From the naïve beginnings of my venture into the world of infertility treatment (Post 1), to my battle through depression (Post 100), to making it through the awful experience that is miscarriage (Post 200), what an adventure this has been.
Recently, I went to a women’s conference. A speaker there told the story of Florence May Chadwick.
Florence Chadwick had been the first woman to swim the English Channel (in both directions). On July 4, 1952, Florence attempted to swim the twenty one mile Pacific channel from Catalina Island to the California coast. She was hoping to set another record.
But that day, the water was choppy and cold. The fog was so thick, the land in front of her seemed to disappear. Likewise, she could barely see the support boats that accompanied her. On several occasions, prowling sharks and sting-rays had to be driven away with rifles. Florence swam more than fifteen hours and fifty-five minutes before deciding she couldn't go on and was taken out of the water. She had no idea how close she was to her goal.
So imagine her disappointment when she learned she was merely ½ mile from the destination. She swam 20 ½ miles, only to quit when she was right there. She simply couldn’t see.
That story reminds me of the one I shared about my never-ending hike. Florence’s story reminds me of infertility.
How much easier would it be to wait one more year, do one more treatment, if we knew success was right around the corner? I often commented I would wait 7 more years, if I had the knowledge the wait would end. The not-knowing was the hardest part.
There were so many times I wanted to give up. I had no way of knowing it would be the 9th treatment cycle, my 7th IUI, the 5th time I used injectables, during the 7th year of trying... *that* would be the time we would get our miracle.
“You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face...do the thing you think you cannot do.” – Eleanor Roosevelt
I often think of my friends still waiting. Daily, in fact. I feel so many things for them... hope, frustration, admiration, sadness and some guilt for my current state. I want everyone to have the happiness I have felt over the last several months. But, just as the last seven years have made this time unbelievably sweeter, I know it will be sweet for them too. We may never fully understand why we had to wait, but I know now that the wait is always worth it. A thousand times over.
So here's to Post 300. Three hundred thoughts, vents and epiphanies. Each one leading towards strength through trial, hope through heartache, and the biggest blessing I've ever received.
Keep your head down, girls, and just keep swimming. Whatever the final result is... the blessing of pregnancy, a miracle adoption, or another path towards peace and healing... you may be closer than you think.