Through our struggles with IF I have gotten to know a lot of beautiful and wonderful women. We've bonded over what a pain in the ass (sometimes literally) PCOS can be. How it sometimes feels like we're being punished for something we didn't know we did. The tears, the fears, the hopes and dreams. I'm very lucky to have developed these relationships, even if they are only over the internet.
One thing that is hard (but wonderful at the same time) about these relationships is that eventually someone leaves the pack. The get the job we've all been applying for - motherhood. Oh I love it when someone 'leaves' our ranks. When one of the good-gals gets their lifelong dream. The tears of joy, the laughing, smiley, celebrations that inevitably follow. The happiness I feel for them is endless.
The challenge for me has arrived later. 24 months later and a lot of those women I met in the early days and now at varying stages in between, have these beautiful success stories. There are photos of smiley toddler faces, babies 0-12months, and those that measuring the weeks until they get to meet their child. While my happiness for them is endless, I find myself using their milestones as markers for where I could have been.
My beautiful friend Rachel and her sweet boy Landon is almost 15 months old. I could have had a child almost two months old than him. The ever gorgeous Jessica and her sweet Knox. I swear he gets more handsome each and every time she shows him off! There are still quite a few waiting to meet there spawn, like Jenny and her triplets! Or the wonderful Krista who is about to have her anatomy scan. Each at a different stage, each for me marking a different kind of milestone.
The last thing I want to do by naming the very few I've named above is make anyone feel bad. That certainly isn't my motivation. None of these women have ever done anything but offer kind supportive words and work diligently (Rachel excluded since she's my token Fertile Mertle :) ) to never forget the struggles. To be appreciative for every moment, fear, pain, etc. Because they know intimately that it hurts more to be without. What I will continue to strive for, instead of comparing myself to what they have or what could have been, is to allow their successes to give me hope (okay, maybe not for triplets. Jen is hardCORE and I'm not sure I could cut the mustard like she has!). So that some day, when I get the call to head to the big leagues, I will have had the experiences of these wonderful people to guide me.
Until then, a bit of me will continue to live vicariously through those sweet smiling faces and the ones still on the way.