In July 2009 – somewhere in the midst of a very dark place, trapped between the utter despair of my 4th failed IVF and hope for success at my impending 5 FET, having no inkling that in less than 5 months, I’d become a mother. I did a posting, inspired by another blogger, about the face of infertility.
I wanted to come back to this posting because I finally had a happy ending and the original post felt incomplete.
So here we go, round no. 2:
Ok, so here I am at approximately 3 years old, way back in 1975 with my bunny Flopsy! Flopsy broke my heart, Flopsy taught me that all living things eventually die.
My first day of school, way back in 1978, I was all of 5 & a half years old, I was very timid and shy but quickly learned that if I wasn’t going to stand up for myself when my Mommy wasn’t there nobody else would stand up for me either.
My first day of high school, 13 years old, a whole new world of opportunity opened up to me. My hobbies changed from horse riding and swimming to boys and Bon Jovi. I got my first bra and thought I was incredibly grown up.
My Standard 8 (Grade 10) dance. I was all of 16 years old and learned the hard lesson that you should be careful of what you want in life because sometimes when you get it, it’s not really what you wanted to start with.
19 years old, our end of year college dance,my first year out of school, studying in Stellenbosch, I learned about living alone, about standing on my own two feet. It was also the start of my rebellious stage, I’m sure 90% of the grey hairs on my parents heads can be attributed to me during this time. Life was for living and boy was I making sure I was living it.
My first wedding, I was 24 years old, damn, I learned some hard lesson during my first marriage. I learned that rebound relationships are doomed to fail, I met my ex husband 6 months after having my heart-broken by the then greatest love of my life. I learned that regardless of how much I fight against it, my parents do know me best and that no matter how hard-headed I am, sometimes I should take the time to listen to them. I learned that once a cheater always a cheater, I learned that once a man smacks you once, no matter how much he convinces you otherwise, he will smack you again. I learned that people could try to tear me down, break my spirit but that the one thing they could never take away from me was my class and that I would never stoop to such low levels.
Here I am at 27, newly divorced, doing my best to recapture my early twenties, trying to heal the wounds of my abusive, failed, marriage, trying not to live up to the stigma attached to being a young divorcé. Major rebellious streak during this phase as well, lots of anti anxiety medication, lots of anti depressant, lots of rough parties with friends and then I fell back into the old cycle of abusive by getting myself a new boyfriend, one that felt he should control my every move, my every thought, one who felt it was his duty to decide everything for me, right down to the clothes I wore, the friends I hung out with and my curfew. Thank you God I was able to break that cycle….
My second wedding day in the space of a decade. Two months past my 30th birthday, I was living the mantra “Life Begins At 30″. I couldn’t believe my good fortune, I’d moved away from my family, was living in a new city with a brand new life. I had an amazing man in my life, my best friend ever, who I was about to marry. We’d just finished building our own home and were planning to start a family right away. My wedding photo’s still make me sad today, I look at our faces and realize we had no inkling of the heart-break we were going to face only 6 weeks past our wedding day, our lives would change forever, our innocence would be taken and we’d be plunged into the greatest battle of our lives.
This photo was taken exactly 4 days after we’d had confirmation that I was busy loosing our baby, our 6th pregnancy, our 6th miscarriage. It was also the day of my Mom’s 60th birthday and as a birthday gift to her, we’d arrange to go into a studio and have a bunch of family portraits done. I’d secretly hoped that on her 60th Birthday I’d be able to give her a scan shot of her first grand child, I was crushed that was not to be. Not only was my heart completely broken, but I felt tremendously guilty at letting my parents, who are still to this day yet to experience the joy of being grandparents. I learned during this phase, that even when the depths of your pain is so great, you can get through it, you can live from one moment to the next, from one breath to the next because looking too far ahead is too painful and too overwhelming to bare. I was 34 years old.
Christmas 2008, a big year behind us, I’d learned that my husband truly was my best friend, I’d learned that even when it felt as if the world was against me, I would always rely on him to have my back. I learned that I can live a life that is full of joy despite what pain I may be dealing with. I learned that life can be full of heart ache and disappointment but that if we choose to, we can still be happy.
On my original post, I ended with this photo and quote:
So this is the face of a triumphant woman. A woman who has faced adversity and succeeded in spite of it all. A woman who has survived and broken the cycle of abuse, this is the woman who has survived much heart ache, this is a woman who’s plumper, more lined and less physically beautiful than she was before, but is so much more beautiful on the inside because of all the scars that life’s knocks have created.
This is the face of a woman who has learned to be fearless, this is the face of a woman who has learned she can do anything she wants to do, who can be anything she wants to be!
This woman is me!
I though that was the end of my story. But it wasn’t.
This is where my story ends for now. But does it ever really end? This year or next year or in 10 years, I’ll face more challenges and more adversity, life wouldn’t be life without those things. And yes, I’m older, more wrinkled and wobbly but there is a light in my eyes that was not there before and it’s because of a joy that I get to experience on a daily basis.
In some ways my eyes have gone back to the way they looked when I was 13, 16, 19… there is hope & joy in them once again!