Saturday was my birthday. I spent the last few years not feeling fond of this day because it only served as a reminder of another year older and another year without a child. I am trying to retrain myself to appreciate it - much like I've tried to do with every holiday and special day that's come up since K's birth. My birthday gift, of course, is K. I don't need any "things" to make this day important. But I'm trying to give myself another gift this year - something I've been ignoring for far too long.
Me. I want me back.
Not too long ago, I wrote about how I feel as if I'm in the midst of a healing process from everything we went through during our four years of struggling to have a child. I meant this in a mental and emotional sense. But I also find myself trying to heal in a physical sense. I know that I'll never be the same in any of these ways. I'll never be the person I was. I am different and I need to figure out who I am now and embrace that - outside of my skin, too.
I'm going in the right direction. Recently, I've done little things to try and boost my self-esteem in regard to the way I look. It's hard, though, when you spend so many years looking in the mirror and feeling awful about yourself. It's also hard when you are trying to embrace someone you didn't know before all of this happened (the person you've evolved into). Each small step I take - buying a cute outfit, cutting my hair - is a step toward a new me. Not a me who forgets what has happened. Not the old me. A changed me. A person who is still young, but who doesn't feel quite so youthful and naive anymore. A me who has had surgeries and hormones change her body in ways that simply won't "go back."
I know I'm not alone. I know I'm not the only person out there who struggles to reconcile the past with the present. But I wish more of us would talk about it - the physical and emotional struggles to reclaim our new/old selves after infertility. I wish it was easier to put into words, easier to understand. Instead, I think most of us navigate these murky waters alone.
It was a good day this year. Nothing special or exciting. K is getting over the flu (her second bout this season), so we took it easy most of the day. My in-laws came over and watched her in the evening, and Joey and I went out for dinner and drinks. I did my hair and make up, and I felt fabulous. My body, though, was still tired from all of my mommy duties and I crashed shortly after 10 pm. That's okay. I think I got the best of both worlds on my birthday. I helped K heal from the flu.
And I helped myself heal just a tiny bit more from the hell of infertility.