How I became grateful for my infertility

Note: This post has been in draft for four months because it was hard to let it go.

Gratitude and infertility are not words that are used together in the same sentence.

Infertility is more often described as:

“A struggle”
“a flight”,
“overcoming”,
“obsession”,
“a battle”,
“over exposing”,
“stressing”,
“despair”
“loss”

Not exactly positive words that can get a women & couple to an empowered mindset

These are words that couples use to describe infertility. These words are more often used together in various combinations in a sentence but gratitude and infertility….nope, not so much. It has taken me some time to get here, to this space of gratitude. It’s a humbling place to be. The hardest part of infertility is letting go of expectations. There is only one outcome: the one thing is certain, the uncertainty. I am grateful for this dance with infertility, it has made me be introspective and re-caliber my life perspective. It has and will make me a better parent and person. Another experience on my life path.

 Home, "a deep sense of peace". 

It’s Tuesday, my current favourite day of the week, it’s the 6 week support group time with Amira Posner and I’m late. I email Amira and let her know that I’m running late, but for whatever reason, a sense of peace washes over me as soon as I click, “send”.  A brilliant yellow light washes over me. It feels like I am my soul and my soul feels my skin from the inside. I don’t think I’ve ever been so peaceful through this whole thing process as I am now. I hear the clock ticking, my mind yelling at me to get up and go already, “Oh, shut up in there monkey brain, my soul and I are having a moment of deep Universal connection”.

When I’m quiet enough and I let my mind settle, I hear the whispers of my soul. I know the Universe has my back and will still have my back when I’m in the depths of diapers or taking the different route, being a couple with no kids. At the beginning of this year, it was different, as I crashed and burned through a mental health crisis  due to not being to take the emotional ride the fertility world. I’m here now, on the other side. I don’t feel the need to rush towards anything, I don’t feel I need to fulfill anyone’s expectations.

I hear a voice saying, you are going to be OK, you are enough, your Spirit baby is with you, just believe this and know that your body can conceive a healthy baby. I hold on that knowing whatever the outcome, I’m still safe and I’m still going to be me.

Thank you. I am grateful.

The support group, “We’ve got this”. 

Since I’m late, I decide to take my car and drive through the streets of Toronto. I don’t know what has happened to me but the colours in the city so much brighter than they did.  I notice the little things on my drive I didn’t notice before. Was this cafe here on this corner last week? The city is awakening into a new season and I am awakening with it. I can sense the new beginnings, this week has been a good week. The last two before this I was a mess trying to find my sense of purpose in life questioning every single part of my life, asking “WHY” and “WHAT“. As I pass by the Second Cup coffee in the lobby on my way to the group, I round the corner to the elevator, I hear another whisper, “let go, ‘we’ve got this”, except there is no one there next to me whispering this to me. I feel a deep sense of peace just wash over me.

I AM THAT that I AM.

I grateful for my infertility as it has allowed me to go even deeper and become more connected. I am reminded again, that 50% of what I do is my mindset and the other 50% is up to something greater than science.

I am grateful for this experience of infertility as it has taught me compassion towards myself and other women. I see women with children in a different light. I look at their child and smile – I wonder, what has she been through to hold that child in her arms? Instead of judging her and the choice of having a child like I used to in my twenties and early thirties, I am grateful for this new perspective. I have softened. My values have changed. I used to feel sorry for women who had children and couldn’t comprehend why they would ‘that’ to themselves, now, I see that one in six couples had to really commit fully to make the choice to introduce a new life into the world.

Life. We have one in a 15 million chance to make it. For those two cells to connect, yet, somehow they don’t always do.
The universe has your back

 

The Clinic

I am grateful to the Clinic and all the staff. When I hit rock bottom, I stopped all fertility treatment for two months and I took the time to heal and love myself. I can’t stress enough how much I needed to find myself during those two months and regain my balance.  I finally put fertility as one of the many slots of just everyday life. It’s so important to do that because fertility treatments become your life.

I am not my diagnosis and I am not a uterus to be treated.

I am whole and complete.

I am grateful to find people who take the time to help you take another step forward
After the two month hiatus, I was able to walk into the clinic without having a panic attack. The first time after a long time, when the ladies who took my blood didn’t struggle to find the vein. I had tried to switch clinics and found out a ton of information about the Ontario funded IVF. In the very end, the person who I communicated with who was helping me transfer clinics said something that made a big difference for me., “you are in good hands, they really do care there at your clinic. Go do your embryo transfer, and if doesn’t work out after two times, call me then, but I don’t think you’ll be calling me”.

This is how I ended up staying with my clinic. I do finally feel safe here at this clinic. I feel like a human and more than just a treatment. Its so key to trust the people who are helping you create life.

My mindset is different.

balance 2

My two months clinic free, mental health declutter

During my two months ‘off’, I had to face the state of affairs of my relationship, my career, and everything in between. I was faced with the question, “what do I want from life” and “what is my purpose”. I even faced the question of do I actually want a family and what do I value more. How far am I willing to with fertility treatments before I say stop. Am I actually really willing to adopt and why? Am I willing to share this journey with a surrogate? I stepped back and forth between deciding if “mother” is a role I want to take on, or is it that I’m following someone else’s dreams and expectations.

 

Quiet mind

What Infertility has taught me

I see my infertility as a time and space where I am able to explore myself and who I am.

The fundamental question of, “what is my purpose”, “what is my calling”, “who am I” is something that I have been working through while regaining my sense of balance in the four quadrants (health, wealth, spirituality, and relationship). My world was rocked off balance as soon as I entered my job and from the moment I left of my leave, it’s been work to get myself back to who I am. I had to hit the darkest place of depression, anxiety, and panic attacks because of infertility to regain my voice and be strong enough to walk away. The whole month of April was a loss in the sense of confusion and thrashing. I kept asking myself the question, “what do I want?”. I had to face myself and see that one of the reasons of ‘desperation’ was that I wanted to leave where I worked so desperately I was willing to change my life and use a child as a legit excuse. That was one of the stories running in my head. That is not a space to bring a child into, my Spirit baby wants to be wanted and to be loved. That is why when I chose to continue being off work and being unpaid. I had chosen me and my family over an organization. This post has been in draft for four months.

I can’t tell you how raw this is writing this, and I hope that this blog is not found by my organization, but it circles back to, what choices do we make in life to get away from something we don’t want? What if I chose what I do want and be willing to cut cords from anything and everyone who is trying to take my energy away. Actively choosing to live and choosing change.

When I let go of the idea of the next big job and just really focused on why I would want to get up in the morning, I realized that all of these side businesses are meaningless and not useful. I actually love working with people and students who have a disability. I want to get them to work.

Infertily has taught me how to be a parent because from what I know, it’s not a walk in the park. But because I’ve had to reassess who I am, and what I want, as well as what is important to me, I know that while I may be knocked off my feet, I will have something to land on.

I know I would like to do some more personal development, which is why I will be working with a transition coach, Jessie Herald.


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https://www.popsugar.com/moms/What-Moms-Want-After-Infertility-43555695?utm_campaign=desktop_share&utm_medium=twitter&utm_source=moms

 

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Having kids is irrational. They do not make us happier.

Mothering and workI often read Penelope Trunk. She is an interesting writer and often has an interesting point of view. I wanted to share her latest post as it’s a bit controversial but as women, we really need, to be honest with ourselves as to what do we really want. Supposedly we can have it all and are encouraged to “Lean in”, but ask any women who have two kids under the age of 5, a job and is still married, ask her how is she balancing her life even beyond the early years. It again goes back to my post “My friend Patricia. I’m sorry”. and her choice to stay home. Staring down the gun of an embryo transfer, I do question, why am I doing this? Why is it that as a woman I would like to be a mother? Fertility is such a funny thing, it makes you really think about your choices because they are right there in your face.

The question of what is a mother, does that always equate a mother and child? Can a woman equally have a strong relationship like this in a different form? I don’t know, because I have been on the other side, and the funny thing is, once you are on the other side, you can’t go back!

For three years, I took part of taking care of over 80 kids under that age 5, in an early childhood center, at times happy to have them go back home so I could take a break. I have worked with students since I can remember. I formed strong relationships and I know I have impacted their lives. I’ve learned lots about myself through my interactions with them. Is the term mother, just a reference to a mother and child or can it be towards another type of relationship? I mother my event clients. I coached them and take care of them, I house them and often feed them. I hear someone on the other side of this screen screaming at me, “it’s not the same thing”. No, it’s not, but honestly, let’s divide and conquer this mothering definition. As it stands, it means, “giving birth to”, “bringing up a child with care and affection”, a “woman in relation to her child or children”. A mother shouldn’t equate martyr.

Perhaps I’m on the side of this equation and I really don’t understand when I say, I want to be me first, then wife, then mother.  Is this balance even achievable? In another viewpoint, assuming you find mothering rewarding……

“the meaning of being a mother is virtually endless. A mother is a protector, disciplinarian, and friend. A mother is a selfless, loving human who must sacrifice many of their wants and needs for the wants and needs of their children. A mother works hard to make sure their child is equipped with the knowledge, skills, and abilities to make it as a competent human being. Being a mother is perhaps the hardest, most rewarding job a woman will ever experience”

I do believe that I (women) need to make a choice between that big ass career and a family. I don’t think it’s actually possible to be fully 100% engaged in both.  Anne-Marie Slaughter, writer of a well-known Atlantic article about this, “routinely got reactions from other women her age or older that ranged from disappointed (“It’s such a pity that you had to leave Washington”) to condescending (“I wouldn’t generalize from your experience. I’ve never had to compromise, and my kids turned out great”)”.

It’s time to stop fooling ourselves, says Anne, who left a position of power: the women who have managed to be both mothers and top professionals are superhuman, rich, or self-employed (although this requires being argued too). If we truly believe in equal opportunity for all women, something has to change, specifically how women who don’t have kids are valued more than those with a family.

This is why Penelope’s post make me think.

The post below is directly from her blog, I just couldn’t chop it up, it was too good. She just makes me things about things I don’t want to think about.

Continue reading “Having kids is irrational. They do not make us happier.”

A state of creation and contraction

I have been in a state of contraction. In this state, there is no room for creativity, creation or flow, not just for me but for everyone. I know have in this state for three months now because everything was painful, everything was hard and in a state of reaction. My inner-critic who I know was just trying to protect me hounded me saying, “You should know better”. I have finally turned to that critic, held her hand and said, “I’m ok, thank you for looking after me, I can take it from here”.

State of creation

I know I’m in flow when synchronicities start happening and popping up. When I think of something, <> and it just happens shortly after I’ve had the thought. I’ve been trying to find something in between a particular timeframe to “get away” and fly somewhere. It couldn’t have Zika and it needed to be a place where I have not been before without breaking the bank. West Jet posted a 24-hour sale for flights to Halifax for half price. I found out about it with “Next Departure”. (which anyone who is Canada should sign up for. Amazing deals to be had.) After the last month,  I was needing and itching to press the button “buy” and just go somewhere.

 

If there is anything you need to know about me, is that I’m a travel bargain shopper hound. I found out that I could fly out of Hamilton Airport (one hour outside of Toronto) for half the price instead of Toronto Airport. We are going away to the east cost. A place of amazing gentle people. I’ve heard the people in the east coast of Canada just so kind, amazing and with beautiful hearts. I’m just happy like a clown and my brain happily obliged in now searching for all things Nova Scotia. It is a quick trip, just enough to plan but also enough that I get to hit up some things I’ve wanted to see, like Peggy’s Cove and Lunenburg. There is nothing like a trip to get me more in the state of flow. 

Magical Trips

I think there is always something magical about removing myself from a permanent physical space. Something mysterious happens when my brain is in the state of “explore and wonder”.

Like changing one habit a day. Instead of brushing my teeth with my right hand, I’ll brush with my left, to get my brain to think different.

We recently reflected that after being married almost 11 years, the trips we have done are a bookmark in time. I’ll say something and ponder, was that before or after Florida, or how my life went upside down after a two week trip to BC. The most life changing things have happened to me were over a plane ticket. When I think of it, it was shortly after a trip that I met my husband.

Its all a crap shoot.

crap-shoot-cartoon

It got me thinking about how much of a crapshoot this whole fertility thing is and the fact that I got attached to an outcome, a timeframe, how it was all going to look.

A neighbour, who also went through fertility treatments told me that all the tests I am doing she did too. She did the whole IVF three time, and did a transfer of the embryo five times, getting pregnant each time, but they all resulted in a miscarriage. After taking a break, she ended up getting pregnant on her own. Crapshoot!

It could be just a small variable that doesn’t let the embryo stick that it’s like throwing spaghetti at a wall and seeing what sticks. Her daughter that she just had (without fertility treatments) was her sixth pregnancy and no one could explain why her previously genetically perfect tested juicy embryos were miscarried.

All this is just crazy making and anxiety producing especially around the transfer of the embryo. This is where the state of contraction starts and where I try to control the outcome. More tests don’t always mean more control, just a control of some variables, but even then THAT is still an illusion because the variables are constantly changing.

Because everything is still up to the Universe.

This takes me to the main fears:

Fears-are-stories

  1. Having the first embryo transfer not working.
  2. My reaction if the first transfer doesn’t work, how will my mental health be?
  3. I will get pregnant but a miscarriage will happen….and then I’ll have a breakdown….because I’ve never actually had a positive test. Can you imagine how that would be?

What are my fears based on?

I realize now that those fears are based on my own expectations. I never wanted to do IVF and because I’ve done THIS MUCH……I….DESERVE…..IT….for all of this to work. But really we deserve nothing. We shouldn’t expect anything and appreciate everything.

In psychology they call this “Catosprophic idealization”. Its amazing to me that as soon as it was “named” what I had created in my head, the thoughts became less powerful and slowly started to disapate. I’m facinated how much our thoughts, really its just our constant thoughts that create our reality.

Isn’t that facinating?

Expect nothing

In the state of creation, I’m open, and things just happen.  There is no resistance in “Flow”, its simple, fluid, oh, and it feels so damn good, but as soon as I hit a bottom and contract, nothing works. Suffering happens.

I know that have Light there needs to be Darkness. There is a yin to a yang. The trouble with positive psychology is that it doesn’t want to acknowledge the negative side. While the darkness sucks horribly and I know because I did hit a wall twice in the past month, I can feel the regrouping and opening towards a new way of thinking.

The system of positive psychology does not appreciate how, through unconscious conflict in our psyche, we compulsively replay and recreate unresolved negative emotions. 

When we try to dodge or repress our psyche’s inner dynamics, we encounter inner rebellion that produces a wide variety of suffering and self-defeat. To become smarter, wiser, and more conscious, we have to understand the inner mechanisms and drives in our psyche that induce us to chase after old hurts, cling to painful regrets, and indulge in a variety of other unresolved emotions.
http://www.whywesuffer.com/the-problem-with-positive-psychology/

Being able to identify the fears and thoughts that keep me in this state of contraction helped me grow and boy I’ve grown even in the last month with so much more to let go.

When I said to The Clinic when I was overwhelmed and bleeding out it gave me room and time for reflection and to find joy and balance, as I was totally off kilter. We just completed the last round of biopsies and will be taking a month break from the clinic.

Psychology.
You’ve built a great team we just need to you join it

A few weeks back I sent an email to “my team” that included the Dr. B, all my acupuncture folks, the naturopath and person for my mental health check in to introduce all of them to each other through email. At an appointment with Dr. Julia PhD, she made a comment that made me think, she says:

“you are incredibly resourceful and have assembled a great team, but where are you on this team? You’ve intorudced everyone else but you didn’t introduce yourself, have you joined this team yet?”.

Man what a comment to get you centred. It’s like that whole taking responsibly part. I’ve assembled the team and I’m expecting them to put me together and achieve my goal, but where am I in that?

Creating a *phantom intention

*A subconscious mindset that is rooted in events that have occured or expereinces from the past that colour how we percieve current occurent events. It usually looks like an ME vs something.

What if in my head I’m creating a phantom intention?

US vs. The Clinic.

Us vs them

Us vs. the clinic

Us vs. the medical health care system

Us vs. everyone else.

Over thinking!

For now we are off to Halifax to scratch the surface to the East Coast. Can’t wait to be immursed into nature and the Atlantic Ocean.