A few months ago, I revealed my struggle with infertility. At that time, I was in the thick of it, immersed in the journey, filled with frustration, longing and impatience. I was doing everything in my power to take control of my situation; I radically changed my diet. I was seeing a naturopath regularly and taking all kinds of expensive, nasty-tasting supplements. I got acupuncture treatments every week. I saw a therapist. I was doing everything “right”. I really tried to enter into my final IVF cycle with a positive attitude. So needless to say, when I learned that not one of my eggs fertilized and that there were no embryos to even implant, I was completely devastated. All that pain, all that discomfort and all that hope…..for nothing.
I curled up in a ball and grieved for several weeks. There was nothing anyone could say, nothing anyone could do. The situation was shitty and I knew that it was the end of the road for me; after two and a half years, my body and mind simply couldn’t take any more. And yes, I realize that I was blessed with a beautiful, healthy son. But despite this, I still felt loss and heartache. I still felt that my body had failed me and I was desperate for another child to love. Some may see this as selfish, but it’s my truth.
After giving myself permission to wallow in despair for what felt like an appropriate amount of time, the day came for me to pick myself up and start living again. For close to three years, I had put off so much. I had allowed my infertility to dictate my life. I used it as an excuse to be inactive. Why start exercising now, I may be pregnant next month. Why bother buying new clothes, hopefully I’ll be pregnant soon and will have to pull out the maternity clothes. These are the types of thoughts I had every day. These thoughts kept me trapped….stagnant…..waiting.
So I decided to stop making excuses. I went way out of my comfort zone and started taking Moksha Yoga classes. And I hate to sound cheesy, but the mindfulness that is inherent to the practice of yoga was truly eye opening for me. Being present and living in the moment, without self-judgment, was completely foreign to me. The last three years have been about being ten steps ahead, of timing sex with my husband, of revolving my life around my menstrual cycle. When I look back at my life while I was in the midst of treatment, I feel like a bit of a fraud; as a social worker and therapist, I am constantly preaching about the notion of “balance”. And yet, balance was something I was simply incapable of achieving. I allowed my inability to get pregnant to dictate my life. Essentially, I was a slave to my infertility.
So I have finally decided to just let go. I have let go of the hopes of having another child. And although this may sound incredibly depressing (which it was at first), I have never felt freer. I have chosen to focus on what I have as opposed to fixating on what I am lacking. And what I have is incredible. What I have is a gift. I won’t lie, I still have a tinge of sadness when I allow my mind to wander to what could have been. But I do my best to refocus my energy on what is. This journey didn’t end the way I had hoped it would, but that’s okay. I now feel stronger and happier than I have felt in a long time.
Sometimes letting go is a good thing.