The Difference a Year Makes ~ Celebrating My Birthday

When we were struggling our way through infertility people always used to tell me, “Just remember – so much can happen in a year…” as a way to tell me to never lose hope. I’m not going to lie though, there were times over those years and years that I got frustrated and I did lose hope. One such instance was around this time last year, with my birthday approaching. I was feeling more and more bummed out as the date neared and one day just lost it.

I posted this on Instagram:

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A year ago I never could have imagined all that would happen in the year to come. I know that was just one of many moments of sadness, and I know there was so much joy surrounding so much of our life as well… but even in those moments of joy – I don’t think I could have ever imagined all that was to come.

In my 33rd year we were in our 6th year of trying to build a family. During that year we went through our 3rd failed IUI. We did our best to find a silver lining and spent our off season traveling to Vieques and San Francisco before preparing for our first round of IVF. It was a whirlwind of a spring between work and IVF treatments. We couldn’t believe that it actually worked and were overjoyed to finally see those two pink lines for the first time EVER. We lost that baby. We grieved. We clung to each other. We pushed each other away. We shopped and drank and ate out and went on lots of date nights. We prepared to move forward together and try again – even though we were scared out of our minds that the same could happen again. We worked and photographed amazing people and kept ourselves and our minds busy. We started looking for our first home together (somewhat suddenly, and rather unexpectedly for both of us, if I’m being honest)… and before we knew it we were putting an offer on one of the first homes we toured. Amid the flurry of house shopping and busy season – before we knew it the day had arrived for our frozen embryo transfer. On that same day our mortgage loan was approved. Ten days later – our prayers were answered… I found out I was pregnant again. We were scared… we were in disbelief… we were cautious. We ended all our sentences with, “God willing…” (and still do). We found out we were having TWINS. We closed on our first house. We worked. A lot. We packed. We moved. I was exhausted and nauseous and oh-so-grateful.

Last year at this time I was dealing with lots of anxiety and struggling through things. I worried that I might just never know what it felt like to have another life kicking inside of me. I let my grief swallow me whole now and then, but the important part was that we always got back up and kept moving forward. And I’m so thankful we did. Because now, here we are. Today I turn 34 years old and it is the first birthday in a long time that I haven’t felt anxious or bummed about another year passing. Last week we hit the 12-week mark with our twins. We are settling into our house (it’s still a disaster with boxes tucked in every corner… but it is ours, and it is home). Honestly, I NEVER could have dreamed of any of this that day I was laying on my bed in tears, feeling hopeless. If you had told me of all the unbelievable lows and incredible highs that were to come – I never would have believed it.

It really is amazing how much can change in a year. (Or a month, or a week, or a day… if we’re really getting down to it.) All of those people used to drive me crazy when they told me that (though I wanted so badly to believe them, I just couldn’t get myself there mentally). I wanted to tell them it had been YEARS. I wanted to tell them that maybe that was true for them, but not necessarily for us.

So if you are like I was… struggling to believe… to find hope… to take that next step forward… to be brave amid the pain and fear…

Let it all go.

Think of all that could happen in a year. Let yourself go there. Let yourself believe it and hope for it. Be brave. Let go of the pain and the fear. Take that next step.

Because next thing you know – you’ll be looking back in awe of all that can happen when you just will yourself to keep moving forward.


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(Photo by Tami Paige.)

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Christy & James are Chicago based but happily travel anywhere in the world that beautiful love stories take them!