to be very painful for me. I was living a nontraditional life, still grieving the loss of the traditional life I had planned, and it was jarring to jump into everyone's family lives and celebrate the holidays traditionally. I tried for several years, but this past year I knew I needed to try something different for my own mental health. My husband and I went to a special restaurant for Thanksgiving with my mother-in-law. And it was perfect! And we stayed home for Christmas instead of making a long drive for a quick overnight trip to see extended family. I missed my cousins, but I did not miss feeling like an outsider in my own family. At that point it was still too hard for me to be the only woman in the room without children. Maybe things will be different in the future; maybe they will not be. I will remain open and trust that I will know what's best for me each year.
3. Making new plans with my husband
This is what helped me the most: coming up with new dreams with my husband. Since our first choice life didn't work out, we felt like we could choose almost anything for our second choice life. And our second choice is even starting to feel less and less like a consolation prize. We are really excited! About my new career. About where we want to move to. About how we envision the rest of our lives together. I could not have done this alone. Well, I could have. But it was more fun to rebuild my life with my partner. It helped me feel not so alone after the very alienating experience of infertility.
It has a taken me a long time to get to this point, and I don't think grieving and mourning are processes that can be rushed. It has been a ton of hard work, both physically and emotionally. But it has all been so, so worth it.
I am so thankful for my life, my loved ones, and my new dreams.