I wrote this post (and a few others) while on a plane 3.28.14.
Still on that flight! I’m on a roll, baby!
*Let’s start at the very beginning…*
So what is the “very beginning” for a woman experiencing infertility? Is it the moment she was created with all her DNA, which surely plays some role in this journey for many of us? Is it when she hits puberty and her hormones start working (or not working the way they’re supposed to)? I imagine it’s different and yet the same for many of us.
So just a few minutes ago, while writing that outline of my story, I realize that my story starts way before I learned I was going to run the NYC Marathon. Today, right now, I feel like it all really started when I last decided to go back on the pill, around age 23/24 , about 8 or 9 years ago. I was married at the time (to someone else) and in a very different place spiritually and morally. I had been on the pill for most of college, and it was “great.” I went off of it and had no problem with my period returning. I never tracked the regularity of my period, so from what I can tell, I never really had any symptoms of anything being awry before I went back on the pill around 2005.
This was one of the unhealthiest times of my, I now realize. I had been smoking for about 6 years (a wonderful idea when you’re on birth control), I was allergic to exercise, I had no relationship with God (at least, I wasn't reciprocating), and I was in a marriage that started under pretenses that I can’t identify with now. The marriage was already on its way to a firey, painful finish, but I had no clue at the time. I was living in the present, in the moment, with no real ambition to anything more than feel good from day-to-day. I had no concept of truly being a responsible adult that plans for the future, is smart with money, and seeks long-term stability.
So with all of this going on (and being largely ignorant of what a poor situation this was for me), I went back on the pill. I really think that decision to back on the pill was when this journey of infertility started. The decision was an uninformed one, I now realize. I’m not sure how 2005-me would have accepted the “whole story” of the pill at the time. I’ve never been an advocate for terminating pregnancy, but I simply saw the pill and contraception as ways to prevent pregnancy, which was A-OK for me morally at the time. I didn’t know that sometimes the pill masks problem that women are having with hormones and fertility. I didn’t know about the true gift that Theology of the Body is to a married couple.
I try not to waste too much time anymore wishing I could go back in time and have a heart-to-heart with 2005-me. I really don’t think I would have listened, and I probably would have flipped today-me the double bird. I do regret decisions made during that time, but I have the gift of time to see how that really misguided time in my life brought me to my current life. There are so many wonderful things about my life that wouldn’t be here if I hadn’t gone through all of that stuff. Most importantly, I’m healthier spiritually, as well as physically. I have a wonderful husband (Kris Kringle) who is on the same page as I am, and we really make each other better and draw each other closer to God. I wouldn’t trade anything for these gifts, even my infertility.
God, thank You for the gifts of hindsight and forgiveness. I appreciate the ability to forgive myself for past decisions and to learn from them. The gifts in my current situation are plentiful, and I am so grateful for where I am in life, really. Thank You for welcoming me back like a Prodigal Son and keeping me close to You always. Please help me to continue to draw strength, grace, and peace from Your presence in my life and the lives of those I love. Please share strength, grace, and peace with whomever is reading this.