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2017 Year in Review: Giving Up

Giving Up. So often it has a negative connotation. But for my 2017, giving up took me to amazing places that helped me get to the best place I could imagine. A different sort of Year in Review.

2016 ended with hope and wishes and a literal shot in the dark: I rung in 2017 with my first shot of my first cycle of IVF. I was tipsy, Alex was a little drunk, and we took a deep breath as I put that first needle into my stomach. 

Trying to remember this.

With that shot, I gave up. I gave up any semblance of control I had on my body: how it looked, how it felt. I gave up my future to faith in my body, faith in my doctors, and faith in knowing that my future would be one with a family, whether it be a child biologically mine or one that we welcomed into our family.

I seriously think of You’ve Got Mail every time I think about the egg retrieval

January was about learning the process of IVF:

I gave up running and yoga in favor of walking and the occasional strength training session. 

The end of January and the beginning of February gave us our first negative beta test. I returned to running, and I gave up my emotions to the world during that first run back.  February and March brought us the second round of egg retrieval, and this time around, I had to give up on the hope that the second transfer would work on my own.

When I am lacking motivation or unsure of where to go next, I remind myself to dream big, plan medium, and then start small. How do you beat the blahs? @suzlyfe

I also gave up the focus on the IVF process and instead focused on the result, which made the second negative all that much harder. But it also meant that I understood better how to help other speak with those going through infertility.

By the time that April rolled around, Alex and I gave up on the idea that personal training would be able to supply us with enough income to pad our futures on a single income. After applying to a bunch of jobs that didn’t show up anything, I decided to go back to waiting tables. My mom came up for a girl’s weekend during my birthday, and seeing her helped me work through a lot of my feelings, as well as give her time with Ridley.

April saw me start a new, much more rigorous hormonal regimen and lead in for my next embryo transfer (which would be a frozen transfer), and I gave up and gave in to my need for running as a way to work through my anxiety. After an anxiety peak, I gave up what I cared about what other people thought and gave in to a running week just for me as I hit my peak mileage ever and ran every day for a month.

May was the month of truly giving up. I ran down to my Frozen Embryo Transfer, and that marked the beginning of giving up running for 7 weeks. I headed to Tahoe with Spyder, and during that time, I gave up much of my anxiety revolving around the coming beta test. 

We almost gave up on the possibility of a positive beta test when we got the news that my beta test was positive: I was pregnant. That brought new anxiety, but it also helped me realize that no matter what happened, Alex and I would be ok. 

The end of May brought perhaps the greatest moment of giving up of all: when we heard that I had a subchorionic hematoma, not only did we give up our trip to NOLA, but I gave up something else: any mental block I had remaining of what I would do for this kid. Hearing that heartbeat, knowing that Yoshi was still there, I made the (easy) decision that I would do whatever was necessary. If that meant bed rest, I would do it. But I was ready to do anything I had to in order to become a mom. Luckily, bedrest wasn’t necessary, and we went to Milwaukee for the day later that week and just enjoyed ourselves.

I went back to work as Alex enjoyed a little bit of time on his own before his aunt visited us for a few days, and by the end of June, I had gone to my first official OB appointment and been cleared to run. Which I did, but gingerly. 

July was a month of growing, literally and figuratively. I put on weight quickly, but I didn’t really show to those who didn’t know me. I gave up on feelings of body insecurity, thanks in large part to my return to running, which helped me feel strong, and my job at the restaurant, which helped me feel productive.

And my family visited!

Oh, and I announced to the world that I was pregnant! That was an exercise in giving up as well–I needed to give up the fear that this would all go sideways on me. I also had to give up and admit that I had a sense of survivors gilt by being pregnant when so many of my friends and infertility warriors still were not.

Blue Yoshi is actually a girl!

During August, I gave up my walls and started to tell my story:

And I also ran a few races!

And traveled to San Francisco (with the Empower Race Weekend) and then to Aspen (where my feet went CRAZY)

September was a month of giving up guilt and giving myself permission to be pregnant, to love being pregnant, and to ask for help when I needed it. It was also a month of work work work for both Alex and myself. And the start of giving up my personal information to the world when my purse got stolen!

During October, I had to give up running, first because I suspected something was wrong, and then when it was confirmed that I had a femoral neck stress fracture. I was VERY lucky that my mom was already coming to visit the weekend that I found out, but it was still a rough transition: I had to give up my job, my mobility and independence, and my ability to even walk my dog, all at once.

I also gave up the ability to breathe through my nose that weekend.

October also brought me my new project with Landon Lacey Jewelry! It has been a blessing to connect with Landon as a businesswoman (I need projects) but also to have her as a friend. I couldn’t be more thankful that she reached out to me.

You don't need anyone's permission to love yourself. @suzlyfe #handfulactivewear #momentumjewelry #beYOUtiful

I did have a very important revelation as I worked to give up the need for external approval to consider myself beautiful even though I did regress as I compared my pregnant body to others’ pregnant bodies.

And then I gave up the idea that I would be returning to marathons any time soon. And I was ok with it.

Alex’s parents came at the beginning of November to help us with cleaning, walking the dog, and more, and I gave up being so “strong” and trying to be quite so independent and admittedly, very stubborn, when it came to taking care of business.

The end of November brought a welcome reprieve from the crutches (but not totally) as well as an incredible weekend in Palmetto Bluff with our families as we celebrated Thanksgiving (and I got to see Brian!). We also got some maternity pictures taken, which I just realized I’ve still not really shared with you!

December. December was a month of realization. Realizing that Yoshi could really start to come at any moment. Realizing that only certain pants could fit me. Realizing that 12 months previous, I hadn’t even started preparing for IVF. Realizing how far Alex and I had come as a couple, a family, and as people. This became increasingly clear as we prepped for our baby shower and saw how much we were loved, that Yoshi was loved, and how incredible the people in our lives are. (including one of my oldest friends, who came for the shower!). Oh, yes, and I almost broke myself. AGAIN. lol.


Life is about giving and taking, acceptance and defiance. Knowing when to be stubborn, and when to back down. Being who you are but realizing you are NOT perfect. Confidence, and humility. Taking care, but giving yourself grace.

Sometimes, giving up and accepting that we are not in control can be positive. 

This year was an exercise in giving up. Which is just as well, because once Yoshi comes, my life will never be “mine” again. 

I know that this was the longest ever YIR post, but I wanted to really take a snapshot of my mentality as I go into motherhood. Thank you all for being a part of my life, my story, and sending me love! Please know that the love is so mutual.


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  • Reply Emily

    Happy New Year to you, Alex, Yoshi and Ridley! Always love following your journey.

    January 1, 2018 at 9:34 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Happy New Year my love!

      January 2, 2018 at 10:33 am
  • Reply Michelle

    Love everything about this post. You’re such an inspiration to so many. Can’t wait to see little Yoshi!

    January 1, 2018 at 11:02 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      You and me both!

      January 2, 2018 at 10:32 am
  • Reply Michelle

    What a year! That is the beauty of your blog. You have chronicled all of these major events for yourself, physically, mentally and spiritually. When Yoshi is older you will be able to share these blog entries too like a diary. Happy New Year

    January 1, 2018 at 11:08 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      That is why I am holding on to this blog. I may not be here as much as I used to be, but I want to have this to show myself and my kids how they got to where they are.

      January 2, 2018 at 10:32 am
  • Reply Suzlyfe’s mommy, Clare

    2017 was such a major year for you-in so many ways!
    I can’t wait to see what 2018 will bring!

    In 2013, you and Alex went from being two separate people to becoming a family. Children or not, a marriage makes a family.

    In 2017, you two, as a family, started the adventure of enlarging your human family. Yes, Zoe and Ridley are part of that family, absolutely, but they are capable of being on their own for bits of time!

    To me, pregnancy is like an engagement. It’s the formal start of something very special and very different. It’s two individuals joining to become a family of its own.
    Being engaged gives a couple a chance to learn how to “be a couple” and not just two different people who are together.
    The wedding is not the “ending,” it’s the beginning of a new way of living, of a new “life.”

    Being pregnant gives you a chance to take “being a family” into a new light.
    The birth of the baby may be the culmination of being pregnant, but it is the start of a whole new life that changes all of our lives, yours and your families.

    It makes a brother, an uncle, it makes a mom and a dad, grandparents. It makes a new human being a child, a daughter, a niece, a grandchild, a cousin!
    It gives all of your family a new world to look forward to and join in.
    It gives all of your family members hope for the future.
    It gives you someone to pass your history unto.
    The old family stories start to make more sense and become more important.
    You can try to correct mistakes of your predecessors and you can make your own new ones!!
    As two about-to-be-grandparents who have their IPhones within reach at all times, waiting for THAT call, it’s a delicious adventure that we will treasure and take great pleasure in joining!!!!

    January 1, 2018 at 11:37 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Why do you think I’m having YOU call ME instead of the other way around? I don’t want you to freak out! lol.
      But yes. I am so so sosososo lucky to have the incredible family, the incredible partner that I do. I love you all so muhc, and I can’t wait to see you all in your new roles!

      January 2, 2018 at 10:31 am
  • Reply Lisa - Mile by Mile

    You had such a big year! While there were certainly challenges, you have overcome so much and grown in so many ways. Can’t wait to see all the adventures that 2018 has in store for you!

    January 1, 2018 at 12:25 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      I have a feeling that this coming year will be even more of a rollercoaster!

      January 2, 2018 at 10:29 am
  • Reply Emily Swanson

    Wow Susie, I never thought of giving up quite in this way until you put it this way; you learned to give up so many things, and what a blessing it is that all those things turned out so amazingly; I need to learn to give up some of the things I love to, if I need to, and just trust God for the outcome. You have been an example to me of just learning to give those things up and not be upset about it.

    January 1, 2018 at 4:30 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      xoxoxox Emily. Have a blessed New Year!

      January 2, 2018 at 10:28 am
  • Reply Julie Running in a Skirt

    Happy New Year Susie!! You really have had quite a year of ups and downs. I know it’s been amazing in some ways and really hard in others… but you always seem to come up of the fray stronger. Lots of love, my friend! Here’s to an epic 2018!

    January 1, 2018 at 5:27 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      The positives have far outweighed the downs. I am thankful for that, at least!

      January 2, 2018 at 10:28 am
  • Reply Emily

    I love this so much, what an important and memorable year! Happy New Year to you guys!

    January 1, 2018 at 6:17 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Thank you, and happy new year to you!

      January 2, 2018 at 10:27 am
  • Reply Jamie King

    Um, whoa, I just clicked on your post and laughed out loud. We’re both giving up in 2018. How on earth did that happen? Pregnancy has a funny effect on people, I suppose. HAHA. I’m glad you’re on this train with me! 🙂

    January 1, 2018 at 7:00 pm
  • Reply Natalia

    You’re positive attitude is so inspiration! Well done for keeping your head up. Have an amazing 2018!

    January 1, 2018 at 9:57 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Aw, thank you Natalia!

      January 2, 2018 at 10:24 am
  • Reply Gretchen

    What a year! Looking back, it’s so hard to believe that all of this happened in 2017. I remember hearing about all of it but it seems so long ago now. Let’s hope that 2018 is the year you get all of your dreams coming true!

    January 2, 2018 at 6:34 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      I know, right? I can’t believe my first round of IVF was so long ago…

      January 2, 2018 at 10:24 am
  • Reply Deborah Brooks

    You have had quite a year! 2018 will be an exciting time for you all and the start of a whole new chapter of your life. Yes, your life will never be yours alone again but you will see how amazing it is to be a mom. Wishing you all the best!

    January 2, 2018 at 6:53 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      I am so excited. I’m ready to live for someone else 😀

      January 2, 2018 at 10:23 am
  • Reply Megan

    WOW you have had quite the year but you sure are getting an amazing gift out of all the challenges you have been faced with! P.S. my hip replacement was a result of a femoral fracture in college that resulted in avascular necrosis. Crazy!

    January 2, 2018 at 8:10 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      That is bananas. Hopefully I won’t have the same problem!

      January 2, 2018 at 10:23 am
  • Reply Sarah Rosenblatt

    love you girl!

    January 2, 2018 at 8:49 am
  • Reply Jamie

    If you think this was a long YIR…just wait until next year when you’ve had your hands on Yoshi for 11+ months! You’re going to rock the mom thing.

    January 2, 2018 at 9:07 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      That is going to be a freaking novel!

      January 2, 2018 at 10:22 am
  • Reply Cora

    I think this is the most perfect YIR you could have written for this year of yours. It was mammoth…in so many ways. Giving up is such an interesting theme. It has such a beauty to it, doesn’t it? A learning of “flow.” A learning to adjust, trust, let go and love. You are incredible, as I’ve said time and again, and I simply can’t wait for 2018 to grace you with all it will bring. #timeforyoshi

    January 2, 2018 at 2:00 pm
  • Reply San

    I loved this recap and how you showed that giving up things sometimes is the best thing you can do 🙂 So happy for all you have gained by giving up things!

    January 2, 2018 at 4:04 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Thank you, San! xoxoxo

      January 2, 2018 at 6:06 pm
  • Reply Heather

    Happy new year, Susie! I have loved following along on your honest journey. You will be such a wonderful mom. In fact, you already are a wonderful mom as you give up so much for Yoshi’s benefit. Your grace in tough times is beautiful. I wish you and your growing family a year of “giving up” and enjoying each other no matter what else life might throw your way.

    January 3, 2018 at 10:25 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      SO MANY HUGS Heather. Thank you for being such a great voice out there!

      January 10, 2018 at 11:35 am
  • Reply Neil

    Whoosh! What a year for you guys! Hard to keep up at times. 😉

    Well Happy New Year for 2018, fingers crossed and here’s looking forward to your new adventures!

    January 4, 2018 at 9:40 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Hard for us to keep up as well 😀 xoxo

      January 10, 2018 at 11:35 am

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