There’s a beautiful arboretum about 50 minutes from my house that I realized recently has become sort of a staple through my infertility journey. The first time I went there was for my 27th birthday, May 2010. I was still “pregnant” with the ectopic pregnancy from my third clomid/IUI. Carlos and I took the day off of work and took our little niece M there. It was a difficult but good day, somehow. I was still reeling from the ectopic, still trying to make sense of it, but also starting to feel happiness again and feel less like I was drowning from the sorrow.
Fast forward to May 2012. Carlos and I booked a photographer to take family shots for Leopold’s first birthday at the arboretum. They turned out beautifully and I still have them framed around our house. We became members at that time and I’ve taken Leopold there countless times over the spring and fall to let him run among the trees, in the children’s garden. I’ve watched him go from taking shaky first steps to running across fields, diaperless away from me.
September 2012, after my beta blood draw, I took Leopold to the same Arboretum expecting to get a phone call of the bad news that our first injectible IUI was a failure. It was, I started bleeding at the park, but I was with my son and I focused on the beauty of the Arboretum and the joy my son brought me.
In November 2012, blogger friend Josey came to stay with us and we took the kids to the Arboretum. It was an unusually warm fall day and we watched as our little miracles ran about in the children’s garden and sat together in a little play house kicking their feet back and forth and giggling.
This past week, I went back to the Arboretum. This time with blogger friend Sarah and her little girl. Both of us pregnant with our second little miracles, talking carefully about our hopes and dreams for our number twos (knock on wood and all of that), our fears, and how freaking lucky we are to be here.
It’s grounding to keep going back to the same place, to feel I’ve come full circle in a way there. Each time I return, I’m reminded how far I’ve come from the beginning, what my first trip here was like. Full of hopelessness and trying to be content and fulfilled being an aunt when my heart wanted a child of my own so badly. From the lowest of the lows, to now — feeling such deep gratitude for all that we have and how far we’ve come.
Amazing. So surreal. It’s become a place where I reflect on all the good things – where I come to enjoy the beauty of nature, the happiness I feel with my son, to spend time with great friends (IFers and non). I love that I started going there at my lowest so I can enjoy the view from the the top so to speak. Each time I visit, it’s an amazing dose of perspective.