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A Letter…

so beautifully written…

from scarymommy.com:

**

To our little embryos, the ones that failed to implant after our IVF transfer:

I wish I knew why things work out the way they do, but I don’t.

I don’t know why you didn’t stick around (literally) the way I hoped and prayed you would. I don’t know why our IVF transfers failed, why you didn’t grow into the beautiful little babies I imagined you could have been. I don’t know why I’ll never get to hear your hearts beat, feel your tiny feet kick, or swell with your growing life inside of me.

I don’t know why you weren’t meant to become my children. I don’t know why the children I already have won’t get to call you siblings or why my parents won’t get to call you grandbabies.

I don’t know why I won’t get to call you by the names I so carefully chose for you.

I don’t know why I was chosen to bear the burden of infertility. I don’t know why I can’t just be “normal” or why my body so strongly resists giving me what my heart desires.

I don’t know why you left me empty in so many places—my womb, my heart, the part of my soul that attached to you when the doctor put you inside of me. I don’t know how long the holes you left will take to close. I don’t know if they ever will.

I don’t know a lot of things, little embryos, but I do know this:

For you—and for all you gave me in our short time together—I am grateful.

I am grateful for the sense of purpose you gave me.

I am grateful because you made me feel like something bigger than myself (and I’m not just talking about all the bloating from the hormones and IVF medications). You made me feel responsible for protecting you. You made my body feel like a gift instead of a curse. You made me aware of the fragility of life, and you taught me how to cherish it.

You made me feel like I was worth something, like I was something.

I am grateful for the 11 days of “pregnancy” you gave me.

I am grateful because in that short span of time we spent together before my negative blood test, I got to feel like any other pregnant woman, even if I was never technically pregnant at all. I got to make decisions based on what was best for you. I got to request decaf coffee and hard-cooked eggs at the diner we went to for breakfast. I got to avoid hot baths and heating pads, even when I was cramping. I got to practice prenatal yoga and monitoring my own heart rate so it never rose above 140.

I got to feel just a touch of that unique pregnancy paradox—to experience something that’s so innately natural, yet so breathtakingly extraordinary.

I am grateful for the memories you gave me.

I am grateful because even though I feel an emptiness now, I remember the fullness I felt when we were together. I remember how it felt when you filled me with love and optimism, with promise and possibility. I remember how it felt when you filled me with life.

I remember how it felt to carry you in my body and in my heart. I remember you. And I always will.

And for that, little embryos, I am grateful.

So even though we’ve parted ways, even though our destinies were not meant to intertwine, even though I am sitting here at my computer typing you this letter through tears of grief, I am grateful.

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Bali, you were so very magical. 

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questions

4+ years trying to conceive

3 rounds IVF

1 round IUI

2 years of acupuncture

thousands of dollars spent on fertility meds/herbs

countless days and nights of bloating, soreness, frustration, mood swings, and tears 

Throughout the 3 years we have been trying to have a baby, there have been two lingering questions:

  1. Why do you want a child?
  2. Would you be able to live without one if all fails? 

First off, I do get a bit peeved when I get presented with the first question from others because I find the question itself ridiculous (despite the fact that I’m often asking myself this very question…. but it stops today!). Why exactly do I have to reflect on WHY I want a child? It almost seems as if I’m being prompted to think about the core reason for wanting to get pregnant as a probe into whether or not I want one for the “right” reasons, or to convince me that maybe I don’t have a just desire. How do I answer this question, exactly? “I want a baby so I can buy him/her cute outfits. I want a new accessory. They’re cute.” Is this what they’re hoping to hear? Teenagers who knocked up by their high school boyfriend aren’t required to do the same soul searching before being given a life to take care of. Women who get pregnant without plans are not asked to give a reason for needing a baby because they did NOT want the baby to begin with. Well, then why do I need to ask myself the reason for wanting a child?

Secondly, I do wonder if David and I will be able to live the rest of our lives without children. This thought scares me beyond belief, considering all the struggles we have had the past three years. In the beginning of our journey, not having kids seemed like such an impossibility.. It was just a natural order of events for me.

You get married. You learn to cohabit. You have to share your crap. You have kids.

But as time goes on, the possibility becomes more and more hauntingly real.

I don’t think I can do it.  

I realized that I can’t give up on this hope, and the reason lies not entirely because I crave motherhood so much (which I do).. it’s more so because I will never be able to let go of David not being able to be experience fatherhood. This man was BORN to be a father. He was BORN to raise children who are thoughtful, caring, and god-fearing individuals. I know our children will feel safe in our home and loved by both their heavenly and earthly father. It infuriates me to know how many fathers there are in this world who do not take the incredible burden of fatherhood seriously, while this amazing man is robbed of the experiences every month that our treatments are unsuccessful. He is just so full of love and nurture and it is dying for an outlet. The pup has been a good placeholder for the time being.

So, how’s that for a reason?

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My heart hurts today.

I have been in the classroom as an educator for over a decade now, and a majority of these years were spent serving African-American students. I fear for every single kid who has passed through my classroom because they live in a world that is so full of injustice and hate. Faces flash through my mind as I think of the struggles they will face as black males. They WILL be treated differently because of the color of their skin, the neighborhoods they grew up in, the families they were born into. JH, RS, ZB, DG, DD and more – kids whose parents fear for their futures.

I made the difficult decision this year to leave the NYC Department of Education for a private school in our neighborhood. This new setting is the furthest from what I am used to teaching. I will be teaching kids from wealthy families who are able to afford a private education in one of the most expensive cities known. These students come from highly privileged, extremely educated, and undoubtedly powerful families.

I’ve been wrestling with my pride for a while after I decided to make this change in my life. I couldn’t help but feel like I let people down. It had been my dream to change lives in underprivileged neighborhoods, “Dangerous Minds” style. Frankly, I felt like a total sell-out. Teaching in a public school in Harlem broke me down emotionally, spiritually, and even physically. I caved, gave up, and moved out.

Today I came to a brand new realization. I will be educating future leaders. As much of an advocate I’ve been trying to be in the African American community as a teacher, maybe that just isn’t where God wants me to put my energy in. God has granted me these experiences teaching in diverse classrooms in order to build up the futures of these kids who will grow up to be the policy makers, politicians, leaders of tomorrow.

I will teach them to love.

152354-love-each-other

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Here in NYC, the second and last week of testing has finally come and gone. This year was especially gruesome for the teachers and kids.

The teachers give these suggestions for what they can do after the students are done with their test in the event that there is more time left on the clock:
– CHECK OVER YOUR WORK
– put your head down
– take a nap

What the students have been observed doing to pass their time until their peers are done with their test are listed below. Any and all may apply to the behaviors of each of the 20 students.

– stare at the second hand on the clock in anticipation for the end of testing.
– stare at their pencil.
– examine their knuckles
– take a nap (snoring may apply)
– stare at the ceiling
– pinch arm fat
– repeatedly roll the pencil from top of desk to bottom. Catch it if it rolls off the desk.
– play with bloody band aid
– read the cover of the test booklet over and over…and over again
– pretend ruler is a diving board that their eraser has to jump off. Proceed to whisper “ahhhhhhh” as it the eraser plunges to it’s fate.

Thank gawd testing is over.

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His plan

One day, we will look back and say, “Wow. This is what God had planned all along.”

Patiently looking forward to that moment when all is realized.

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