Infertility stole so many things from me. Joy, energy, friendships, the desire to engage in activities I once liked. Recovering from infertility involves not only recovering from the trauma of losing your lifelong dream of children, but it also involves recovering from all of the other losses that infertility caused.
I used to like to cook. I was never a gourmet chef or anything. I just cooked simple things that I liked to eat. Infertility killed that. I was so depressed and I had no energy or motivation. I barely even wanted to eat. I skipped breakfast. I skipped lunch. Then for dinner it would a sandwich or a bowl of cereal or going out to eat. Cooking didn't happen for many, many years.
Then we moved to our rental house. Its kitchen was... less than ideal. The pipes were old, the water was gross, and the stove heated up the whole house (and it was already hot outside). Plus, I went back to school, which took every little bit of energy I had. So I continued to not cook. We continued to eat sandwiches, cereal, and take out.
It wasn't very healthy, nourishing, or cheap. But we were doing the best we could.
But... Drum roll please... I cooked something last week!
I bought ingredients, I mixed them up, I put them in the oven, and I made something tasty to eat. It was the first time I'd used an oven in at least four years. That sounds crazy to me, but it's true.
And I'm going to cook again today. :)
I start the next phase of my school tomorrow. I'm done with classes and now I get to actually do the hands-on learning in a real-world setting. I'm excited and nervous and my biggest concern is my lack of endurance. It's been a long time since I have been on my feet and interacted with people all day long. Classes were one thing, but they weren't all day and I could always come home and take a nap. (I'm telling you, infertility seriously knocked me down and out of life for several years.)
But I am committed to living again. I am committed to eating regularly, so I have the energy to learn as much as I can and to take good care of my patients. I know this next phase will be difficult, but I also know I will build endurance and be so much stronger when it is over.
So on Friday I meal planned. On Saturday I grocery shopped. And today I am going to cook. I'm making a breakfast casserole so I can heat up a serving each morning. I'm meal prepping my lunches (and snacks!) that I'm going to bring every day. And I thought of easy, healthy dinners I can make when I get home exhausted from a long day.
Part of me feels pretty lame. Cooking/feeding oneself every day is something that everyone does. If I had kids, I would have to feed them every day. It reminds me of when my sister told me, "You wouldn't be able to handle having kids." But dammit, very few people in this world understand what I have been through and how it killed my spirit. I need to honor myself and, instead of beating myself up, be proud of how far I've come. So that's what I'm trying to do.
I'm beginning again. In the kitchen. Which is pretty metaphorical in itself. Wish me luck! :)