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Happy National Infertility Awareness Week!

Yes, I said happy.

Happy because this year, in honor of this holiday, we enjoyed a not-pregnant picnic of sushi, cookie dough, lunch meat, soft cheese, wine, tuna salad and caffeinated beverages. You would think we would feel sick after eating such a buffet but we felt… great.

Last year, in celebration of National Infertility Awareness Week, we jumped 13,000 feet form the air with a Bud Light (oh, and a parachute). That was the beginning of a year of many leaps and bounds. Today we decided to try something new – to stay as close to the ground as possible.

It is easy to say that infertility sucks. Our family finding stories are what everyone with fertility challenges fears the most – IVF not working (this happened to me. Twice) or an adoption falling through (cue Stephanie). But this week is not about what we don’t have but rather what we do have. From where we’re sitting, we see now that all of the pain – the ugly, desperate sorrow – prepares our hearts to feel an even deeper joy. This raw joy is a lot like raw chocolate chip cookie dough. It is seen as being risky to eat and bad for you but it tastes like home.

img_4193I can’t think of a better way to kick off National Infertility Awareness Week than jumping out of a plane. Skydiving has an exhilarating affect, one that saturates every cell in the body with 100% pure joy. For all the moments in the Assisted Reproduction experience where I felt the situation is unfair, or I was hurt by someone saying insensitive, stinging words, or gossiping about what we may or may not be up to, flying through the sky has a magical way of erasing all of that.

I had many memorable moments at 13,000, 11,000, 9,000 feet – a sentimental one when Steph and I toasted a Bud Light, one of awe of seeing the Atlantic Ocean and patterned farmland in the same field of sight, another where I felt the sky as a comfortable blanket rather than a distant, mysterious space that contains only clouds, birds and airplanes. The feeling that resonated the most, one that I take with me to my steps on the ground, is the feeling of personal power. Anyone who has experienced infertility, or utilized technology to procreate understands the many layers of hardship it entails. We hand over our bodies to modern science, and mother nature, at great cost. There are no fair choices or solid explanations and powerlessness prevails. But we really are very powerful, we just don’t know it until we jump out of a plane sometimes.

Not having babies the way everyone else does has taught me not to wait around for life to happen, but to live each moment to the fullest. That is powerful. In the past few months I have soared deep and high and, regardless of the outcome, I know where my heart lies. High in the sky.