Tuesday, September 20, 2016

The Hardest Decision I've Ever Had to Make

"Sometimes the hardest thing and the right thing are the same."

I really don't even know how to start writing this post. I came to my favorite coffee shop to write it - in hopes of no distractions at home and because for some reason, I think coffee helps my writing skills.  But I'm on my second cup now and have been staring at the cursor for at least half an hour.

This is a hard post to write for several reasons...but mainly because it's very personal in the fact that I'm sharing details of one of the hardest decisions I've ever had to make.

I've been avoiding the topic on here all together (even though I made my decision back in June), but my long time, dedicated readers have started to ask, and because I want my readers to know and understand me as much as possible…I have decided it's time to share.

Many of you know that I'm a teacher. I just finished up my sixth year of teaching here in Nashville. I absolutely love teaching - the excitement of back to school, decorating my classroom, giving a child a hug when they need it most, seeing the lightbulb go off when they finally get something, hearing a struggling reader fly through a passage with great fluency… these are just a few of the things that make teaching worthwhile. Bottom line, teaching is my jam.

But I'm not teaching this year…..

We've been going through some fertility struggles for quite some time now (you can read more about that here and here), and that's what ultimately led us to this decision. The spring was very difficult for us, as we had 3 failed IUIs and were told by our doctor that the next step for us to become parents (under his care, anyway) would be IVF.

This news, paired with the every day stress and responsibilities of teaching, really put me in a bad place. The urge to have a baby and become a mother started to consume me. I was taking off work a lot  for appointments with my doctor, and when I was in the classroom, I wasn't focused on being the best teacher for my kids. For the first time in my career, I wasn't enjoying teaching.

That's hard for me to say that out loud, because I know I was made to be a teacher. I was even named Teacher of the Year at my school this past year. It was such a surprise and I felt so honored, but I also felt guilty. I was supposed to be changing lives and making a difference… instead, all I could think about was our fertility journey. As the months went on, the stress of it all…juggling fertility and teaching, took over my life.

At some point, during one of my many crying sessions, Chris brought up the idea of me taking a break from teaching. He went on to explain reasons as to why he thought I shouldn't go back, his number one reason being that he hated seeing me so unhappy and stressed out all the time. The possiblity of not teaching and that stress being eliminated seemed like a huge relief, but I still wasn't ready to say goodbye to what I love doing so much.

I tried to get past this rut that I was in, and I was really hoping that having some time out for summer would help me get back on track and back to the bubbly, excited teacher I had always been. But it didn't. Some things happened within my family that brought even more stress, and as time went on, not going back started to seem like the right thing to do.

We prayed and prayed over this decision, and God started opening doors and showing us signs that it was the right thing for us to do right now. Chris got a promotion at work that would help us financially but also meant that he would be traveling much more. We knew it would be even harder for me to get pregnant if we weren't in the same town the majority of each month.. if you know what I mean! :) Me not going back to work meant I could travel with him when needed.

So, after many discussions and lots of prayers, I finally decided that it was time to take a step back and not teach this year. Do I miss teaching? Yes. But I'm so excited to have this time off to de-stress, travel more with Chris, and to just focus on what's most important to me right now… starting a family.

I plan on doing a complete fertility update with you guys soon… sharing where we are at and what our plan is, but for now I thought it was best to address what so many of you have been asking me. Teaching will always be there, and I do plan on going back one day...but for now, I feel so blessed to have this time away, and hopefully this time will bring us closer to our dream of becoming parents.

What's the hardest decision you've ever had to make and how did it impact your life?