To The Childless Mothers,
Mother’s Day is fast approaching and I’m sure it’s an occasion you dread. It’s a reminder of all you’ve lost, sacrificed, attempted with all your might and yet, still do not have. It’s a hard day. Many women are celebrated while the rest of you will get unacknowledged; your angel babies and missed miscarriages and failed IVF treatments fall to the back burner. Those who know your struggle rarely know what to say on this day so they say nothing. And that stings. You lumber through the day with a heavy heart being bombarded with messages of family, children, babies: all the things that hurt the deepest.
In our society, infertility is like a dirty little secret. It’s one we share with few and even then, those who know don’t fully understand the story unless they’re also 1 in 6 struggling. It gets hidden behind vague declines to baby showers, diverted gazes at baby bumps and unshed tears at ignorant comments and inappropriate questions. We feel inadequate, broken and less of a woman for our bodies feeling so seemingly broken. Our femininity and yoni sacredness is replaced with injections and patient charts and medical procedures.
It’s a “secret” most can’t understand unless they’ve lived it. And I’ve lived it too despite my one daughter and now second baby on the way, first through unexplained infertility (caused by endometriosis) and followed by secondary infertility. If there’s anything I’ve learned from infertility and four recurrent miscarriages is that there is ALWAYS someone who wants to help. That could look like a good conversation, a delivered meal, a bouquet of flowers for your loss. I hope you know you can reach out to those kind friends and family members and they will not mind you showing your vulnerable side by asking for what you need.
When we fall into the trap that infertility is a secret that is shameful and embarrassing, we lose the opportunity to talk with others who know something we don’t. If I had never shared my struggle I never would have learned about angel reiki or fertility acupuncture. I would have never met the amazing women I am surrounded by today in my fertility non-profit organization or learned that I was positively impacting others through this blog.
Today, on International Bereaved Mother’s Day, I also want you to know you’re not alone. There are millions of women walking a similar path. There are online support groups and monthly meetings. There are women rallying behind the scenes to create better resources and support for you and your family. There are blogs and writers and authors doing their best to publish transformative and informative articles and books to help you along the winding journey that is infertility. There are workshops popping up everywhere for fertility health and womb care. The conversation is changing.
We’re working diligently to change this conversation. The line between privacy and secrecy is blurring. The typical “when are you two going to have kids?” question that was so mainstream is now being thought through before asking. People are forging sisterhoods that celebrate pregnancies and commiserate together in losses and upsets. They are offering shoulders, ears and legs to depend upon and lean on. Support groups offer advice, sympathy and a safe place to share.The sisterhood is emerging and it is incredible.
With infertility, mind over matter is what will unite the sisterhood in infertility and help us make sense of our struggle. It’s finding the strength of mind to believe that the Universe/God/Infinite Wisdom/[whatever feels right to you] has a plan for you. It probably seems like a crappy plan right now because it’s not fitting with your timeline or health but when faith enters the picture, you tend to release the sand you’ve been gripping so tightly that it has become mud and you begin to allow it to trickle through your fingers with ease.
Believing there was something bigger than me working for my overall benefit brought me so much peace through my pregnancy losses.
Talk about your struggle. Politely explain to people that their seemingly innocent questions aren’t so innocent. Explore your spirituality. You are a beautiful beacon of energy made human having this incredible experience. The energy flowing through your body, the electricity and the trillions of cells inside you actually REACT to your emotions, beliefs and thoughts. Work to change your thoughts so that the infertility beast doesn’t destroy you because it easily can. We are in vulnerable and resentful places with infertility. But if you can commit to focusing on your thoughts, choosing beneficial ones and implementing mindfulness as often as possible, infertility can become more manageable.
A belief is just a thought on repeat.
I also implore you to explore alternative modalities as well. There are some incredibly passionate people in this world who want to take their gifts and shower them upon your womb. They want to educate, inspire and help heal your body, soul and mind. Give them a chance.
My wish for you is to find your comfort to openly talk about your struggle in hopes you may find your peace with your story or to help others through theirs. There’s always a lesson that comes out of hard times: a greater purpose than you could ever imagine and usually some other little goodies along the way. I hope you find your sisterhood in suffering and find solace in all they offer. My greatest wish, of course, is for your baby to join us earthside.
More, I hope you take today, and everyday, to truly know that you are an exceptional, divine woman who possesses immense potential and love. You are on this earth for an incredible purpose. Maybe that purpose hasn’t been revealed to you yet but in time, it will. Then everything will fall into place and life will make sense again. Hopefully it will happen when your baby is in your arms. If your baby never comes, or has never came, I wish you open-minded awareness, compassion for others (pregnant and not), child-like exploration of the offerings from Earth and deep soul soothing peace.
United we rise and change the f*cking world!