This is it. This is what this feels like.
I always thought I would resolve my infertility by having a baby. It took the last week, a blog post and a half, and a comment from Mel to realize that resolve doesn't necessarily mean that you have to become a parent or determine to live child free to resolve your infertility.
No. You can do it while you're still IN it.
At first, I thought the turmoil I felt last week was a desire to quit. But honestly, it was exactly the opposite. It was the courage to admit that I'll be okay if I never become a mom. The world won't stop turning. The sun will keep rising. And I will still have so many wonderful things in life to enjoy. It was the courage to admit that, regardless of how things end up, my life won't be empty. It was the courage to admit that I will know when it's time to stop fighting. Just like I knew when it was time to stop treatment, I'll know when it's time to pack away the dream of becoming a parent. And there's nothing shameful about making that choice.
I'll admit that part of this feeling is a little loss of faith. After four years, it's hard to stay sunshine-y about the fact that "this will all work out." It slowly evolved into "this may work out." Or, it may not. I know that now. It was easy to think about all of the wonderful ways that this journey could end - all of the ways that include a baby in my arms. It's much, much harder to look at how this could end with me empty handed.
But I understand now, more than I ever did before, that it wouldn't be empty handed. My life is still full, and it will continue to be.
I've heard from a lot of people this last week about my peace with living child free, should this not work or should we decide at some point to stop pursuing parenthood. Some called it brave. Some called it giving up. For four years, we have worked very hard at becoming parents. And no, four years isn't a long time in the grand scheme of things. But four years is a long time when you look at what the last four years have held for us. It's been our entire marriage. It's been four years of slicing, dicing, money, heartache, and struggle. It's been a hell of a ride. One I sincerely hope ends with a child, but one that I know now I will survive, regardless.
This weekend I looked Joey in the eye, and I said to him, "We are going to have an amazing life together, no matter what happens." And I meant it.
That is resolve.
That is peace.