After reading all the posts from all these courageous women taking part, along with me, in “Blogger’s Unite: Project IF” I am always brought back to the idea of losing a part of myself in this process, so naturally I was struck by JL’s post:

“What if I lose myself along the way? I’ve lost so much during this roller coaster journey — what if I lose the true me somewhere along the road? What if I turn into someone I never wanted to be? What happens then?”

Exactly, what then?  Who am I after this is over?  What does that make me should we be unsuccessful in having our own child…or any child for that matter?  There have been times along this path that I feel like that loss has happened and some strange transformation has been taking place just under my nose.  In some strange way, it continues to take place…out of my control.

There are times I have to prepare myself for this possibility: That I may never be a “mom”.  I tell myself that I will finally be able to stop worrying about shots, and meds, and eating just the right things, about not working out or all these crazy limitations and restrictions I mentally lock myself into during these treatments.  Maybe I can finally take control of my body again.  Maybe this will be the process of letting go.  I can stop stressing out constantly about the next cyst or period, knowing full well that with each comes more endo and more buildup.

Maybe all this time and energy I have been putting into trying to get pregnant can be put into bettering myself.  Getting in shape, getting my degree, moving up and on.  Going to school now is secondary to the treatments.  Seeing friends and family gets bent around the treatments.  Every financial decision is weighed with infertility on the front burner.  It has taken hold of our every breath and every move.  Who am I if I ever give up?  Could I ever forgive myself?  Could Chris ever forgive me?

Who the hell am I, at 34 years old, if I’m not a “mom”?  What do I have left?

I am a wife to a wonderful man.  A good, funny,  infuriating, adorable, gem of a man who has been a stalwart soldier through all this and endured many an emotional breakdown from his walking petri dish of a wife.

I have a great dog.  We could finally have real time for her.  I’m so tired come weekends it’s tough to muster up the energy for a game of frisbee.  Poor lil’ pooch.

I have wonderful friends.  I could finally have time to see them more since I won’t have to worry about crazy mood swings from all the meds or not being able to stand up straight after stims.

I have a great, big, beautiful family.  Many nephews and a button of a niece I could spend tons more time with not worrying about being back in town for ultrasounds, blood-work, shots or retrievals.  Sure, it might remind me of what I can’t do or can’t have…but they are so beautiful, so sweet and so funny…and hey, it’s good perspective when I see tired Mom’s and Dad’s clamoring for ten minutes of private time.  I try to remember that we do have a peaceful and quiet home and Chris and I do get private time together.  Granted I would give anything for that chaos, but you try and take the positives wherever you can.

Some days I despair about where my life is.  So many things didn’t turn out the way I had hoped or planned.  I think I have given up on so many other goals just to have this one thing.  I threw everything I was and everything I am into it and it’s just a jumble now.  Some days parts of me float to the top that I can recognize, other days it’s just a mishmash of feelings.  Even now, as we go into our second try with IVF, I feel myself slowly letting go of this notion of motherhood.  Not to be negative or to throw in the towel, but because I have to slowly find myself again.

Whoever that woman is inside…I need to help her back on her feet.