29 November 2018

Let's Get Personal

I'm not one that really shares a lot about my personal life. Those close to me, I'm totally an open book, but other than that, I'm a bit quiet. I'm writing this post as a way to express something that I've been quiet about. And, as we head into the Holiday season where we are with family, friends, and acquaintances, maybe this will remind you to choose small talk and words more carefully.

I got married in 2004 to my college sweetheart! Do you know that after you're married everyone always asks "when are you going to to have kids?" Answer: when we are settled: career, location, home.

In 2009, we figured we had finally settled into our careers and purchased a home, so we decided we would start a family. The answer now to "when are you going to have kids?" became, "I already have x# that I deal with each day!" - it became a response that was so much easier. See, after several years we were in the "unexplained infertility" category. I know a lot fall into that, but no one ever knows because we don't want to discuss it; we are ashamed. We finally got confirmation in 2013 that yes, we could have a child, but our only option was IVF (totally skipping IUI). In 2014, we had finally saved up enough money and froze 10 embryos. For our first transfer, we initially transferred 2, but only one stuck. I didn't think much about the embryo we lost - after 5 years we were finally expecting! Once we were pregnant, I never was shy about her costing $30,000, or that she was a product of IVF. Our beautiful daughter was finally born in August 2015. We were over the moon!

Then, the question became "when are you going to have another?" Our plan was to wait until our daughter was close to 2 to try for another. When that time came, we started the process. Thinking it would be easier now that we knew our process and we still had 8 embryos, we were very wrong. We ran into issues - it took 4 different doctors, several procedures, and about a year of time before we finally got the okay to move forward with a transfer. The date was set for September!

As the school year was beginning, life was getting crazy. My in-laws moved in, so that added 2 adults and 2 dogs to our home; I picked up an additional course, so I was now teaching 4/3 (and on top of the more than full time schedule, each of my classes was a different course); I said yes to supporting another beginning teacher, making it 2 new teachers with one off-site; and I was still department chair. At a time I needed to be relaxed and calm, I was stressed to the max!! 

It's been about 60 days since we found out we lost our little embryo. I can't help but feel like I did something wrong. I'm told I didn't, but with the added stress I induced, how can I feel otherwise? We still have plans to try again. Right now we are waiting for the body to recover from the medications, the insurance claims to catch up, and the bank accounts to replenish.

Over the next month or so, all of us will be going to several holiday parties. Skip the small talk! Don't ask, friends of not, when they will get married, when they will have kids, when they will have the next kid, ect. It isn't your business and you have no idea what struggle they may be facing. It seems so simple, but those conversations have lasting affects.

I guess as educators, the same can be said with those conversations in the classroom that we have with students. They may be late to school because they struggle to have a reliable ride. They might not have finished that assignment you gave because they weren't able to go home (or don't have a home), or have to take care of siblings since parents aren't home. In the scheme of it all, while we think our class and school is a priority, it just really isn't for many - they have way too many other life things going on.

Okay... personal life story done!

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