2022 year in review

Recap of 2022 – It Really Sucked (and it was really great)

This has been the most up and down year I’ve ever experienced emotionally! As I thought back over 2022, my initial reaction was, “it sucked.” (Infertility really colors your perception of life.)

Back in January of last year, I thought I was ready to give up on trying to get pregnant with a second child. I felt like I had gone through a lot of the grieving process already, and I wanted to move on. At that point, we had been trying for a year and a half. We had thought IVF was our only hope to get pregnant again, but then in February we got some updated test results that showed that we actually might have a good shot if we kept trying on our own (supposedly).

I remember feeling shocked, and honestly angry. It felt like a trick. And I was scared. I didn’t want to open myself up to hope again, only to be disappointed. I had plans for 2022. I was going to live life to the fullest and not be so obsessed with ovulation and pregnancy achievement. It was going to be “my year.” The day before we heard about the new test results, I had literally taken every baby item I had saved over the years and put it all in a big pile in the garage to donate (or trash). I had literally just emailed a friend about why I was feeling content with only having one child and being a family of three.

What a dangerous thing, to declare it to be “your year!”

I figured if we didn’t keep trying, I might regret it one day. What if I really could get pregnant?

But the months all passed, and here we are at the end of 2022, and there’s no baby in sight.

Obviously, that’s been the most sucky part of this year. But there were some other doozies too:

  • January 3rd I tested positive for COVID, less than a week before we were supposed to go on a big family trip.
  • In February I applied and interviewed for a job I really wanted, one for which I thought I was a shoo-in, and ended up not even getting called back for a second interview – a HUGE hit to my self-esteem.
  • In April I randomly had to go to the ER for pain from an ear infection because it was so bad I couldn’t sleep or wait until the morning to go to the regular (and much cheaper) doctor.
  • Month after month after month I didn’t get pregnant – my own hellish version of Groundhog’s Day

So yeah, 2022 really did kind of suck.

But it was also really great too.

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egg and sperm (depicted with cookie and frosting)

Some (not-so) Fun Infertility Facts

“While everyone experiences stress differently, you can’t underestimate it. The further you go [with fertility treatments], the more stressful it is if it doesn’t work. If it works, you’re done. Everyone is happy. If it doesn’t, some people have lost a major part of their self, what they believe to be their future, and that’s terrifying.”

Dr. William Hurd, chief medical officer for the American Society for Reproductive Medicine

Are you (or is someone you know) dealing with infertility right now? Chances are good you do know someone, even if they’ve never told you about their struggle. 1 in 8 couples (some sources say more like 1 in 5) are unable to pregnant after a year of trying, which technically means they qualify as “infertile.”

Here are a few (not-so-fun) facts I’ve learned about infertility over the past few years:

  • In infertile couples, there is an equal chance that the cause is from the man or the woman (this is not just a woman’s issue!)
  • In one third of infertile couples, the problem can’t be identified OR is a combination of factors from a man and woman.
  • Secondary infertility (not being able to get pregnant after the birth of one or more children) occurs at the same rate as primary infertility. 50% of infertility cases are secondary infertility.

Even-less-fun facts about infertility and mental health:

  • As many as 21-52% of women struggling with infertility experience depression.
  • “While infertility treatments are physically demanding, several studies suggest that the emotional stress of the ordeal is the primary reason many couples decide to give up.”
  • Anxiety and depression increased in couples who had failed ART (Assisted Reproductive Technology) treatments.
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makeup brushes and cases

Maybe I Just Won’t Wear Makeup

It’s been almost 3 weeks since I’ve worn makeup – well, full-face foundation anyway.

I gave it up for two reasons: number one, I have been having a lot of trouble with breakouts, the small kind that are just all over your face. And I had been wondering if makeup buildup was causing me to breakout. Number two, I had a difficult day or two and just decided that I didn’t care enough to do my makeup.

I’m honestly not sure if I’m on the path to simply accepting and loving my true self more, or if I’m spiraling down into an “I-don’t-care-about-anything-anymore” pit. Maybe a little bit of both.

I would love to be beautiful enough to go makeup free all the time. I don’t really think I am. But I also don’t think makeup makes me that much prettier, so it seems like wasted energy. Just from an efficiency perspective, it makes more sense to give it up altogether!

That first day of zero makeup was a Monday, and I went to work wondering if anyone would say that I looked tired, or ask if I was sick (you know how that happens…) But nobody said anything. Later in the week I met up with a friend for coffee, had dinner with a group of friends, and even went to Sunday morning church, all without wearing makeup – and still nobody said a word.

So there are two possibilities: either I don’t look that much different with or without makeup (I didn’t wear heavy makeup anyway) or I looked so bad that people thought it would be rude to say anything. Part of me is dying to know the answer, but part of me thinks it is better if I don’t. I’m doing this for myself, and that should be all that matters.

For anyone who has ever struggled with acne or skin problems, going without makeup is kind of a big deal. Speaking from my own experience, I kind of always get it in my head that my skin looks “bad.” Even when my skin is relatively clear, all it takes is one little pimple to trigger a big emotional response from me and make me want to cover my face with a paper bag.

I went online and read about people who had given up makeup, and how (supposedly) after weeks and months went by, their skin just glowed! (I’m skeptical, but like the idea obviously.)

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