It’s December 31st, and with only a few hours left until we kick off the New Year, I have to say that 2009 was a very good year- despite a few down moments, it was mostly a wonderful year. And since 2010 marks a brand new decade (I know, I know- technically next year- but there’s no more “O’s” so it’s a new one!) , I also have to reminisce fondly upon the past 10 years and be thankful for all of the blessings in my life; mostly the sweet and adorable person peacefully sleeping next to me as I write this.
Ten years ago- 1999- was the beginning of my life as I now know it. After a sudden break-up with a boyfriend (coincidentally it was our one year anniversary and the same day that I had my wisdom teeth removed- how pleasant!), my step-mom had gently urged me to place an on-line dating ad. So, I did- without a photo. I wish I could remember what my ad said, but whatever it was, it elicited enough responses that took my BFF and I three entertaining hours to read (and delete!). One of those responses came from the moniker Snobrdn1 on 9/11/99 … “likes snowboarding… movies, PIZZA…jogging… loves children and considers family to be one of the most important things in life. Gainfully employed, a fellow student, loyal, good sense of humor, loves to laugh… lookin’ for a relationship and a best friend.” Hmm… interesting- fast forward to a few weeks and we actually met on 10/ 15. Unfortunately, the start to our relationship was rocky: I was working at a job that I hated… and was having some self-esteem problems- this contributed to me being unhappy with myself and not able to invest emotionally in the relationship. Jason stuck by me though and was my biggest cheerleader through job hunting, a brief illness and college graduation in 2000. We eventually moved in together in an apartment near my school and closer to his work in 2000.
2001 was a year to remember with happiness and great sadness: we got engaged; we bought our first house; Jason graduated from college; I lost my grandmother and grandfather on my mom’s side, and a cousin on my dad’s side within a few months of each other, I got laid off from my job shortly after; spent the summer on unemployment and finishing up a math class (so not math minded!) and found a new job. That was also the year of 9/11- and a terrible tragedy that will never be forgotten. I heard about it on the radio as I was on my way to work and called Jason to tell him to watch the news. The industry that I was working in was affected directly by it and I was laid off from yet another job…. and just when we thought our first Christmas in our new house was going to be pretty dismal, I started a great new job on December 18th (I’ve been there since!).
In 2002- March 23rd- we tied the knot and spent the following day at a Kings/ Lakers game (we have rival teams!), honeymooned in Vega$, bought a new (to us) car; Jason started a new job as a Systems Administrator…. it was a good year! The following years were spent getting into the grove of being a married couple, figuring out the extended family dynamics, becoming DIY home fixer-uppers (I found out I love painting!), watching friends come and go, traveling…. and we began trying to start our own family in 2004.
In 2005, we moved into our current house (around our wedding anniversary!), I started my Pampered Chef business- we were happy and busy. Work was going well for both of us and our relationship was definitely on solid ground, but that piece was missing. Unfortunately, we also experienced our first heartbreaking miscarriage and thus began the start of our infertility issues. It was even more so as we watched friends and family begin their own families. I became deniably and silently hostile towards those women lucky enough to have children, anti-baby shower…. It was hard but I only became aware of that several months ago as I look back. And each month that I had a visit from Aunt Flo I became bitterer and more frustrated. Our marriage held together even though I tried to emotionally withdrawn from the experience. The one positive aspect was that we could pick up and go on trips and little adventures whenever we wanted. I knew deep in my heart that Jason really wanted to experience these with a family of his own; I pretended that I didn’t care as it hurt my heart too much. The question on everyone’s mind, “When are you two going to have kids?,” was just too much…. We hadn’t really let anyone know that we were having problems conceiving and staying pregnant, and unfortunately the ‘trying’ part was starting to not be any fun either- it was just too much stress to deal with. Anyone who has had fertility problems will understand; and if you haven’t, be thankful for that.
I wish that I could point out some moments from 2005 through 2008 that were so wonderful that they overshadowed our problem. I can’t; we had fun and experienced a lot together but we wanted a baby. We started the process with our medical provider ten months before we got the results we wanted- it was a lot of classes, a lot of medical tests and medication, some humility but last year, we got our Christmas wish- on 12/27/2008, after two faulty pregnancy tests (mind you that we have spent a BUNCH of money on these!) the third one registered an answer- one that we were waiting for- two little lines. As exciting as it was, we had to wait three more weeks until our first ultrasound, and in January of this year, we got to see the strong little heartbeat of our child. It was amazing… but emotionally taxing to wait out the first trimester.
At 12 weeks- the odds of miscarriage drops significantly- we felt a bit more relief and finally delivered the news to our families. Each four weeks marked a new milestone and we became more excited over the prospect of FINALLY having our child. Fortunately, the pregnancy itself was uneventful, and when we found out on April 4th that we were having a girl, I was over the moon! So fast forward to August, and out pops little Kiera- and what a miracle and life changing event it has been. Our relationship has been tested through all of this and now we are rewarded and so much stronger for it- that is the silver lining that I can take out of the fertility experience. I also now have the gift of that experience and can be a shoulder to lean on for a very dear friend who is also going through the same thing right now… I would never understand the heartbreak had I not have gone through it myself. We also very much cherish every single moment that we have with Baby Kiera- she was worth the wait.
2009 marks the year that I had the best day of my life- August 18th to be exact. I am, though, looking forward to everything that the next year has in store for our family. We all have our health; we have jobs; despite the sharp drop in our equity, we have a home that we can afford and that finally does feel like home; we have food in our fridge and shoes on our feet; we get to share good times with great friends and family… we are blessed with what we need, and can even manage to afford what ‘want.’ It is a lot to be thankful for and to look forward to! Happy New Year Everyone…..