Sunday, March 20, 2011

Getting to know myself again

One of the reasons that I think I've had a hard time finding people that I feel like I connect with lately, is because I'm not really sure who I am anymore.  I know who I am as a mama.  That's one part of me that I feel very strongly grounded in.  The rest of me though feels kind of, lost.  I have lost myself and my confidence and I know that it's because of the way that infertility changed the path of my life.

Right after Hubby and I got married, we moved to a new town for his job.  I had left my job at the end of the previous school year because I knew I would be leaving part way through the next year and didn't want to leave a class of kids with a long-term sub.  So I took what I thought would be a temporary job, which I really wasn't that interested in, to pay the bills.  When we moved, my boss offered to keep me on and I could work from home, which seemed like a good idea at the time, until we got settled.  BAD IDEA.  First of all, it's really hard to meet new people when you move if you don't have a job or kids.  Second, I didn't really love that job, and I ended up staying another year.  It just wasn't good.

I stayed because we had started all of the appointments at the RE and my job was really flexible.  I couldn't figure out how to teach and try to have a baby.  So I didn't.  Well, I finally quit my job because it was getting too stressful.  My last week of work was when I had the miscarriage.  It wasn't a good time.  I had planned on substitute teaching once I stopped working and I kept finding excuses not to get started.  I was worried it would be too stressful, I thought it still might be hard to coordinate doctors appointments and work, I would start after my surgery, and on and on.  Looking back now I realize that I was depressed and really low on confidence.  My usual self would have known I could go into any classroom and do a good job, but this version of myself was scared that I couldn't do it, so I didn't.

My "break" from work went from weeks to months.  I interviewed for some part time jobs but couldn't find one that really seemed like the right fit.  I did a lot of volunteer work.  I still wasn't myself.  I didn't feel good about myself or confident.  I felt powerless.  Powerless in my abilities to start our family and powerless in life.  We had failed cycle after failed cycle and it just got worse.  I didn't talk to my closest friends or family about it because it didn't seem like they understood.  We put a lot of things on hold because it was too hard to do during all the fertility treatments.  Life stood still.

We finally took a big leap and little Pup Pup joined the family.  He was the perfect distraction and I threw myself into being a puppy mama completely.  He helped us find a good place again and we started trying to think positively about our upcoming cycle.  The last one before IVF.  I won't drag things out any longer (now anyway) and just say that I truly believe that had something to do with why we were successful.  And I am so very thankful that we were and Bean is a part of our family now.

What I realized though, now that we're more distant from that time in our lives, is that it's not only always with me, but it took something from me.  I used to be really confident, and feel good about myself.  Being social was fun and meeting new people was easy.  I didn't over think things as much.  I am not the same person I was 4 years ago and I'm not sure I really like everything about who I am now.  Like I said, I love the mama side of me and I feel completely confident in that part of my life but I've lost a lot of who I used to be and I need to get to know myself again.  I think the first step in doing that is letting go a little bit of who I used to be.  I'm happy with where I am in my life now, and the road that we took, as difficult as it may have been and as much as it may have changed me, it's what got me here.  So for that, I am thankful.

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