I am still confident of this:
I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.
Wait for the Lord;
be strong and take heart
and wait for the Lord
Psalm 27: 13-14

Monday, January 7, 2013

After many years...

I finally did it!!!
For YEARS I have wanted a tattoo.  But have always held off.
The biggest reason?  Well, of course, because I was going to have 3 or more children and I didn't want to ruin a tattoo with stretching skin.
And, though I have 5 heaven babies and my earthly miracle Evan...I will say...the stretching skin has not been an issue.
I debated about holding off until our last and final transfer.  But then...I realised...I am so very tired of holding off.  I'm tired of "what if" and "maybe".  I'm tired.
I had finally decided, confidently, what I wanted tattooed on my body.  It is going to be here forever, so it better be right.
After our 13+ years of trying to have a family, after our losses, during the joy of Evan, and then recently in our loss of our baby, Faith...I knew.  I knew what this tattoo was.
And here it is...fresh after being done on January 4th, the day after my brutal post-op checkup...
"Still Standing"...
It has SO much meaning to me. 
Not just because of our struggle to have children.  Not just because of our losses.  Not just because of the gift of Evan. 
It goes beyond that.
Life has tried, on many occassions, to knock me down.  And, on occassion, I have wanted to stay down because fighting to get back up just felt SO hard.
But, I've always chosen to get back up.  Not to be defeated.  I may be a bit scarred along the way, but I wasn't going to let the wounds remain a bloody mess.  No, I was going to get up and find a way to heal.  Yes, the scars remain, but they prove I have fought and am fighting to rise above.
I can't believe just HOW clichè this post is sounding!  ME, of all people, the anti-clichè person...a post filled with them.
But...it's true.  These words are true.
I am still standing.  Through it all.  I refuse to stay beaten down.  I refuse to give up.  I refuse to let disappointments and broken dreams/heart and pains of life keep me down.
Ya, they will remain a part of me...and that is ok.
But they will not rule me. 
The eternity heart was a symbol I had hoped to integrate in the tattoo, and I'm so glad that we did.  She did a GREAT job!  A tribute to all of our babies.  That we will love each and every one of our babies until we all reunite for an eternity in heaven :)
This tattoo is for me.  It's a constant reminder.  It's an encouragement.  It's a kick in the behind when I need it.
That tattoo appointment was more therapeutic than any session with a therapist!
The "pain" of the tattoo itself was nothing compared to the pain my heart has felt. 
I was able to share with my tattoo artist the meaning behind this tattoo.  Our losses, Evan, our recent loss in November, our "journey".  This girl is 21.  I thought maybe what I was saying would be lost...but...she was more amazing than she will ever know!  After her condolences she bravely asked "I hope you don't mind me asking, and if you aren't up to talking about just let me know if I'm overstepping boundaries here but..." and asked questions of our reason of infertility (of which there is no known medical reason), and about our losses.  She was freely discussing with me...and she has NO idea how much that meant to me!!!!!! 
She showed interest, care, empathy, respectful curiosity...but most of all she showed that she acknowledged the lives of all our children.  And it was SUCH a freeing time for me!!!
The whole night was just so liberating and freeing! 
When I got home from my appointment Brett commented that he hasn't seen me this excited in a long time!  And it's true.  OK, don't get me wrong...this is outside of each positive pregnancy test, babies, Evan...this excitement had to do with strictly ME :)  Something I chose to do just for me.
And I LOVE LOVE LOVE it!  I keep staring at my arm and smiling! 
I do have one more tattoo planned.  It is my memorial/tribute/closure tattoo.  However, this one I do plan to wait to do until after our final transfer.  Should this final transfer not be successful, then it will definitely be fitting and appropriate...and I will need that.
Last night at my parents we were all remembering when my older brother was the first to come with a tattoo and how my mom thought it was a joke at first, then tried to pick at it believing it was a sticker and then was not too impressed (my parents were not supporters of tattoos back then ;) ), and then calling my dad to "come and see what your son has done". 
However, since it was dad's Clan Crest (my dad is 100% born and raised Scottish for those who don't know us personally)...I think that softened the "blow". :)  hee hee hee
My younger brother carried on the tattoo "trend".
So, thank you brothers for paving the way for your sister :)
This year did not start out the way we had envisioned with planning for our baby's arrival in July.
2012 ended with sadness and loss, and 2013 has begun with heart ache and sorrow, however, we will continue to live in the love and joy that each day provides our family.  We will continue to stive for peace and hold on to hope for whatever may come.  We embrace every moment with Evan and the life, love, laughter and joy he brings to our lives.
Regardless...this will be a year of change.  Whether it be exciting change or closure change.
Once our final transfer is done...it's done. 
Whatever that transfer results, our journey with ARTs (artificial reproductive technology) will come to a close.  7 years of ARTs, 13+ years of trying for children...
After great loss and sorrow, I am choosing to begin 2013...Still Standing.

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