This is a guest post by Jessi Wallace of Life Abundant Blog. Jessi has been one of my biggest cheerleaders, and become such a dear friend. If you haven’t already, I encourage you to grab a cup of tea, settle in, and spend some time in her corner of the world-wide web. She’s currently going through fertility treatments, and is sharing her journey step by step on her blog. She’s a beautiful person, inside and out, and I hope you will be inspired and uplifted by her story, and by her guest post here today.
When Logan first asked me if I wanted to write a guest post, I didn’t hesitate to say yes! I love her blog and it’s an honor to get to share on here with you today. When she asked me if I could write on gratitude in infertility, my heart paused for a moment… and I realized that I needed to write this post not just for her blog, but to pull myself out of this funk I’ve been in lately. Let’s be real here – I’ve been anything but thankful lately. Dare I say it – I’ve been so ungrateful. My infertility journey has been long and hard, and lately it has kicked me in my rear. Writing this post was something I didn’t even realize I needed to do until she asked me to do it.
I’m going to be completely transparent with you: I often find it difficult to see anything “grateful” in my infertility. It’s easier for me to see the grief of my circumstance and to throw myself a pity party. I didn’t ask for this. I didn’t want this for myself or for my husband. And I definitely didn’t want this for my daughter, who is rapidly approaching 6 years old and asking us daily for a sibling.
But you know what?
Life is so much more than my infertility, and for that, I have gratitude.
In the midst of infertility, I have gratitude for cysterhood. Without being diagnosed with PCOS, I wouldn’t have “met” so many women online who are going through the same thing. In 2009, I started connecting to women on Soul Cysters, which is a message board community for women going through PCOS. Through SC, I have met some of the most amazing women who I am proud to say are lifelong friends. Some I have met in person over the years, others I have yet to meet, but we are all a cysterhood and its crazy cool to know that our common denominator (PCOS) brought us together. Some of us first “met” online over six years ago and we’re still very close, although most of us moved our connection to Facebook. Without infertility and connecting on SC, we couldn’t have this bond.
In the midst of infertility, I have gratitude for the blogosphere. Piggy backing on the cysterhood, I wouldn’t know Logan, or several other bloggers if it wasn’t for our common denominator. The fact that so many women have found solace in blogging is amazing to me, and I am thankful that many of us decided to share our journeys – the good and the bad. It is hard to be this public about something so intimate, but because of the public journeys, we have found friendships in each other, and I am so grateful.
In the midst of infertility, I have gratitude for my daughter. Conceived on Clomid in 2009, born into my life in 2010, this little girl is such a gift. She will be six years old in March, and I am in awe of her every day. Even though infertility has been tough, I am grateful that I have a child to call my own when so many of you are still deeply struggling for just one. My heart burns for you who long for that one child. Knowing that I can wear the name “mom” with a living child on earth is extremely humbling. While I do deeply desire to have more children (and always imagined myself a mom to 3 kids), I have gratitude for my only child.
In the midst of infertility, I have gratitude for my marriage. Not only are there women suffering with infertility and not knowing if their family will ever grow… there are women who suffer with PCOS and endometriosis and are single, longing for a spouse to share life with. I’m so thankful that I have a husband to walk this journey alongside. If I was single and dealing with PCOS, I imagine I would struggle even more because of loneliness and the ticking clock. I know other women who would be amazing mothers, but don’t have a spouse, or even a prospect. I’ve talked to them about this before, and my heart aches because they are in pain over their singleness and longing for a family. I am 31 years young, happily married to my best friend, and have him as my partner in this journey… I am so grateful that I have him.
In the midst of infertility, I have gratitude for my job. Not only do I get the honor of working for a Christian non-profit organization, but I also have a leader who understands infertility, and who supports my journey. The frequent doctor visits aren’t seen as an inconvenience or a burden to the job because the job still gets done. This is something worth celebrating, because I have seen others struggle with balancing their infertility treatment with work, and it’s so hard. I love my job, and I am extremely grateful for a leader who prays over my fertility treatments and cheers me on during the process. I am extremely grateful for a workplace where we can share our struggles and openly pray for each other without persecution. I am grateful.
Even though infertility is a rocky road, I wouldn’t be who I am today without it. Frankly, I wouldn’t trade it for fertility. I think the whole experience has made my faith stronger, my marriage better, and my compassion for others greater. I think it has made me (personally) a better mother as well.
We all have struggles. What are you thankful for in the midst of yours?
Jessi is on a journey to conquer infertility and embrace motherhood. After getting diagnosed with PCOS in 2008, she found herself in the world of struggling to conceive. One year of testing, ultrasounds, and a cocktail of Clomid, Metformin and Novarel brought her Zoey Liz in 2010 and officially gave her the title of “mom”. Feeling blessed, yet like her family is incomplete, Jessi started trying to conceive a second child in 2012 on the same regimen that brought her Zoey. Jessi blogs about her struggles with PCOS, her race to beat the “four years of TTC #2” mark, and her current Follistim + IUI cycles at Life Abundant. You can also join her journey on Fertility Authority, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter.