May 11, 2012 | By: Liz | Filed under: Uncategorized
As I started to type this Blog, I turned on Pandora radio for some happy listening while I typed my blog. Mother’s Day is a very, very difficult topic for me. Mother’s Day and infertility. Well that is, it used to be a difficult topic. And no, it’s not a better topic for me now because I have children. Having children didn’t fix it.
So I wanted some inspiration from song writers and I typed in an artist that usually has some words of wisdom for me. The song that popped up when I entered the artist (who shall remain nameless) was all about love and family. And so was the next, and the next, and the next, and the next. Every song that has followed as I have typed and deleted, has been about love and family. I didn’t pick that initial track or any that have followed it but clearly the Universe was telling me I am on the right track to have chosen to stop my day and talk about what it means to be infertile at the holiest of holy days for those who are struggling to conceive.
I have wanted to write all week and have been suffering from horrible writer’s block. My colleague Amy Demma pushed me (check out her blog http://www.eggdonationtoday.com/). My clients asked me. My meditation quieted my mind so I could figure out what I wanted to say. Even if only to myself. And the music is telling me to share this with you. To share something very profound that happened to me recently and has changed, finally changed how I feel about Mother’s Day. And no, it’s not about my children.
How many times today have I been asked what do I want for Mother’s Day? Countless. I have not had a single response over these many years than to ask that I be permitted to wear my pj’s all day and not have to face the world (sound familiar? I think I’ve said the same thing all but two years out of the last 15). But as I sat down to write this, I realized something. I finally got my Mother’s Day present, a little early. And no it’s not my children.
My infertility has changed my life but it hasn’t changed me. I have wonderful new people in my life because of my infertility. I have a wonderful RE with whom I still stay in touch after 10 years and who held my hand through what were then the darkest days of my life. I have a new career that I love and that revolves around my barren uterus. I have published two books, one of them a best-selling cult classic that 8 years and 9 printings after its initial publication still moves people to write me letters, send me facebook messages, or email me how much my words helped them get through what were their darkest days. But Mother’s Day still sucked. Having children did NOT make Mother’s Day better for me.
I just underwent a transformation of epic proportion and that’s where we start this blog. I thought my infertility transformed my life. The new friends, the career. Nope.
I am talking about a different kind of transformation. And that’s not to say my infertility didn’t transform me. It was a f@##&^%g awful gift but man what a gift it was. And what gifts it gave me. And no I am not talking about my children.
The gift I am talking about is how my infertility started to open me up. To learn to open up to me. To realize me. It was the first of what became a series of events that have shown me who I am and who I want to be. And no I am not talking about being a mother.
I recently went through another experience that was almost as painful as my miscarriages, my HSG, my laporoscopies, my countless IVF cycles, and the despair and fear that I felt throughout that time.
And in the middle of this more recent experience, I let go. I didn’t give up. I didn’t surrender. There was nothing defeating about the letting go. In fact it was completely the opposite of all the negative emotion I felt during my infertility. I sat still after a meditation in which I had begged and pleaded for someone or something to help me take away this pain, this constant pain and ache I felt in my heart. In my soul. And as I sat in the stillness there was a voice. A Voice that told me I didn’t have to feel pain. I had never had to feel pain. I didn’t have to feel sadness. I had never had to feel sadness.
I questioned this voice. Not feel sadness when I lost a child growing inside me? Not feel sadness when a birth mother requested her child be returned to her? Not to feel sadness that I still haven’t had a baby grow inside me? Seriously?
The lawyer in me came out and argued with this Voice but the lawyer, she did not win.
There was the understanding that I can have a barren uterus and find happiness in this moment, in every moment. There was the understanding that I could choose to live through what I was going through fighting, crying, screaming, and arguing. Just as I had through my infertility. I could choose to live through my current experience resisting it. I would probably make lemonade out of what I had been going through. I could create another best-seller perhaps? I could knit another afghan? I could develop another business? The options were endless for fighting my way through the experience and even put a smiley face on the end result. But the realization was that it wasn’t worth the fight. Why was I fighting? There was no more trying to make lemonade out of lemons for me. There was the simple reality that lemons exist and that it is okay.
So I sat there mulling over this concept. Call it Acceptance. Release. Trust. And I realized that I hadn’t accepted my infertility. I hadn’t released my demons. They still ruled me. My current experience was controlling me. I was not controlling it. Suddenly my world was upside down. I had everything I ever wanted. I HAVE CHILDREN. I am a MOTHER. And I wasn’t happy. The Voice was telling me how unhappy I was and how pointless and needless it was to be unhappy.
No, I argued with the Voice, I wasn’t happy because of my current situation. I was justified.
No shouted the Voice.
The Voice laughed at me. I was speechless. Now for those of you who know me, me being truly speechless is a rare event. A very rare event.
So I sat in the speechlessness. I decided to listen to the Voice and not argue with it. I figured that anyone who can render me speechless is worth listening to.
When was the last time you were ever truly happy it asked me. Do you even know what happiness is?
I did know what happiness was. Through meditation I had felt it. Through meditation I had felt joy. Pure unadulterated joy. yes. Yes.
I then told the Voice I know what feeling it is to which you refer.
And then it hit me. Or should I say it washed over me.
I didn’t have to wait for anything to happen to feel that joy. If I could feel joy in meditation, I could feel joy or happiness in any minute of any day and in any situation.
I could have felt happy while waiting for my children instead of frustration, anger, and all that pain.
I could choose to feel happy now instead of dreading what was going on around me. I had control over how I felt. I had control over my thoughts.
And that’s when the Release came. The feeling of utter calm, serenity and peace. I have never, EVER felt that before. Not even as a child. Not even holding my children. This was something so completely and utterly NEW.
And I suddenly trusted that was going on around me was okay and I would be okay and it would be okay. I realized it was okay that I had been angry. It was okay that I had judged myself for being angry. It was okay to have a barren uterus. It was okay. Everything was okay.
It was all gone. Everything. No hurt.
No I hadn’t taken any drugs. No I wasn’t hallucinating. I am not sure whether it was the result of my meditation or whether it was the culmination of years of anguish but I suddenly no longer wanted to feel anything other than what I was feeling in THAT moment. I didn’t have to fight to feel this. I didn’t have to “win” to feel this. I didn’t have to have a baby to feel this. I could simply choose to FEEL this. Feel Happy.
So where am I going with all this? Mother’s Day is a sacred day for a woman. Any woman. A woman with children wants to celebrate. A woman without children wishes she could celebrate. A woman who chooses not to have children wants to celebrate other mother’s on mother’s day. This Sunday is ALL about being a mother and if you aren’t a mother on Sunday when you want to be, the pain is overwhelming. It is. Really it is. Or is it?
It doesn’t have to be. Can you try to let it go? Can you try to break through to a slightly better feeling place? I know you can’t jump from where you are today as you fight with a NOvary. But you can choose to let go of the emotion you are feeling right now and find a feeling that is just a little bit better than where you are. You could even choose to stretch a little further and trust that there will be a happy ending and you don’t have to make lemonade to have the happy ending. You can just trust that the happy ending is coming and then let it come.
Know that YOUR Mother’s Day is coming. I promise.
One day this holiday isn’t going to hurt. You aren’t going to want to curl up in your pj’s and escape. And you can even let THIS Mother’s Day be the first time it doesn’t hurt.
I have been to hell and back, just like you. I was going through hell again and I was able to just let it all go. Let it all go and feel the quiet, the stillness, and the peace wash over me. From there came the better feelings and then the joy. I smile now. Every day I smile. I laugh. I used to have a constant scowl. Now people don’t recognize me when they see me. Even my mother didn’t recognize me after this . . . this release.
I am today a different person than I used to be. I can’t change the past and I don’t want to. But I can change today and tonight and this weekend. I can change this Mother’s Day. I can be happy this Mother’s day. For the first time. The Mother’s Day demon is gone. In fact they are almost all gone. And those that aren’t gone are being released one by one. Because once you figure out how to release and accept what is going on, how to allow things to unfold around you with excitement instead of fear, the demons don’t have a chance. I am not saying that once you find how you can release and accept what is going on you’re going to get pregnant or adopt tomorrow . I am saying none of it will matter. Because you will know in your heart that your Mother’s Day is coming.
Just like I know that this Mother’s Day, I am going to stay in my pj’s. And I am doing it because that is what makes me Happy. I am going to lie still and listen to my children’s laughter and probably some fights and tears too. And I am going to know that whatever is going on it’s going to be okay.
Do I still want another baby? OF COURSE.
Do I still want to TRY to have another baby? OF COURSE.
But I am not sad. I am not fighting. I am not angry. I am not feeling any of those horrible emotions that have been eating me up since . . . since that first HSG? I am content. I am free. I am okay. I am okay if I don’t even feel a baby kick inside me. I never thought I would ever, ever be able to say that. But it’s true. I have every desire and expectation that I can have whatever I dream about, whatever I want. But I don’t have to fight to get there. It will come when it’s time. And if it doesn’t come?
And what about the Voice? That was me. The Voice is me. The real me. The me who knows more than I do. There’s one inside you too. Go find her. Grab her. Hold her. Thank her. And then celebrate your FIRST Mother’s day with her. She’s a pretty awesome person.
p.s I am not proofing this post as I believe that if I proof it I will change it and it won’t be honest anymore. I am not perfect. I make mistakes. I makye typos. And that is okay too. And by the way it’s okay if you can’t be Happy this Mother’s Day. Just try to find a better feeling. Anything better than what you feel right now. Because that is the beginning of finding your path to acceptance, peace and happiness.