Tomorrow is a big day. Not for me, but for one of my best friends, D. After seven failed IVF cycles over more than two years, D. is currently participating in an NIH experimental fertility drug program. Everything will come to the ultimate culmination when she takes a pregnancy test tomorrow morning.
Tomorrow is more than just a big day, it's really a monumental day — for after two emotionally draining years, this will be her last attempt at fertility treatment. At least for quite a while.
Over the past two years, I have been D.'s almost daily confidante, sharing in her ups and downs — and quite honestly, the journey has been marred mostly by downs. The downs have included more freak fertility mishaps than imaginable, while the ups have included 10 glorious weeks of pregnancy. Unfortunately, D. miscarried at 10 weeks, only to be told that nothing conclusive could be determined about the cause. The lack of closure was yet another major blow to D.'s psyche, and understandably, it took months to overcome.
Despite the fact that while D. has struggled with infertility I have had two children (we were even both pregnant at the same time), we have grown closer and our friendship has grown stronger. Still, I know it hasn't always been easy for D. to confide in me, as it hasn't always been easy for me to talk to her. I have spent many a conversation with D. walking the extremely fine line of sharing too much at the risk of making her feel bad or carrying on with business as usual. Did D. really want to hear about Lucas' bath escapades or my plugged ducts when she was preparing herself emotionally and physically for a transfer?
And while I cannot possibly pretend that I truly know what D. has been going through, I do have a great appreciation for her emotional pain, having listened to her innermost feelings and thoughts. I can only imagine what it must be like to want something so very badly, something that we as women are innately destined for, yet to be faced with devastating defeat after devastating defeat. Most recently I have tried to convey to D. that she is still wonderful, still beautiful, still "woman" despite her own personal destiny.
I found myself thinking about D. the other night when I was nursing Justin at 3:30 A.M. I recently started a new a job in which I traded my work-at-home status for an hour commute each way, and in a moment of self-pity, I was thinking how hard the early months of infancy can be, particularly for a working, nursing mom like myself. But my thoughts quickly turned to D. I knew that she would trade literally anything in her life to be sitting in the rocker with Justin at that moment. And if I could trade anything in my life to give D. that gift, I would.
I know that D. and her husband will become parents, one way or another. They are considering alternate options to IVF, and D. will have my unwavering support whatever path she chooses. I also know that when she becomes a mother, it is going to be extra special for that child, as nothing makes a person appreciate what they have more than having been on the other side, faced with the fear of having nothing.
I'm thinking about you, D.