If you might be a little surprised that I just stopped blogging over 4 weeks ago, I can tell you that I am even more surprised! I didn't expect to take a break and it wasn't planned at all. But it just happened. And based on how I have felt the last few weeks, I guess that I really needed it.
I've always known that being able to blog at all was a gift...meaning...a lot of things have come together for me to be able to do this at all (time, desire, ability to not earn an income, and feeling like I had some truths to share at all.) The ability to do this has been beyond me. It has been fueled by something outside of myself...truly a greater power. You see, this blog is actually not a profession nor a hobby of mine. I don't even feel like a writer. Or a blogger. Or a social media guru. Or an internet saavy person. And certainly not a photographer. ha! None of this comes naturally to me or easily to me. But I gave up all other pursuits to see if I could somehow share something meaningful here. And somehow, I've gotten some words out. I have never taken that for granted. I've been amazed time and time again that somehow a post just comes together. It's all been quite a miracle to me.
And so, when I woke up about a month ago and felt as though my voice had stopped, I again knew what a miracle it was to have written hundreds of posts prior. I felt grateful for all that had come before. And I waited to see what might happen. I waited for that desire to write to return.
The break mostly got started because of a sequence of events. The day after we spoke at a conference in Manhattan, I had a skin gum graft surgery in my mouth. It was actually pretty bearable, but my face was very swollen for days, eating was very difficult, and it was overall uncomfortable. I was also in charge of an overnight women's retreat for my congregation just 4 days later, so all my energy was directed elsewhere.
I had also been on the birth control pill for about a month. It's part of the IVF protocol and I was taking a different brand this time (Zovia) that sent me for a loop. It's incredible how disconnected I felt from myself just by taking those little pills. I had to go into survival mode just get through it. I'm so happy that I will never, ever have to take those pills again.
I came back from the women's retreat exhausted (though the experience was wonderful!) and then two days later I began the IVF injections and sonogram monitoring.
With the IVF protocol came the treacherous 4-5 hour round trip visits to my doctor in Long Island every few days, sometimes back-to-back. The B.Q.E. and L.I.E. and bumper to bumper traffic have been my world, as well as multiple home injections morning and night, lots of pills, infusions, dosage calendars, and heat packs.
We've also been a bit short-handed by several women in the female leadership of my congregation, and so I've been taking on several extra duties in the last many months. It has kept me oh so busy. But it's always very fulfilling work. And I'm glad that somehow I've had the ability to keep up with it and that it has, in turn, kept me going, even on days when I wasn't feeling great.
But, well, the break continued on and on....and this is why:
I've needed every ounce of energy I could muster to get through this IVF.
In the beginning, after weighing so many factors, we had a burst of motivation to go through with it - so we did. But it has still been difficult for me - in fact, very difficult. I guess my heart and mind and body had not been planning on doing this a second time. It has felt like my actions have not been in harmony with my body - which is not a good feeling, I can tell you. In a way, doing IVF has actually felt abusive to my body. Doing it once was one thing, but twice has felt like one time too many. We did actually consider canceling the IVF at the last minute, but in the end - I realized (due to our location, our very specialized doctor, our other options, etc.) it really was now or never. So I've carried forward with it. Though I don't know how many times I have said in my head, "I'm so glad this is the last time."
And I know this will make mothers and people everywhere gasp, but I have wondered if I should be pursuing children at all any more. It's been so many years, so much money, time, and energy. I've wondered if this pursuit is the best use of my life at this point. I have wondered for quite some time now if being a mother and raising a child is even my calling...and if this excessive pursuit has held me back from being able to fully embrace a different role in life. It's sad to me, but I actually don't feel a strong desire for kids/babies anymore - I don't think about having one, long for one, crave one, etc. It's like my life - not by choice - has just taken a different path. And the acceptance of that path feels more comfortable to me than fighting against it.
So with very, very little stamina, I have continued on with this IVF. I have had to gather every bit of energy possible to help me go through the motions of this process. We HAVE been succeeding in going through the motions, which I am grateful for. We've had some of the most loving moments during the daily drug rituals each morning and night. I've been more grateful than ever for the most loving husband in the world. I've been able to remain fairly calm during all of these injections and procedures (even the infusion, the IVs, the egg retrieval, anesthesia). But like I said, I've had to put ALL of my energy into pulling this off - every last drop available. This has left nothing for blogging, emails, twitter, responding, texting, documenting, etc.
During our absence, we thank you so much for all the kindness you sent our way...it has blown us away. We also thank those of you who have desired to connect with us here. We love connecting with you here, too. Discussing life and sharing life with others remains one of our greatest joys. We hope that it can continue here in the days ahead.
Much love to all of you,
P.S. During the break, we did do another segment on Huff Post Live called, "Your Relationship Will Never Be Perfect." I know some people were curious as to why I left during the interview. Well, it's not that exciting, but I had to leave for a doctor's appointment (which HuffPost was OK with). In fact, I have to leave for a doctor appt. now...hope to see you soon. :)
P.P.S. The photo above is from a few days ago...(it's kind of funny to me that I look pregnant in the photo! ha.) We had just spoken at a singles conference in the most beautiful area of New Jersey. I was grateful that I was able to speak and that it actually felt really, really good to do it. It was also just wonderful to drive through the rolling hills and see the fall colors in all their glory. Danny knows that I can hardly drive by a vegetable stand without stopping. This cauliflower from the Amish just couldn't be resisted.