Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Subbing Preschool

If you would've told me five years ago that, five years from now, I'd be living in another state, living life without children after infertility, divorced, and substitute teaching preschool I don't think there's any way I would have been able to believe it. Well, we probably shouldn't go back in time and tell my past self that because, honestly, my past self may not have been able to handle it. That might've been the end of me. I would've melted into a puddle right there.

But, I am not the me of five years ago. I am the me of five years ago plus the past five years.
And what a five years they've been...

Oh. I just did the math. Five years ago I was still charting. Hadn't even been to the clinic yet.


I'm substitute teaching preschool. Hahahaha. That sounds so bizarre and it's my life.

But I am so thankful. In a still-new city where I don't know that many people, it was nice to be able to walk into a job. I knew some people there and so I was able to call and start working that week.

It's humbling because it's all I can handle right now. It's part-time; I only work a couple of days a week. And I'm still foggy from the divorce. I haven't even replaced my cell phone from when I tossed it in the washer a couple of weeks ago. I mean, I'm in the process of replacing it. Everything is just... Such a process...

But here I am, an infertile and recently divorced woman, happily substitute teaching preschool.

Life is weird. :)

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Living My Life

(This post was inspired by Mali writing about why she'll never say that she'll never get over it and Elaine and Klara who both wrote about how they are not living their "plan B," they are just living their life.)

I'm learning how to quilt. I don't sew. But I've saved a lot of t-shirts that I wanted to get made into a t-shirt quilt. But as I looked around online at different people who offered this service, the more I realized that I wanted to make my own t-shirt quilt with my old t-shirts. So I decided to learn how to quilt.

Fortunately for me, there's a place nearby that has classes so I've been learning some basics. All of the classes kind of build on each other. Right now I'm learning how to piece so I can make a quilt top.

I'm tired, I'm broke, and I've decided to take quilting classes. And it's one of the best things I could've done. It takes my mind off of everything that is stressing me out. I can get in the flow of ironing, cutting, and sewing fabric. When I'm in my weekly class, I'm around people and learning something new. I enjoy working on my current project and I look forward to seeing and feeling the final product.

The major thing is what I've realized. It's the first time I've done something where I didn't think, "Well, I'm only doing this because I couldn't have children."  That is how I have felt about pretty much everything the last several years. But not this. Not my new hobby. This is something new and fun and exciting and it has nothing to do with anything I've lost. It has nothing to do with anything that didn't work out. It's just something I thought of, looked into, and signed up for.

Like how I used to do before infertility.

Saturday, April 13, 2019

Still Feeling Foggy

My divorce was finalized this week and I promptly chucked my cell phone into the washing machine with the sheets. It didn't fully survive. I can make and receive calls and texts, but the camera doesn't work.

And I really enjoy taking pictures. It's actually a great mental health practice for me. I got back into keeping photo albums during my depressive episode of 2009 and I've been at it ever since. Vacations, good meals, crafts I've made, friends I've seen... My photo albums remind me of all of my good times and memories. So, needless to say, I will be buying a new phone. For my mental health of course. Hahaha :)

But seriously. I initiated the divorce; I wanted the divorce. Well, that sounds weird but you know what I mean... Since there were no compromises happening and our incompatibilities weren't going to change, I just needed the whole thing to be over. And now it is. And I feel better. It's a huge weight off my shoulders.

But I am still feeling foggy. As evidenced by my now-washed cell phone.

It's the ending of a marriage, the ending of a friendship, the ending of an era, and the definite ending to my dreams of having and raising our children together.

Those are no small endings.

So I'm doing what I prescribe to myself best: I'm taking it easy. I'm not driving if I don't have to. I'm not making commitments if I don't need to. I'm not talking to people who stress me out. I'm asking myself throughout the day, "What do I need right now?" I'm paying attention to when I'm hungry and when I'm sleepy. I'm extending myself grace and patience when I get easily upset or frustrated. Overall, I am just trying to slow down. I don't want to accidentally hurt myself (or anyone else!) while I am navigating this fog.

To try something different, I signed up for a weekly sewing class a couple of weeks ago. Maybe needles aren't the best thing for me to handle right now haha, but I am excited to put all of my tired thoughts aside and learn something new. And now, my friends, I am off to class! :)

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Thankful for Support

I need this space. I think the biggest thing I lost in my divorce was the infertility support. My ex was awesome at supporting me. I often thought about that. How can a somewhat emotionally unreachable person be SO GOOD at supporting me through my worst nightmare?

I think it goes back to what he told me once, that raising kids was my lifelong dream but it wasn't his. I think he could be there for me because he wasn't traumatized. But because he wasn't traumatized, he didn't undergo a massive transformation like I did while recovering from infertility. In fact, other than his wife falling apart, he didn't really have anything to recover from. We made a new life plan together and he always supported me through it, but I guess he didn't want to move and change as much as we both thought he wanted to. So, even though I said I wasn't going to blog about it, that's what I've come up with in a nutshell with regard to trying to understand the abrupt ending to my marriage.

Like I said, the biggest loss for me in my divorce was losing my main support. I lost the one person who stood by me and saw and understood everything I went through while trying to conceive.

Thankfully, I have you all.

Our community understands my pain, my loss, and my joy despite my pain and loss. Thank you.

When I feel alone, I can log on and reach out to connect, read to feel understood, and write to cry, vent, and/or celebrate. Thank you.

And, it was perfectly timed for right when I needed it, Mali published a book (which I promptly purchased, read, and reread).

The support I receive from you and from our community... It's priceless. Invaluable.

Thank you.

Thursday, April 4, 2019

My 4th Survivor Anniversary

I observed my 4th Survivor Anniversary a couple of weeks ago. I was not blogging on my first survivor anniversary, but I wrote about my second anniversary here and my third anniversary here.

My 4th anniversary brings... Many conflicted feelings. I was not very okay for the first three months of this calendar year. I cried often and blogged about it a bit. I am also simultaneously beyond okay; in fact, I am totally kicking ass. Of course, I don't often receive this message from society so I make sure to remind myself pretty frequently. ;)

I tried to get pregnant for four years. (2.5 years of charting, 6 months of agonizing treatments, and 1 year of hoping for a miracle.) Now it has been four years since my last round of IVF did not result in pregnancy. It has been four years since I, within the course of one month, decided to stop medical intervention, apply to go back to school for a new career, and then move after graduation to a different state to live a completely different life.

And here I am. Graduated, moved, and living life without my children after infertility. And pretty happily so. And I'm also getting divorced... Oh did I forget to mention that?

Of course I know I haven't mentioned that. I have had no idea how to mention it. I've been going through it (hence, the real reason for my blogging hiatus last fall), and you know how it is when you are actually going through something--it can be hard to articulate. So, for now, I will continue to blog about infertility, but I probably won't blog about my marriage or subsequent divorce. But, just so you know, I am no longer married.

So my 4th Survivor Anniversary finds me in a definitely unexpected place. I am happy and I am content. A part of me will always be sad about not getting to raise my children. I continue to grieve and process infertility. I am also processing my divorce. Plus, I'm feeling a bit stressed and overwhelmed with being on the job market and having my lease end soon. So, honestly, I am exhausted. But that's life. Stress comes and goes. Infertility showed me how strong and resilient I really am. I will be fine. I will find a job and a new apartment. Life goes on and I continue to choose to enjoy the little things. I will continue to cook and craft and try new stuff. In fact, tonight I went to a basic sewing class to learn how to sew.

Life is meant to be lived. I am so grateful to have my peace of mind, the opportunity to start a new career, and the rest of my life to explore everything my new home has to offer. From one survivor to another, Happy Anniversary (for whenever yours is)! Whatever you are doing (no matter how much or how little it may seem right now), you are doing awesome!!