What to do when it’s hard to be thankful.

Halloween is my all-time, nothing-beats-it, absolute favorite holiday of the year. It also happens to fall (get it!) during my favorite time of the year.. Autumn. Falling leaves, the warm yet windy temperature, the colors, the smells, the candy, the witches cackling in the distance… too far? Sorry, sorry, I digress.

Immediately following Halloween is my second favorite holiday. The all-you-can-eat, watch-my-Cowboys, oh-my-God-i’m-dying, no-wait-I-can-still-eat-those-potatoes, day of the year where we all pretend it’s the only day we overindulge. Each year my family sits in a circle and names something we’ve been thankful for the past year.

I’m not going to lie – 2016 has been a shit year for me. My husband and I have been struggling with infertility for the past 2 years now. We suffered 3 miscarriages in the past year (2 the year previous), have tried Clomid/progesterone to no avail and are in the “should we suck it up and go with IVF” stage of the journey. For anyone who has never struggled with infertility – I envy you.

We are lucky in the sense we can conceive. Always. Like, I should call him “bullseye” ease in conceiving. The problem is around week 5. Baby never seems to want to stick. I can assure you, while we lose the baby early it’s a kick in the uterus each and every time. Literally. If anyone is going through or about to miscarry, let me warn you of something they never told me. It f***king hurts! Your entire body feels as if it’s just ran a marathon, your breasts hurt if you wear a bra, but hurt worse when you take it off, your back decided to test all the nerves at once to make sure they’re working (they are, trust me), and the cramping which comes in waves – I imagine similar to labor – followed by the rush of *TMI here* blood and tissue reminding you your body didn’t work in the way it was supposed to, is one of the most horrific things to have to deal with. And then if it’s ectopic?? Ugh… let me just say… Methotrexate is evil. Two shots… in the ass (each cheek, just to make sure the pain is even)… burned for days and left me a blubbering mess on the couch for a full weekend.

How did I go from Halloween to talking about a shot in the ass (and not in the good way)? Well… it goes back to what I am thankful for. And that is the amazing women (and men) whom I’ve met who have also struggled with this issue. This year alone 4 couples I personally know have gone through IVF, 3 additional couples have lost children. However, I know about it. That is what I am thankful for.

I am beyond thankful we as a society have decided to stop hiding the fact miscarriage and pregnancy loss happens. I’m thankful we are talking about infertility and how many need assisted treatment to help. I’m thankful there are others who can understand the fear of the possibility of multiple children before even having one child. I’m thankful I can be on my Facebook page (Author Jessica Collins) and see a post from a stranger discussing their struggle, read comments of other strangers talking about theirs, and add my comment, all knowing we are not alone.

And we really aren’t.

So, as much as 2016 has sucked, it has also opened me to a world of people I never would have known before. It opened me to a world in which I’m not ashamed of our struggle, but being open and talking about it.

Most of all, I’m thankful for my kick-ass husband who can make me laugh while I’m crying, and who always, always, is ready to take the next step… whichever that may be, with me.

For those celebrating, enjoy the holiday. Above all else, GO COWBOYS!!!

 

 

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