Since we’re just 8 days away from 2022, I wanted to share ‘5 Moments from 2021″ as I reflect back on the past year. I’m planning to sign off from blogging and social media during the holiday break. God willing, I will be back the first week of 2022- still large and pregnant.
2021- In a Nutshell
To sum it up in one sentence- 2021 was the most intensely emotional rollercoaster of my life. Our highest highs and lowest lows- all in 365 days. Every year I reflect back and am in awe of how life often changes in a year. But, this year, I look back and can’t believe how much has changed. I can’t believe how much I have changed. Some of my naivety surrounding life and trusting “what is meant to be, will be” is gone, and that’s okay. Maybe I’m salty. Maybe I’m just realistic. 2021 was a major learning process, and in that process, I learned to love deeper, appreciate more, and let go of control.
So here are my 5 moments from 2021.
I can honestly say this was the worst day of my life. As I snapped the picture, I wondered why I was even caring to document the moment. At that point, I had unknowingly walked around with our son who had stopped growing. It’s hard to remember all the things I did before we knew. We celebrated my birthday, and it was the happiest I had ever been. When you pray to be pregnant for so long, get pregnant, and then literally carry death inside of you- it changes you. Looking back now, I realize why I took this picture. I took this picture, because I knew in this moment, I would be changed. I realized I was strong. This is the moment where our world fell apart, but I still somehow felt grateful. And I felt guilty that I felt grateful. I felt grateful, because I was finally able to get pregnant. But I also felt the most intense anger I’ve ever experienced. In this moment, I stopped pretending I wasn’t struggling and just accepted it. I decided to share more and talk about all we had been through. I will still never understand why God and the universe would make this happen. To finally give us a baby only to take him away before he was even enough to hold. It just seems so unfair. Some people will say this baby was taken from us so that we could have the healthy guy we’re expecting in February. Maybe that’s true. Maybe it means the Baby Boy Young I’m currently growing will always have a guardian angel. I like to believe that, but I’ll always wish we could have both.
Spring 2021 was a time where we felt so much love and did a bunch of fun things. We decided to celebrate George’s first birthday in a big way. Shocking, I know. We had about 30 friends, family, and fur friends over to celebrate the big occasion. I had a blast making party favors and prepping all the human and dog snacks. We even served dog champagne. It’s true what they say about dogs being human’s best friend. Our furboy truly means everything to us. He is our best buddy, and being able to celebrate him is something I will always remember.
This was the week we had- what ended up being- our fifth failed IUI attempt. This was also just a few days before Mother’s Day. Another Mother’s Day that fell during a “two-week wait.” Which meant no wine to help me through. It was my first Mother’s Day as a “miscarriage mom”. On this day, my mom offered to take me to an appointment at our clinic. Afterwards, she sat with me and encouraged me as she always does. Neither my mother nor my sister know the struggle of infertility or loss, but they have been two of my biggest sources of support. Over the last year, they have inspired me to be more like them- patient, devoted, empathetic. My mom acknowledged my fear, sadness, and anxiety. But, on this day, she gently encouraged me to believe that next Mother’s Day things would be different. I’ve always felt grateful for my mom, but this is the year I feel like I learned to appreciate her 1000%.
The last day of the 2020/2021 school year. I still cannot believe I managed to survive the school year. The women standing here are the reason for it. Teaching for 180 days during a pandemic while undergoing fertility treatments will certainly change a girl. This was the year that I truly learned to let go of all of my ‘Type A ways.’ I still default to over-planning and organizing, but I don’t stress when things change. Zoom teaching was a disaster that I would never like to revisit. I felt most awful for the parents who had to endure the sound of my voice reverberating from their child’s screen on remote-learning days. They are the true heroes. This school year taught me that having a solid group of coworkers you can count on makes all the difference. It we all sink, we sink together. But, when we soar, it’s together. That’s pretty darn awesome. Teaching in the 2020/2021 school year was a definite mix of sinking and soaring. I’ve never doubted my love for teaching, but this year somehow made me fall deeper in love with my profession. I found out I was pregnant again just two weeks before this picture was taken not he last day of school. As I walked out of my classroom, I got a little choked up. I knew that when I returned in the fall, life would be different.
Let me just start by saying, I cannot believe I’m sharing this picture on here. Our family and close friends have been laughing about it for months. To be clear, we’ve never hoped for or pictured ourselves with X # of kids of X gender. From the moment we found out I was pregnant again in June, I had convinced myself it was a girl. For weeks, I would talk to the baby and say encouraging things to ‘her.’ We figured we would find out when our NIPT results came in and then surprise our families a few days later with a small ‘gender reveal’. This baby had other plans- 100% on-brand with the way Baby Young has been this entire pregnancy. As I lay there for our 13 week ultrasound, “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” blasted on the technician’s computer. I looked at Ben and said, “That’s a sign! I knew it was a girl. ” About five minutes later, the technician was laughing and said, “Okay, you guys told me you want to know the sex. I can tell you right now if you want!” We never envisioned finding out on the fly like that, but we both instantly said, “Yes! We want to know!” She explained to us that my “feeling” was 100% wrong. Our baby was 100% a boy. This is the only moment I have ever seen Ben literally have his breath taken away. He clutched my hand and got teared up. This was the a rare moment where our joy and elation outweighed our fear during an ultrasound. It is a moment I will always remember. She then pointed out the fact that he was so sweetly grabbing his penis in the picture. Let’s hope this isn’t his preferred sleep position once he arrives.
There’s a funny meme going around about the year 2022. It says something like, ‘no one claim 2022 as ‘their year’. Go in quietly and don’t say anything.” The past two years have given everyone in the universe a reason to feel anything but optimistic about the future. Some people are entering 2022 still feeling broken. 2021 was the year that broke me, but then gave me the most incredible reason to feel hopeful again. I will forever be grateful for that and try to live recognizing and appreciating that. We continue to pray that 2022 brings us our healthy baby boy in just a few weeks. I can’t wait to get this guy in my arms, tell him I love him, and also ask, “What the heck have you been doing in there during this entire time? Do you know how much you made us worry?” I hope 2022 holds only happy memories, and I’m pretty confident it will be another year of pretty wild growth. (I’m about to become THE most clueless first-time mom you‘ve ever seen. I have a feeling it is going to be quite comical.) In 365 days, I hope to be in awe of all that has happened. Thanks for being here in 2021. I hope your holiday is restful and filled with whatever you heart needs. See ya in 2022!