This journey through infertility has left me frequently in a foul mood. Infertility is nearly constantly with me in a way that I can't describe to a fertile person. It's just always....there.
I am a grateful person by nature. My father worked hard to instill in me a sense of gratitude for the little things. I grew up happy to have a bottle of bubbles, a box of Lucky Charms, an animal to care for. As an adult, I'm still happy to have the bubbles, Lucky Charms and pets, but it's more stuff, too. When I'm stuck in traffic, I often remind myself how fortunate I am to have paved roads to drive on and a car to get to where I'm going. When I step outside, I'm happy for the warmth of the sun on my face. When I watch the news, I'm reminded how blessed I am to have been born in the United States. Despite our country's many issues, I realize there are devastating struggles going on in so many other nations. Watching my students play at recess brings me joy I can't express. The sound of crickets makes me close my eyes and sigh with contentment.
And so now I'm infertile. And things are just....different. I spend a lot of time in my head, thinking over this whole thing and trying to make sense of it. The way I view my world has changed. Things are cloudier. My outlook is hazy. Like I'm so wrapped up in what I don't have that I'm often failing to recognize what's right in front of me. The littlest things remind me of my infertility and it just hurts.
A couple of days ago, I was outside with my husband and two dogs. Joe was coaxing the dogs into enjoying the first time in their kiddie pool. Watching them, gratitude and contentment just washed over me. In that few minutes, life was good and I didn't feel infertile. And it struck me. I'm grateful to be grateful. My eyes welled and my chest ached. I'm just happy to have this moment where I feel grateful because the feeling is so much fewer and far between than I'm used to.
I don't entirely know yet what life lessons I'm supposed to get out of this whole infertility deal. Frankly, some days I'm not even interested in learning the lessons. But I think that recognizing that I should be grateful just for the moments when I actually feel grateful is a good start.