What a whirlwind year 2017 was! This year brought some extreme change to our family, both highlights and low times, and I can honestly say, I am glad that it is behind us. I am looking forward to 2018 with the anticipation of a new year, a new start, and the many changes that lie ahead of us this year.
If I think back to this exact moment last year, the beginning of 2017 was so incredibly different then where we are today. I had quit my job teaching, had just begun to adjunct for ASU, and was anxious about changing insurances after spending my whole life being covered my teacher insurance. As much as I knew that quitting my teaching job was what God wanted for our family, I worried about how in the world we were going to make ends meet, what would happen if we had a financial or medical crisis, and what my future would be professionally if I took time off.
Of course, the major thing we were anticipating in 2017 was our second round of in-vitro and implanting our precious snow babies. This was something that we had thought about and prayed about for 5 years and we had saved up to be able to cover the cost without affecting our savings. We entered 2017 with hopeful, anticipating hearts, not quite knowing what the year would bring, but praying that God would take care of our family and hopefully bring another baby or two into our home.
Fast forward to the start of 2018, and I honestly can say I would never have guessed that this is where I would be a year ago. Never in my wildest dreams would I thought that I would be working full-time with no babies in my belly. It may sound naive to many of you, but I really and honestly never thought that our in-vitro would fail. Which sounds silly, because I know the statistics and success rates were never a guarantee. But I always thought that those babies made it to freezing because they were meant to be part of our family. Why else would they have made it through the last 5 years?
I can also honestly say, that I did not know that I would struggle with the failed in-vitro as much as I have. In the past five years, I never really saw the failure as an option, so to say that I was blind-sided is an understatement. Every future that I have imagined for the past five years has included these babies here with us. So this new reality that I have lived in every day since August 22nd has been an adjustment. Getting out of bed is harder than I would ever have imagined. Going to sleep at night knowing that our babies no longer exist in this world is haunting. Trying to come to grips with something that I just don't understand has exhausted me to the point that I just have to give it up.
2017 will always be the year that our in-vitro failed. And that makes me sad.
But....as always...in every hard time and year, there is also hope. I may remember 2017 for the dreams that did not come true, but I will also remember the good that existed. This year,
- My precious babies turned 2 and 4 and everyday with them is an adventure.
- My love and I celebrated 11 years of marriage and even though we went through some trying times, we went into this year and out holding hands.
- I fell in love with my adjuncting job at ASU and was offered a full-time position as an instructor this fall. I can honestly say that I love my job for the first time in years and God provided exponentially in terms of salary and benefits. I no longer worry about my kids getting sick or paying a doctor's bill.
- We spent a fabulous week at family camp and really enjoyed our family time together.
- I applied and was accepted into a doctoral program at Texas Tech and will begin fulfilling a dream that started my first day at ACU when I knew that I was meant to teach in college.
- Derek moved from Miles to Mertzon and is happy teaching elementary PE and coaching there.
- Christmas with our family was a blessing and the kids had such a fun time this year.
There was good this year, amidst the sadness. And as always, God was present.
I am anticipating this new year and thinking about all of the newness that will occur in 2018. I will be starting my doctorate. We will (hopefully) be selling our house soon and moving to Mertzon. Our babies will turn 3 and 5. We will (prayerfully) be out of diapers for the first time in 5 years (YIPPEE!) The twins will start kindergarten (sob!). It's a year of change and while it seems overwhelming to say the least, I am ready to start new.
I've come to a point where I have to let go of the sadness of our failed in-vitro. While it seems like an impossible feat, it's time to heal. I know from past experience, that the loss will never go away, but it is time to take steps towards healing. I feel like this fall I spent a lot of time trying to ignore the pain and put a bandaid over what I was feeling all while never really dealing with what was actually going on.
It's time for the bandaid to come off.
Because as sad as 2017 was, 2018 is a new year. And I have 3 beautiful babies at home, a husband that loves me, and a job that I love. It's time for me to get back to being me. I don't know how or when that will happen. But I do know that I am ready. It won't be an easy process. It won't be a painless process. And since I usually have to learn things the hard way, it will probably be a long process. But I know that I am ready.
I've committed to spend the month of January preparing for this new year. I am taking a break from social media, simplifying some areas of my life that need simplifying, and really spending some quiet time trying to figure out what God has in store for this year to come. I am mindful of the 8 short months that I have left before the twins start school this year and I want to make sure that I enjoy every single minute that I can with them before that happens.
In all things, God works for the good of those who love him. The verse I am meditating on right now is Proverbs 16:3. "Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and he will establish your plans." I'm going to spend the month of January committing this year to Lord and and seeing what plans he has in store for us!