Wednesday, August 17, 2011

my thoughts about the RESOLVE Hope Award

I've tried to formulate my thoughts on winning this year's Hope Award for Best Blog for weeks, but they haven't come together for me as well as I wanted them to. Bear with me while I try to work my way through this.

Winning this award feels surreal to me. If you told me when I started this blog that I would be where I am today, I would have told you that you're a big. fat. liar. This is not how I saw things turning out when I began writing. In fact, here's a small glimpse of what I thought my life would look like today, back then:

I thought we would still be living in Nashville, or maybe in New York. I would still be working in publishing. And we would have a child who today would be somewhere in the two-year-old range.

Well, none of that happened. That's not necessarily a bad thing. Infertility has taught me a lot about myself, about others, and about life in general. One of these lessons is that things tend to happen on a different timeline and in a different way than you expect them. For someone who has never been very good at practicing patience, this concept is difficult. For someone who tends to lean on the "Type A"/control freak side of her brain, it's nearly impossible.

But here I am. It's 3.5 years after we started trying to have a baby, and I am still not a mom. Most of the people who started this journey with me are. There are even a few who are on baby #2. And while I realize there are those who have tried far longer or who have been through more procedures, being childless after 3.5 years has been incredibly challenging for me. I've had to find ways to cope with this. Volunteering with RESOLVE was one of them, and the other was this blog.

With both, I feel like I'm doing what I love. Yet, it's the helping people through this that motivates me the most. Even in the moments when I feel like I am the last person standing, which there are many of those moments, I feel GOOD about even offering one line of sane advice to someone who is losing their mind in all of this. I could write about anything. I've written for as long as I can remember. I can't draw. I'm not a painter or a photographer. I'm not a crafty person who can sew and knit and quilt. Writing is what I do. Writing is why I've always done. It just was a coincidence that this was the way I ended up coping and helping others.

It's easy for me to sit here and tell you that I would trade this award for motherhood any day. And don't think I haven't thought it - more than once. The truth is, I don't know that I would. I want to be a mom, yes. But part of me is starting to understand that maybe there is a bigger plan in all of this. Maybe this is always how things were supposed to go. Me writing about uteruses and vaginas and people actually reading it and relating. (If you had told me this back then, I probably would have called you a liar. Again.)

One of my favorite books is Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close. I have a line from that book tattooed on my back. It says, "The mistakes I've made are dead to me. But I can't take back the things I never did." I can't look back on this journey and wonder if things had worked out differently if we had done this instead of that. Or look back and say, "I wish..." Thinking about what could have been doesn't help me. I'm starting to come to terms with this idea of embracing the experience.

For someone who planned on things turning out a certain way for so long, this is not a simple process for me to sort through. For years, I heard, "Everything happens for a reason." It's still a shitty thing to say to someone who is going through infertility, and I'd probably give someone the death stare if they said it to my face even now. But maybe things do happen for a reason. Maybe this is all part of some weird plan that I don't understand. It's still a bit of a mystery to me, and it may always be.

Right now, though, I will just be thankful. And I will accept this award graciously on behalf of anyone who has ever been in our shoes. May we all be winners in the end, regardless of where our journeys take us.

19 comments:

Jana said...

Thank you so much for sharing your journey with us, for your honesty and courage. I came up on your blog through voting for the Resolve Hope Award and I am so grateful for you. My journey has been 7 years and we are just now considering adoption. Thank you for your blog and congratulations on your award!

Glass Case of Emotion said...

Well said, Katie. I agree, I've begun to embrace the journey as well. It's not awesome, but good HAS come from it.

PCOSChick said...

You are awesome & as always, an amazing post!! xoxo

Rita said...

Another amazingly beautiful post from an amazingly beautiful person.

Congratulations again on your award!

Mic said...

You are amazing.

someday-soon said...

Your writing is beautiful and I know you've helped so many along your journey. You deserve this award and I'm really happy for you!

thepagegirl said...

thanks for sharing your journey. It took 10 years and egg donor and last but not least my cousin carried for us with our final frozen embryos. I know it is a difficult walk and sometimes hard to share so thanks and congrats on your award.

Turtle Hope said...

Congratulations on a well deserved recognition of hope! The world of IF is not for the faint of heart. You have an incredible talent! I thank you for sharing your journey.

Tammy said...

This is an absolutely beautiful post. I think it's one of the most difficult things to be thankful despite the hardships we're experiencing . . . especially when it seems like the hardships so outweigh the joys in our life. It's beautiful that you can still see the things in your life to be thankful for. You are such a blessing in so many people's lives, and I am very thankful for that.

Teresa said...

Katie, Love reading your posts. Thanks for sharing your heart, soul, and everything in between!
You are such a strong woman and I admire you immensely!

Baby Steps said...

I truly LOVED reading this post... you sound so clear, strong and honest. Your words are a reflection of not only your journey, but so many of ours. I am proud to have you be a strong voice for many. You deserve this award... and yes, you deserve to be a mommy. I hope to see you at the Night of Hope - I will track you down for a hug :)

Rebecca said...

I am so happy to have been able to follow you for the past several years. I know that you have helped me immensely. It's hard to say "I'm glad that I was infertile" but everything we go through makes us who we are.

Keiko said...

A really beautiful, humble, painful, honest post. There's a reason you won. *hug*

Holly said...

I have always been a huge fan of your writing. You give a voice to so many of us in the infertility community by saying the things we are all thinking and feeling but can't always find the words to say. This award is so deserved.

I have another, much less monumental but still heartfelt, award to pass on to you by the way- for being one of my top commenters and supporters on this journey. Thank you so much.
http://ready2bmom.blogspot.com/2011/08/virtual-hugger.html

Danielle said...

Beautifully said. There really is something about infertility that makes you look at the entire world through a different lens. You should be so SO proud that sharing your lens has helped so many people - congratulations on the award, and on the journey you've taken. xoxo

Jem said...

Thanks for your kind words on my blog. You are not too late with your congratulations! I am little late with mine for your award, tho.

S.I.F. said...

You are amazing Katie! And I am SO beyond thrilled that you are being recognized for that amazingness!

Three Cats and a Baby said...

Yes, I hated when people said "Everything happens for a reason" or "You will end up with the child you were meant to have." But the truth is, now that I am on the other side of it all, I see it. I get it. And I guess I even agree. If I could change things now, I don't think I would. Which is kind of huge for me.

Congratulations on your award. You deserve it. I know you have helped many, many people. Including me.

Shelly said...

Congratulations, Katie. And thank you for eloquently expressing what so many feel. I feel incredibly fortunate that I'll be at Night of Hope and will get to congratulate you in person.