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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Diagnosis infertility. Job description, advocate.

I made a difference at my fertility clinic. 

At the beginning of March, I met with the Patient experience officer and Dr. B after the failure of a fertility cycle. It was a two-hour emergency meeting. It happened because I was falling apart. We met because I felt like a number. I felt I wasn’t listened to and no one was hearing my concerns. I didn’t know who to turn to because if I asked the nurse the nurse couldn’t make any decisions and there were too many people involved in my care. I wanted one or two dedicated nurses who knew everything on file. I needed to tell them their support group sucked. The waiting room was one anxious space and nothing goes well at the clinic if you are not following one of the prescribed fertility boxes of procedures.

I needed to find MY voice in this entire runaway train and I needed to be heard.

I had no idea that my verbal dump changed many things at the clinic. Two months after this meeting and after my two-month break from not being at the clinic, I’ve become aware of results of this meeting.


Early morning, I’m sitting in the waiting room of the clinic. The chairs are plastic and white the walls are Tiffany blue. The door next to the reception desk opens and closes every few minutes with a sight bang. I wait my turn to see the doc. to figure out what drugs I need for the embryo transfer. I see Vee, The patient experience, walking into the waiting room and out. She waves and smiles as she sees me and stops, saying, “I really want to talk to you!”. I say, “we can talk now, I’m just waiting for one instruction but it’s not urgent”. She motions me in, we open the door, I hear the slight bang as it closes and I followed her down the hall into the boardroom of Anova. Cool, the board room. I’ve never been here, just the dark ultrasound rooms and the doc’s room. Vee seems so excited to talk to me. I wonder why…..

We sit down across from each other and talk about how I’m doing after the two-month break and the fact that I seem to be glowing. I am relaxed. I feel more chilled and definitely more grounded. I’ve put fertility into a box. Just one of the boxes that are me and it no longer rules my world. When I reflect and think about myself and who I was January until May, I don’t recognize myself. I’m so glad I took a break.

At one point, Vee stops and looks me in the eye and says, thank you. I’m confused what for…..? She looks me right in the eye, puts her hands together and says, “Thank you for speaking up, very few actually do. We don’t know how we can be better if someone doesn’t tell us, we can just think what we can do but are not on the other side. We have taken all your comments, complaints and observations and have changed our entire counseling department. We are still not perfect but want to let you know you have made an impact on for other patients”. 

Needless to say, I’m shocked because I think back how much I was hurting during that time and how long the 2.5 hr meeting was with Dr. B and the Vee. I remember I wanted to write about it but was so drained from the conversation I couldn’t bring myself to blog about it.

I tell Vee that I’m so glad this is going on and I hope that I can continue to be a voice for many patients.

What I want the clinic to recognize is that part of functional care and holistic care is to incorporate; counseling, mindfulness, hypnosis and other modalities so we can support the whole person not just the uterus, the egg or sperm.

Find your voice. We want to hear you.

You are not your diagnosis.

Don’t be afraid to let the clinic know what is not working for your treatment, you just never know, you may the catalyst for massive change.

Click here to join the conversation and get more material & resources

 

Ground breaking research: Can PCOS be an autoimmune disease?

This could be a game changer.

I described in my post, “My diagnosis of PCOS is bullshit” how I thought how my PCOS was just a convenient diagnosis. “Currently, the diagnosis of PCOS is typically made using the Rotterdam criteria, which require two of the following three to be present: oligo- or anovulation; clinical and/or biological signs of hyperandrogenism; and detection of polycystic ovaries by ultrasound”.

I was discovered to have: hardly any ovulation, a slightly fluctuating thyroid, and some cysts on my ovaries. I know, how could I deny that I have PCOS, well initially I was a denier and totally thought it was all crap but……

I did a glucose test where they tested how well I tolerate sugar intake, and within the first hour my glucose readings spiked and I remember I was really dizzy. With PCOS there is an increased risk of diabetes.

According to Fiona McCulloch ND, one of the causes of PCOS is because of inflammation and food sensitivity. No one at the fertility clinic EVER asked me about my diet and how much sugar I’m eating or if my diet is balanced.

But what if just simply checking off symptoms there could actually be a test for PCOS?

Groundbreaking Research Representing a Paradigm Shift

“If we had a test, like the one we have for thyroid disease, not only endocrinologists would find that useful but ob-gyns and even primary-care physicians could use it to diagnose the condition earlier and then refer to endocrinologists to let us manage it. It would speed things up,” Dr Dodell told Medscape Medical News”. Moreover, he said that the demonstration of an autoimmune etiology for PCOS is intriguing and a departure from the medical community’s understanding of the condition: “This is the first time I’ve heard this.…It’s paradigm-shifting.”

See study here: http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/879642 

Ok, what does this ACTUALLY mean?

  1. They could make a simple blood test that could test for PCSO instead of wasting tons of time trying to figure out what is going on.
  2. It means they can find treatment and maybe even a medical cure.
  3. The medical community may actually become more open to @soulandfertility Eastern influences to treating PCOS.

What needs to happen to make it standard practice?
More research!!!!

Remember, that the first IVF took place just 30 years ago, this is a really new science and we’ve moved so far. There are many unanswered questions, maybe this will answer one?


Resources:

http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/879642

https://plantingtheseedsbook.wordpress.com/

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.”