The last few days I've been reflecting on what a crazy year 2011 was. It turned out to be one of the worst and best years of my life.
Here are some of the highs and lows (written while listening to "Happy New Year" by Camera Oscura):
* I won a $10,000 dollar award for my novel-in-stories. By far the biggest check and biggest honor I've ever received. I got to start working part-time instead of full-time, return to the Millay Colony, and join the Writers' Room of Boston. Dan predicted that 2011 would be "The Year of the Lisa."
* I turned 32.
* I decided to switch doctors and went through my third in vitro cycle at Brigham & Women's. It ended in miscarriage while I was at the Millay Colony. One of the lowest points in my life.
* After trying to start an infertility group at church, having no one express interest and feeling alone, I decided to join a weekly infertility group led by a therapist. One of the most important things I've done in my family-building struggle. I found myself in a room of smart, funny, compassionate women who understood exactly what I was going through. One of them is now my nurse and is expecting a baby. One of them just had twins. Another one is expecting twins exactly three days after me. I really don't think I would have been able to keep doing fertility treatments without them.
* As I was about to leave for the hospital for my fourth (and only frozen) in vitro cycle, the hospital called to say that the embryos didn't make it. I decided I couldn't put myself through this anymore, physically or emotionally, and decided to take a break from fertility treatments indefinitely.
* I had a story published here.
* For that one story published, I received at least 50 rejections. I stopped counting after awhile.
* After a break, I was finally ready to do my fifth cycle of in vitro. After four previous fails, I didn't feel very hopeful. I went through the motions anyway.
* My father was officially diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease.
* I found out I was pregnant from IVF #5. It felt weird. I was excited, but extremely nervous about something going wrong.
* I found out I was expecting twins! Dan had a panic attack. I was elated. It started to seem more real.
* I started bleeding and worried that this, too, was going to end in failure.
* The bleeding stopped. I went on an epic vacation to Hawaii and Utah with Dan and realized that we will probably never be able to do that again (at least for a very long time).
* I found out we're having a boy and a girl!
* Dan and I agreed quickly on a boy name and have quibbled much over the girl's name. Who knew he would be so opinionated? We decided we will give the honor of naming the girl to whoever can come up with a large enough endowment.
I have two (not so small) hopes for 2012:
* Give birth - in whatever way that happens - to two healthy babies.
* Finish my book.
I also have many hopes for a lot of people I love - that things they have been wanting to happen, will happen and that the not-so-good things that have been happening will stop happening.