I’ve spent years mourning my infertility. If you looked at all the hours I’ve spent at doctor’s offices, researching online, trying new recipes, using fertility apps, reading, chanting, asking advice, rubbing bellies and so forth, you’d probably laugh, or cry – maybe both. But nothing worked. Never has, never will. And while I’m not totally ok with that yet, I’m getting there. It’s taken some time and a few different ways, but below are the ways that I’m coming to terms with my infertility.
I’ve found that each month, as I share my story via this website, I’m getting a little stronger. And with each person I speak to about it, I find my voice a little more. Sharing my story is empowering me.
Enjoying the life I have
We all have dreams, but sometimes we need to tweak a few of them. Instead of being stuck in my ways so to speak, I am re-shifting my focus onto what is good about my life. I have new dreams now, dreams that are fulfilling in ways I would never have expected. I’m focusing on my husband, our dogs, our health and other pursuits (I’m taking an online course and learning a new language!) that make me happy and that add depth to my life. I want to spend time travelling and am finding the idea of spontaneous trips in an old converted school bus exhilarating! The more I focus on what is good about my life and my new dreams, the less I spend thinking about what could have been.
This is a big one! The hardest part of my infertility journey has been trying to find people who truly understand what I am feeling. I have many wonderful and sympathetic friends, but few who can empathize. So I tried to find a support group that I could attend. To my surprise my health clinic did not know of any in our region and when I went online I saw that my best option was over 140kms away (and that is the closest by about 100kms!). And that group was at a fertility clinic so I wasn’t sure if I had to be a patient to be able to attend. So, with the help from Fertility Matters and a support from another group leader, I started my own group. We had our first meeting at a local yoga studio (who donated the space to us – thank you so much!) last Friday night. And two wonderful ladies attended! Two!! I had taken a book just in case no one came, but was thrilled by the turnout and am sure we can grow month to month. The best part though, the crucial part, was that we were three human beings who had experienced/were experiencing infertility. And we knew exactly how each other felt. And we cried together and shared our stories. And laughed and planned together. We want our group to grow. We know we can reach others, but are content to do so slowly. But best of all, we know now how it felt to have someone understand us.
Health – Mental, Emotional, Spiritual and Physical
My infertility has impacted my health in many ways; perhaps my emotional and mental health the most. The constant feeling of failure, of “not good enough-ness”, of not belonging has weighed upon my heart for so long that I am sure I was on the edge (sometimes fully in the deep end) of depression. How could I not be? My soul wept for the children I would never know, the experiences I could never share. So whether I’m in that place now or not – I might be again, so now is the time to take action! I’ve begun to meditate again. Once or twice a day, guided mediation for now. And I try to walk the dogs more (being in nature is like meditation for me and is so cleansing), which is good for all aspects of my health. I’m eating better and growing more of my own food. I’ve spent some time and really evaluated the relationships in my life and have reconnected with some great people and said goodbye to some who are no longer on my path. I’ve pared down my activities and am now giving my best when I volunteer or participate in something. And I’ve taken my health into my own hands. I’m looking for a new GP and have made an appointment with a local ND who comes highly recommended. I’ve started yoga again and have joined a local pool for aquafit (totally fun and makes me feel young!).
Overall, I found that once I started to take action, to do small things, I started to cope better. It made the truth of my infertility more palatable, easier to deal with. I know everything doesn’t work for everyone, but I do know that trying something can’t hurt. So I’m trying all sorts of things, some are sticking and some aren’t, but I feel stronger knowing that these are my choices and I can control them. Something I couldn’t do with my infertility.
You can read more from CeCe VanderMarks on her blog: cecevandermarks.weebly.com