A life filled with” firsts”

By: Colleen Parise



Originally posted here

“I went pee on the potty!!!” Instantly one pictures a toddler proudly boasting this news to their beaming parents standing above them on their training toilet. This quote instead came from me this Tuesday screaming out of the bathroom to Lou. This week my progress and recovery after the retrieval has been measured in a similar manner to the glorious milestones of a young child. I am proud to say I earned all of my gold star stickers since Tuesday, now able to go to the bathroom without any ailments, and almost sleep through the entire night. The frequent urge to use the bathroom throughout the evening has subsided and I am able to sleep for more than 30 minutes at a time all night, which is greatly appreciated.
Colleen Parise

Colleen Parise Catherine King Photography http://Catherine-king-photography.com

This week started off extremely rough, but as it always does, it got much easier. On Wednesday I returned to work and was humbled at the warm welcome of all of my coworkers. The genuine concern and questioning all day was unbelievably kind and appreciated. One co worker even baked me cookies upon my return. My entire life, I have been the one who always worries about others, sends the check in messages, cards for everything (my friends often joke I keep Hallmark in business), it was nice to be on the receiving end of such thoughtfulness. Each day that passes I am feeling more like myself again. If I could just get this swollen midsection to disappear I would be overjoyed. I look and feel like a beach ball. I am beyond ready to be deflated. I gained 13 pounds throughout this IVF cycle, which is so very frustrating for several reasons. I realize it is for something that cannot be measured in pounds, but for me especially I am having a difficult time with this. Firstly, I look as uncomfortable as I feel. Second, I have been struggling with my weight for years, always have, but since January I have been focused and determined to lose weight and lost 32 pounds right before beginning IVF. I know once this weight from the fluid dissipates I will be able to get back on track and the weight will go down, but it is frustrating nonetheless. The part that hurts the most, more than a number on a scale, is the appearance. I honestly, all joking aside, look like I am rocking a baby bump. Now, more than ever what to expect when you’re not expecting fits. The pain of knowing that there is no baby in there and never will be stings. The reminder that the end of IVF is the end of my physical contribution to creating my child. Most would think that especially after all the woes and troubles that went along with my retrieval, and all of the pain and inconveniences of injections would be even more reason for me to be glad to be done with IVF, it is a bittersweet ending for me. For now, the rest of this pregnancy, the creation of our child  is out of my hands. I need to be reminded that I do not need to carry my child in my stomach to be a Mom, I can carry them in my heart. “I carry your heart with me, I carry it in my heart.”
This week has been a bit emotional, and on the eve of my Mom’s fourteen year anniversary, I miss my Mom everyday, but this day, these anniversaries hurt more than other days. As one typically does after a loss, everything is measured by “lasts”. July 26, 1999 was a last. The last time I saw my Mom. My last conversation with her, the last hug, that last kiss. Today instead I am remembering all of  the firsts,  she was my first friend, my first fan, and the first person I ever loved. In our day to day lives, we all forget to treasure the “firsts”, these firsts are the moments that may one day be the “lasts” remembered.  Until we meet again Mom, I still have a lot of “firsts” to live <3