I’ve been thinking a lot about the quote I posted yesterday… about my ‘sister life’…of course the quote says it’s the life I didn’t choose, but truthfully my sister life is the life that didn’t choose me. I imagine my sister life is the one I had always planned on…the one with 4 toe-heads in matching outfits running on the beach in Cape Cod while Dan snaps pictures for the annual Christmas card and I sit back thinking ‘you’ve done good Meghan’…the sister life where Dan and I moved down south and raised our children in an old house (that we had the money to fix-up) with a big yard…complete with a fire pit for s’mores and ghost stories. A sister life where I worked evenings in the ICU, but just enough to keep myself sane and feel accomplished and yet never miss a school play, baseball game or birthday dinner. A sister life where I didn’t know about SMA, follicle counts or the different forms of a miscarriage…
But I will never get that life…and I need to let it go.
For the past two years I have been trying really hard to accept this new life. I have embraced infertility treatments (as much as one can), I have accepted the disappointments and losses as part of our journey and I have worked really hard on finding the positives in all of this. I have happily shared my story. But I always found myself falling back to the same thought on a bad day “this is not the way my life is supposed to be.”
Except…that it is.
My sister life was a dream life, but it was never going to happen. I would have probably loved that life, and found reasons to be annoyed with that life, I would have had struggles and disappointments, and I would have been happy and felt ‘blessed’ (I hate that word)…but I didn’t get that life, I got this life…this is the way my life is supposed to be.
I’m supposed to know about SMA and follicle counts and miscarriages. I’m supposed to be well-versed in Follistim, Lupron and Progesterone side-effects. I’m supposed to know which arm is better for blood draws, that my right-ovary is difficult to see on ultra-sounds and that I have an exceptionally high-tolerance for pain. I’m supposed to know what it feels like to lie in bed, imploring my Warrior embryo to stick…and I’m supposed to know what it feels like to lie in bed, thanking my Warrior embryo for sticking around and promising to be a good mom…and I’m supposed to know what it feels like to lie in bed, wrenching in pain, saying goodbye to a Warrior whose heartbeat I never even got to hear… It’s not what I planned, it’s not what I chose…but it is what I have.
I once mentioned infertility is like an island you don’t want to be on. I’ve always imagined Dan and I being shipwrecked here, ill-prepared, scared and shouting to every ship passing us by “SAVE US! WE DON’T BELONG HERE!” But I think, maybe, I got it wrong. Sure, we didn’t understand the island when we got here, but now we know the community (they’re wonderful, warm and inviting), we know their customs, and we built a nice life here. It’s different than we planned on, it’s harder than we imagined, but it’s also rewarding and has brought a lot of positives into our life. And I think now, when I see a ship passing by…I’m going to remember Cheryl Strayed words… there’s nothing to do but salute it from the shore.