I have endometriosis and was told having a baby would be incredibly hard. When I found out we were unexpectedly and shockingly pregnant growing a family became more tangible and possible. I had a healthy pregnancy and birthed a beautiful baby girl that took my world and turned it upside down. Prior to motherhood, I would be bombarded by pictures on social media of people’s kids and I’d think, “ugh! enough already! We get it! Your kid sitting on the potty for the 18th time today is adorable!” I didn’t understand the pride and joy that came from raising a human life and witnessing the milestones and changes in them. Now that I’m a mom I 100% get it. I read every book I could get my hands on about parenting to ensure I wouldn’t unknowingly screw her up somehow and I needed to learn about parenting so I could be the best mom I could be. I wish I could remember the name of one particular book I read but it mentioned that when a woman finds out she’s pregnant, her brain actually starts rewiring itself in preparation, akin to hitting puberty. This is why we can recognize our babies cries in a cacophony of cries and how we can still love them after nipple biting and a terrible two hours of sleep. Our physiology morphs us to prepare us for motherhood. But nothing could prepare me for the deeply rooted, borderline obsessive NEED I had for more babies.
I wanted to give our daughter a houseful of siblings to laugh with, share with, fight with, love. I wanted other children to shower love upon and raise. I wanted a big family around my kitchen table. I wanted snuggles and sports games and frustrating homework and family trips. I wanted more kids. I didn’t want any only child. I worried she wasn’t going to be socialized enough so she’d end up a self-centred bitch (probably with a pony) or someone everyone else thought was weird. Mostly, I didn’t want her to long for a sibling we couldn’t give her or for her to be lonely. My desire was fueled by seeing other friends’ happy multi-child lives and pregnancy announcements and stories of sibling love and rivalry. I wanted that.
After many tests, most of them uncomfortable for both my husband and I, and three months of fertility medication, we decided to stop actively trying to conceive. The Clomid made me crazy and my life was suffering in ways non-conducive to creating life. I was gaining weight (not ideal for infertility) and I was beyond stressed out (also not ideal for conceiving). We took a step back to re-evaluate what to do. IVF wasn’t an option and adoption wasn’t either. We could have continued trying the lead up treatments to IVF but realized our daughter was suffering through our suffering.
Two miscarriages later, one serious, suicidal bout of depression, many hours and dollars invested into healing and self-awareness later I have called a truce with my infertility.
HOW? How did I release something I was holding onto with a white knuckled death grip? How did I let go of my deepest, most desperate desire?
I realized I was living the “grass is greener on the other side” mentality. I was so focused on bringing another baby into the world that, if I’m being honest, could have been born severely disabled or inherently evil or died in the second trimester or was stillborn; all of which could have broken me. I was banking that I was going to give birth to a healthy, amazing baby that my daughter would grow up being best friends with. Hello! That’s not reality. I have many friends who can’t stand their siblings and have zero relationships with them. That could’ve been my life and it would’ve broken my heart. Or I could’ve had a baby with a severe disability that was completely incompatible with Life. That could have broken my heart as well. I assumed having a multi-child family would make me feel complete and more capable of being in the moment with my children and sucking up their love and essence like a sponge wholeheartedly. I pictured my family as this perfect, cohesive unit that would be like the Cleaver family. But that’s also not reality. There will always be tribulations in life but I was completely blind to them.
I wasn’t enjoying our daughter nearly as much as I should’ve been. I was always focused on “future daughter” and her lack, her loneliness, her potential weirdness as opposed to enjoying each glorious, miraculous moment I had with her in that moment. Plus, I began to see that lack and loneliness aren’t the end of the world; being an only child could potentially build a resilient and grateful character in her. Socializing is easily obtained these days with play groups, mom groups, sports, hobbies and school. I was projecting phantom problems onto my child who really only cared about snuggles, Paw Patrol, swinging at the park and blueberries. Kids are perceptive and can pick up on the most subtle of energies. I was holding her back by not being fully present and emotionally available to her. Over the course of our three year fertility battle, she knew when we miscarried, she knew when Mama was upset or angry or pitiful and she knew when Dad was feeling hopeless. She’d change too; either she’d become whiny and intolerable or super sweet and snuggly. I couldn’t contribute to that yo-yo energy in my home anymore.
The second realization came with a little help. I read The Universe Has Your Back by Gabby Bernstein. I love her and her wisdom and respect her ideas immensely. Reading this in December 2016 was a game changer. She showed me how to dig through my internal closet, find my faith, dust it off and don it like a princess. I took her advice and stopped begging for a baby and started praying for the highest good. I prayed that I may be the best version of myself so that I may help others. I prayed to be used by the Universe so that I may contribute in the best way for the Universe’s needs. I stopped praying for what I wanted and started praying for what I needed. I prayed the Universe had my best intentions in mind and knew what She was doing.
I should note here that I’m not a religious person. I don’t believe in a particular dogma or doctrine or denomination. I don’t believe any religion is above all others and I don’t attend or participate in religious tabernacles. But I do have a faith that will not falter under any circumstance. I believe in this beautiful energy that creates the cosmos, the Earth, the plants, the animals, Life and all that we cannot see or understand yet. I believe that I am not meant to have another baby yet for I have other lessons to be learnt first. I choose to believe that my three consecutive miscarriages were to show me the lowest of the low so that I may relish and appreciate the highest of the highs. I believe I am destined for amazing things in life but that having a second baby does not hinge on that success. I believe my life is complete with the family we have and if the Universe/Source/God/whatever you want to call it, grants us a second healthy baby, our life will still be complete and we will take whatever curve balls that Life throws at us, if any. I no longer believe that a second child is detrimental to my daughter’s well being or future self.
“Being in union with the energy of the Universe is like an awesome dance where you trust your partner so much that you just surrender to the beat of the music. When you begin to dance with the energy of the Universe, your life flows naturally, incredible synchronicity presents itself, creative solutions abound, and you experience freedom.” -Gabby Bernstein
I started making the conscious choice to CHANGE MY THOUGHTS. It was really hard, believe me, but it was doable. It took therapy, reading personal development/self help books, acupuncture, reiki, talking, angel reiki, emotion code, sobriety, more talking, chakra balancing, meditation, bodytalk, yoga, tears and solitude to get to a place that once I read this book, I could truly absorb, believe and change. Gabby writes, “Your faith has the power to turn trauma into healing, conflict into great growth, and fear into love. Deepen your connection to the Universe one meditation, prayer, and positive desire at a time.” I choose to see my infertility and miscarriages as potential for growth and a deepening of my love for Life and all that It encompasses. I choose to be happy for other people’s pregnancies and happiness and when that old scar ripples, I remind myself of my green grass. I allow the words of my suffering and lessons learned and wisdom gained to flow through me to connect to those in similar plights or to those who seek peace and/or clarity. This blog was born out of tragedy and since it’s launch, I’ve witnessed incredible miracles. I’ve met women who I normally wouldn’t have crossed paths with, I’m reminding women that they’re not alone in their feelings and experiences and I’ve strengthened my relationship with the Universe. None of this would have happened if I didn’t experience the horrible things I have. I almost died after my second miscarriage and that’s no exaggeration. It triggered a depressive episode I didn’t think I’d survive. When I finally surfaced with the help of medication I knew I had to find a way to be in the world where I was okay, fully and completely okay, with only having one child. I got to work immediately.
You may not be where I am at. Maybe a truce is inconceivable. Maybe you have no kids at all and your desire is still deep seated. Maybe you’ll fight back against your infertility with all you have, determined to do every single thing you can do to bring your baby into the world. In the end though, and what I’m maybe trying to say is, we have a choice. I choose to see love where some see fear. I choose to see my infertility as a strength to fuel my writing and endeavors. I choose to have a faith that will run through my veins, dancing with my blood, as long as I live. However you choose to see your situation is your choice. For me, I’m choosing a truce.
I send much love and strength to those in their fertility struggles today. I know how hard it is and how defeating it is to seek peace only to find it impossible. The need for a family is primitive and resides deep in our cells; it’s something some women need like air and sustenance. I send sticky baby dust to you all and pray your baby is ready to come Earthside, healthy, strong and thriving. Have a good week to you all. May the Universe grant you what you want and what you need. Namaste.