Today I am in the process of cleaning out the room that will be our son's nursery and trying desperately to organize and relocate all of the crap that is currently living in that space.
It's a job I haven't been looking forward to and the fact that I'm sitting in my sunny, clean, uncluttered kitchen writing this post could appear to some to be a pathetic attempt at avoiding the giant mess in that bedroom. But, I feel like I have something important to say and I needed a break anyway.
Greg did the easy part last week. He put together the new desk we bought at Ikea and relocated the desktop computer, set up our new monitor and left the rest to me. What remained in the room that we've been using as an office/guest room was pretty scary. Piles of paper, files, junk that somehow landed there and I'm guessing hundreds of magazines filed chronologically just in case I wanted to read them again. Hmmm. Scary.
I've never been a particularly good file keeper. I hem and haw about whether or not to shred a document or keep it and somehow I end up with piles of paper despite my best intentions. So this morning, I entered the room feeling determined, but was soon defeated by the sheer amount of CRAP.
I called Greg for moral support and he cheered me on. Just take one thing at a time. I'll help you figure it out when I get home. Don't worry about the magazines. I'll take them to the recycling center. You can do this! And so on and so on, until I felt somewhat confident that one day that room will be a nursery and not the place where all pieces of mail go to die.
I've worked steadily now for a few hours, reducing the piles into smaller piles. Filling a box for a garage sale I plan to have next month and trying not to be overwhelmed. But then, I found the "infertility" files. You know the ones -- page after page of your entire crappy infertility journey from those first tests to those failed treatments to the pictures of those tiny little embryos that might have been your babies. And, the work stopped and I leafed through the papers that document every step along the way of those infertility journey.
And, I felt so many emotions. First, I guess I was sad, because looking at those medical records always makes me sad -- sad for the babies that might have been, sad for remembering all the heartache those failures brought and sad thinking about how many years all those pages represent.
And, I admit it, I always feel a little angry when I go through our records. Why didn't the doctors at our first clinic design a better protocol for me? Why did they tell me to use donor eggs for future cycles and why on earth did we have to go through all of this anyway? Why us? Why couldn't it have been easy for us?
Yet, for the first time ever I felt a relief. Never have I looked at those files from this perspective. I've pored over them after failures looking for clues that might answer the question "what went wrong?" Or, "what could we do different next time?" But never have I looked at those pages from the perspective that I have today -- almost 21 weeks along with a baby boy growing inside me. Those pages are a very real, tangible reminder of all the hope, all the sacrifice, all the pain and all the loss that led us to this point -- cleaning out a room to make a nursery for our son.
Some of those pages are tear stained -- from the dark days of the past when the loss was so raw and the emotions so big. And, I added some tears today. Tears of sadness, tears of regret, tears of grief and finally, thankfully, tears of joy. I am so blessed to be at this point, crossing this river of infertility and finally able to see the shore ahead. I'm not on the other side yet, but I'm on the bridge and each day brings me a little closer to holding my baby in my arms.
For now, I've put the files away. Maybe one day, I'll be able to put them in the shred pile and say goodbye to all the sadness and pain they represent. Then again, maybe I'll always have them -- if nothing else, they'll serve as a reminder of how much we went through and how badly we wanted this baby and how blessed we are to finally have this pregnancy.