A week ago, Facebook sent a reminder post from a friend’s baby shower I attended in 2015. As the picture popped up on my feed, I saw right through that fake smile and felt the pain I was feeling on the inside. Those were the darkest days of my life, each a struggle to get through. Trying to get pregnant for over 3 years, the constant challenge to being positive and optimistic was exhausting. I felt depleted. My focus was only on getting pregnant, anxious about why I wasn’t yet. It’s an experience you can only understand after having been through. Dealing with big emotions are hard and can take over your life if you allow them to.
Watching everyone so easily living the life I so desired led me down a painful and at times toxic path. The emotions, though uncontrollable, left me wishing I could have dealt with it all differently. With each passing year, I try to judge myself less and understand my why and how I can be a better person for my daughter. My only hope is that my journey can help yours in finding and accepting your why.
Letting People In
Looking back I know I hurt those closest by pushing them away, but it’s all I could do to keep sane. The version we present of ourselves on social media rarely tells the true story and becomes the wall that we use to shut the world out. Talking about my pain, and my anxiety led to an immense relief, it brought me clarity. I wasn’t an envious ghoul of a person for slightly hating my friends for pro-creating, they were feelings I needed to face and talk about. Only after letting people in and sharing openly on social did I realize I wasn’t the first, and will not be the last and you’re likely not going to be either as well. Talk to those you trust and be honest. Accepting your why and how it was making you feel had to be my first step before I could get past the negative feelings.
Turning Negative Experiences into Positive Visualizations
So, about those negative feelings. It’s difficult to reconcile being a good human, when all I could feel was inadequate. Seeing moms in the neighbourhood pushing their strollers with their newborns would spark feelings of jealousy and I had to train my mind to stop these thoughts. I became a master at baby shower absenteeism, convincing everyone of my uber busy lifestyle. Part of me anxious of the caroling moms sharing their newborn’s recent firsts. Part of me feeling inadequate in comparison of the expecting mom. I avoided these situations in fear that I wouldn’t be able to make it through another shower without a full scale breakdown. After talking to my closest friends, I had begun to accept all my feelings as I also started to re-imagine my situation. I vividly remember, while driving, looking in the rear view and seeing my nephew, visualizing the day when that car seat would be filled with my very own. Literally, out loud I declared "...one day this will be you driving with a baby in the back!". I started attending showers and would come home and create pinterest boards for my future baby which allowed me to live in possibility.
Visualizing helped me to focus on the possibilities of what could come which made each event less about what wasn’t but what it was going to be.
Trying Something New
All that visualizing led me to rediscover the mom I wanted to be, one full of experiences and perspectives to share with my little one. My desire to become a better human being brought me to today, living the life I envisioned. Turning to yoga, my nascent practice evolved to the completion of my yoga teacher certificate. The confidence I gained from challenging myself mentally, physically and emotionally rejuvenated my mind. It was incredible to see how getting caught up in my fitness acted as a form of self care. I then threw myself into all aspects of my health. Experimenting on recipes constantly until I took over the reigns of the pantry contents.
Focusing on my health strengthened my mind. It was only then, when I had let all those feelings go that my life drastically changed courses leading me to get pregnant within a couple years of the point of transformation.
Infertility is very common and many people don't talk about it. Through self discovery and awareness I began to heal. Affirmations and being mindful is not just something to teach to our littles, it’s a practice we have to remind ourselves to be in everyday. I have so much gratitude to be living this life. It's the most beautiful life I could have imagined. To you women out there who are battling the same journey I hear you, I see you and I feel you.