Inspired by Leigh and her recent post, giving my 18 year old self a good talk to, I sat with myself, face to face, and had a straight talk with each other. Here is the transcript.
Q: What was like to give up career and get married? Did you ever look back and regret the decision you made?
A: Yes and no. I did not regret getting married but I regret not having a job after marriage because of relocation. After leaving NYC and moved to a remote area, without job and friends, I had a hard time to adjust. I have to admit I experienced a year of cold winter.
Q: Now, you are approaching your 10 year anniversary, do you have any advice for newly weds?
A: 10 years is still young, comparing to the couples who are married for 30, 40, 50 years. How do they keep it all together? I once asked a wise woman, who married for 30 years. She told me, “As long as you do not think divorce is an option. You will find a way to keep it together.” I keep this recipe close to my heart and do need to remind myself at tough times and it has been plenty of it.
Q: You decided not to have kids right away after married then you had to go through three IVFs and still do not have a child. Do you regret your decision at the time?
A: I do not. But, my husband may disagree with me. He and I had different saying on this subject and once turned fried rice taste like gunpowder. I am an insecure person. After I got married before the move, I was still at the peak of my career. I wanted to wait to give the marriage a trial period before committing to build a family. It was a rational decision.
Q: Let us talking about your IVFs. It is a difficult and costly. Do you have anything to share?
A: Too many. Each IVF was a different journey since I changed clinics, procedures and even the country I had the IVF done. One thing for sure is that make sure you surround yourself with love ones. I compared my 1st IVF loss and 2nd, the 2nd loss was little bit easier because I was with my family in China and their caring smoothed my rocky emotional turmoil. Also, make few friends with the people going through the IVF process in the same clinic. They will cheer you on and give you advice. They are on the ground everyday going through what you are going through. Who can better feel your pain than those sisters? Honestly, even with current technology, the success of IVF is still in odds with the reality. Be prepared to fail and try. Many have tried more than once to succeed, for the people I know.
Q: We have to talk about your loss of Kevin. It is unthinkable. Are you comfortable talking about it? Anything you would like to change knowing what you know now?
A: Thank you for giving me the opportunity to talk about him. Yes, it was unthinkable how I lost my Kevin, at gestation 27. I blogged this on my very 2nd post, how many children do you have, if you want to know the details. What would I like to change? Let it be more information about preeclampsia, the silent killer, who stole my baby and hope. The doctors should be more diligent on checking patients carrying a child through IVF. Instead of regular interval check ups, it should be twice as frequent. Educate the patient. I wish I had a doctor gave me all the warning signs and cared about me like I were his sister. It is too late for me now…. After three IVFs, over 5 years, I came so close to harvest my fruit of labor then I was hit with a winter storm. Everything was lost, including myself.
Q: The past 21 months has been difficult for you after Kevin left. How is your grief journey like? What has kept you together?
A: The grief journey has lots of ups and downs. The most difficult part of grief is not the initial stage of shocking and denial but the 6 months after. You started to wake up to a new reality and wanted to re-structure your life. But, you had nothing to build upon. In my case, I did not have a job to go back to, no family nearby to shoulder my pain and was too shamed to cling to the few willing friends. I isolated myself, muffled my voice, erased my identity and disappeared. The hardest part is finding myself, again. As for what keep me together? I have to say, the books, the support group meetings, and blogging. It really opens doors, doors to my broken heart and inner voice.
Q: They say tragedy build better characters and stronger person. Do you feel this way?
A: I wish you did not ask that. It sucks to face the bloody tragedy. What choice does the person have? To die? It would be easier. To live, one has to suck it up. I do not want to be that strong person. I would rather have my Kevin.
Q: Anything else you feel like to talk about?
A: I have to say, if you are a career woman and find your job rewarding, do not quit if you are having kids or IVFs. Find a way to make it work, even with part-time or freelance. The road going back (if you go back) is a steep trench. I am not saying you should regard work as a priority. Never! But, shamefully we have to use job to realize our value, right or wrong. But, do not be a job-slave. It is not worth it. The organization that builds you up can crush you in one heart beat, when financial crisis hits. I am a victim of company’s re-org, twice. So, what is important in life? In my opinion, health and friendship. Good health is an asset, more precious than anything else. You need to nurture your friendship. Overtime, it will give back 10 times more, when you need it most.