Typically, I wait until the end of the year to do retrospective posts, but as I approach my thirty-fourth birthday, I am struck again by how insane this past year has been.
A little over a year ago, we lost Lily, my wife and I’s first opportunity to be parents after trying for more than a year and going through the less invasive course of fertility treatments available. It was my second loss after having had one in a previous relationship. Annie and I struggled for some time blaming ourselves, but as afraid as I was (Annie was ready to try again before we were out of the hospital), we came together and decided to try again.
Then in March, my grandmother passed away. I will never forget her trying to draw hard-fought-breaths through a tiny tube hanging below her nose as she had a near panic attack thinking that she wouldn’t be able to see our child in Guelph because it was too far for her to drive with her oxygen tank. She was one of the people in my family I was closest to growing up, but we hadn’t maintained the same closeness when I moved away after college, and I’ll always be sad about that.
Then in September of this year, we lost Anika, our second chance at being parents. We were basically told in a kind but firm way by our high-risk OBGYN not to try again. The chances are that any subsequent pregnancies would turn out the same. I never thought that the two tattoos I’d get next after my compass rose on my right wrist would be memorials to my two dead daughters, but here we are… one on my left wrist and the other on my chest. We are still struggling to figure out what we are going to do next when it comes to our family.
On top of those losses, I’ve been struggling with a worsening depression again, and my anxiety has been all over the map. I am going to see my doctor tomorrow for assistance with the symptoms of what’s going on with me. Annie has also been struggling with grief as the potential of having a traditional family starts to fade. We have continued to lean on each other for support, but it has been hard and there are worrying questions sometimes wondering how we survive all of this as a couple.
On a professional note, I ended up leaving 10up, a mostly fantastic company where I felt painted into a corner. I had a stint with Fortrus Financial, a very good idea that never really got off the ground level. And now I’m at Sandbox Software Solutions, where I’m still trying to find my place and carve out a role for myself in an organization transitioning from a small to a medium-sized agency.
The hardest thing about the last year is that Annie and I had so many plans, and we ended up not feeling in control of anything, so if we seem extra frustrated when something small gets in our way or is out of our control, hopefully you’ll understand why.
Life continues to move forward, but not in the ways we expected or wanted. It has been a really, really rough year.