It was supposed to be different by now. Watching the 2012 Summer Olympics after enduring my fourth miscarriage at age 42, I consoled myself with the knowledge that, surely, by the 2016 Olympics my husband and I would have one, possibly two kids. All the misery, all the waiting would be over.
The thought was comforting for its certainty; four years is a looong time.
But here we are, and nothing is over. Little did I know my health would take a nose-dive from that point, into a mysterious land of complex, confounding maladies difficult to diagnose, even harder to solve.
Yet we are figuring out what we need to now, bit by bit, week by week. For the first time I am stronger again than I was when the pregnancies were happening, and the miscarriages kept coming.
I have learned a ton. Last night I knew why Michael Phelps had those weird pink circles on his body before the NBC analysts even started to explain. (For those who haven’t resorted to alternative treatments, the circles are the result of a Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) technique called cupping, which helps with circulation.)
I say “resort,” but perhaps the better attitude to have is to view the actions I have taken for my health as akin to the tools a top-tier athlete chooses in pursuit of peak performance. It is not about desperation; it is about heart, perseverance, grit.
And while this is a marathon for us, there will be a finish line. I’ll make no predictions this time re: our status come the 2020 Olympics — but that is not due to defeat. Rather, it comes from a place of peace and understanding, of patience, and belief.
We’re all entitled to chase our dreams, however wild. No one can define what is truly our destiny but ourselves.
So, in the meantime, I will drive around in the no-longer new car we (coincidentally) drove home the day of the first D&C in 2010. I’ve always thought of it as getting a car instead of a kid. One day still we may fill it, and go on exciting adventures around Arizona as a family — a hard-won unit, forged in tears, love, and fate.
Maybe on that same trip the now-ancient car breaks down, and we will have all come full circle. Time’s little joke.
I’m laughing already, and laughing feels good.
What do you think? How long have you and your partner been TTC? What kind of toll has it taken on your life, and psyche? Please leave any comments below, email me at email@example.com, or use the Contact page on the 10PP website. All thoughts, reflections, attitudes are always welcome (within reason!). Let’s discuss.
© 2016 Rebecca Bryant/Ten-Percent Panda
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