Deflated. We sat in Sandy’s the psychologist’s office sulking, hating the fact that we were even there. It had been an especially harrowing year of infertility. The clinics had slapped the diagnosis of PCOS but also said I don’t have all the typical symptoms. When it really came down to it, I was boxed as “unexplained”. After years of waiting for our perfect dream we realized we had put everything else on hold and forgot our joy while losing ourselves to over 5 years of infertility.
It’s not that we woke up every day and infertility was the first thought. It had crept and wove itself into many small decisions and punched us in the gut when we least expected it. Like at a wedding, when parents of the bride and groom told stories of their kids growing up, I cried like a baby but not because of the ceremony, but because I thought, “I’ll never have that!”. As the psychologist sat back that day and listened to my plot of “one more try!”, she look us straight in the eye and said, “When will you start living?”.
Lesson 1: Everyone else will see your sadness except you.
We started our infertility journey when I was 32, I am now 39, basically my entire thirties. Believe, me when I say, this wasn’t part of the plan. At the time we saw Sandy we had been married for 12 years and not once in those twelve years was there a miscarriage or one positive test. Yet, the IVF results showed our eggs and sperm were champions. To say this was crazy making is an understatement. After Sandy’s question, we took a step back and walked away to decide how far were we willing to go?
Lesson 2: Know your limit for infertility, be willing to walk away and get help.
A few years ago, we entertained adoption and surrogacy but we were not ready for either. We were just too angry and unwilling to get more hurt. My family doctor referred me to Women’s College Hospital Reproductive Stages Program, where I got accepted for an OHIP covered 16-week program. This was a lifesaver for me as it gave me the ability to let everything go and realize if we were to change this stuck pattern we were in, we had to change everything. It didn’t mean we were willing to accept being ‘childless not by choice’, but we were willing to stop everything, walk away and enjoy us as a family with our two dogs.
Lesson 3. Be willing to let go and do a 180 on everything.
After over 5 years of clinics, shots, hormones, appointments, we knew we needed a radical shift to get unstuck. My dad always said, the definition of stupidity was doing the same thing and expecting different results. In August of 2018, we asked ourselves a question: “what is the craziest thing we can do?”. One of us said, “RV full time across North America for a year” – till this day I have no idea how that came up. Neither of us had even RV’d, didn’t know anyone that lived that kind of lifestyle that wasn’t retired. We went to the next RV show in Toronto and somehow this absolute crazy idea became the guiding light to everything. We had no idea how we would make money while on the road, but it didn’t matter. We had faith that it would work out and we were no longer willing to plan our life around infertility. We wanted to live! We fundamentally asked ourselves, this question, “if not now, then when? If infertility showed us anything, nothing goes as planned.
Lesson 4: As soon as you let go, everything else will flow.
When we said “yes” to the RV everything started to change. For the next year that is all we did. We ate, slept, talked RVing. We flew into the USA for a RV Entrepreneur Conference and met other people our age who worked and lived full-time in an RV (find your tribe!). At the conference, a photographer took our photo and when our families saw it, they exclaimed, “you are finally happy”, from there everything just clicked. One of us convinced our companies to let us go remote, we sold our house, then bought our dream house a week later and rented it out (this was not planned) In this timeframe we also met our future surrogate-mother, and we are super excited to be pursuing this route in the near future. We needed to change everything to allow life to flow.
Lesson 5. “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t – you’re right.” Henry Ford.
While it may sound completely radical what we did, you have to remember we had been on and off in infertility treatments for almost 7 years. Infertility had penetrated into our careers, lives, hopes, right down to the type of Ikea furniture we bought (you know, just in case). No, I’m sorry but infertility doesn’t get to happen to me. As soon as we recognized this passive emotional position to one of strength it reframed everything.
What our message here is: don’t let infertility stop you from living. You don’t need to go big or go home like we did, that was our journey – but ask yourself, what brings you joy beyond the superficial and now go do that!
Start small but start Now. The open road is calling you like a freaking moose call, go answer it.
We are right now in Nanaimo, BC for the winter and on December 1st, , 2020 it will be our one-year full-time RV anniversary. Our NOW is RVing and in the future we know it will be something else. While the year didn’t go as planned (Covid), our infertility journey taught us resiliency and that nothing ever goes as planned. We believe anyone can start small and start now– the best advice we received on this RV journey is you just need to choose, set a date, and opportunities will reveal.
Ask yourself these questions to help filter and decide what is next on your journey:
- Does this align with your other big goals in life?
- When you think of this decision does it feel light or heavy?
- Am I ready to pursue this path?
To know more or ask us questions about RVing, follow us on Instagram www.instagram.com/WeNowRV or www.wenowrv.com