As you may remember, my last IVF was an extremely difficult experience as it just didn’t feel like the right thing for me to do anymore. I literally had to stop all outside duties (including this blog) in order to channel my energy towards finishing the process. Before and during the IVF process, I knew that was going to be the last shot for me. I knew it was the last chance as the pursuit to have kids was not going to continue (more like, it felt impossible to continue). Though I also didn’t exactly envision a childless life. Not at all. So I tried to face that complicated scenario. I laid on the couch most of the time. I didn’t go for my walks. I didn’t see the light of day for probably weeks. I didn’t attend most events and if I did, I had to brace myself a bit just to be there. I did attend a Women of Faith lecture at my church and I often would conduct those meetings. But that time, I couldn’t even conduct. I didn’t have any outflow to offer.
This post was written two weeks after we found out the results of that IVF, but for some reason it never got posted. That happens a lot. I have exactly 302 unposted drafts at the moment. 🙂 My thinking in sharing this is to unite with other women who may have similar struggles – or with people who experience disappointments of all kinds. Maybe it helps to know you are not alone.
It’s been about 2 weeks since we found out the news of the IVF.
The process of surrendering to this rather huge life situation (ending the pursuit) has not been quick and easy, but more of a difficult process. I’m glad I know the process, though. I’m glad I know that if I choose to surrender my pains, worries, fears on the altar – in honor of pursing love, hope, gratitude, joy, peace – it works. It really, really works every time. It heals. It sanctifies. I’m glad I still have a belief in the process. I’m thankful I have a desire to go through that process as I know there is nothing better than feeling at peace. The alternative is not something I want to bear.
I’ve been trying to tackle the “surrendering” part each day with thoughts as they come in. It hasn’t been easy. But little by little, it’s helping. Life is feeling beautiful and good again, which I am so grateful for. I’ve been feeling waves of hope for this new chapter of my life. I’ve been feeling the weight lift. That inner peace that I’ve known so well for so long is starting to dwell within me again.
But there have been moments over the last many weeks when I knew this “surrender” had a ways to go.
These have been some of those moments…
-At times I’ve thought, “What is wrong with me? Why don’t I have enough desire to keep going?” I mean, every parent I know says that their children are their greatest joys. And yet, every moment of that IVF I felt like “The Ten Year Pursuit” has just gone on too long and it just hasn’t felt right to live my life like that anymore. I have felt annoyed that after all of this, I have to now face not having the desire any more (and all that that entails.)
-I have had moments of feeling sad that I won’t experience pregnancy, the joint experience of creation, feeling a life inside, the miracle of birth, the love hormones of a new mother, breastfeeding a child, the 9 month excitement and anticipation of preparing for a new child. I looked forward to sharing in these amazing life experiences that have united women all over the world from the beginning of time. They seem so womanly, so motherly, so powerful, so miraculous. I hoped to take part in that. For years I read about natural birth (I devoured Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth). I even got “well woman” exams with midwives, just to get to know them in case I got pregnant. So part of me has mourned that the experience of birth will not be in my future, unless there is a surprise miracle. But I can’t live as if that surprise will happen. It’s better for me to just live.
-I feel like most people, especially women and mothers, perhaps ache about this situation more than I do. It’s like they’re wanting to say, “But you don’t know what you’re missing by not raising a child.” And it’s true, I actually don’t know. That is part of the reason why it’s difficult to continue as I really, really don’t know and could never know what it is like to have a child unless I had one. And so, there is a sense of isolation with not knowing what everyone else knows.
-I sometimes fear being alone. If I were to ever lose Danny, I would have no offspring, no immediate family of my own. One of us will one day die and leave the other alone. I can hardly bear the thought.
It’s weird to think of not having any heritage. We will basically disappear one day.
-I need to re-invent my life and start from scratch. I don’t necessarily want to. I don’t have the energy for it. Up until now, my whole life has been geared towards “one day having a child.” I took certain jobs and did things based on the idea that one day, I would be a mother.
-It pains me greatly to think of Danny not being a father. But that is a post for another day.
Dear readers, this is heavy stuff. And as I’ve read this again, I’m so glad to say that I’ve come so far and I’m constantly being touched by how much GOOD there is in my life. Every single person could write a list that haunts them. Every mother could write their own list of what might haunt them. But we all –we ALL– have to go through the same process of surrendering these fears if we want to be free and whole. WHY? Because there is so much GOOD to experience in this life. There is so much LIFE to be lived and experienced fully. There is so much LOVE that needs to be shared with the world. I have tasted all of these beautiful things in the last many months. I have felt love for strangers in Iceland, Norway, Denmark, and Vermont. I have felt giddy and joyful with my husband. I have felt passion and creativity for my endeavors (I just enrolled in B-School!) I have bonded and felt connected to other women, other mothers. I have felt IN it with them. Because we are all IN it. All of us together.
P.S. I want to do a better job of explaining HOW this surrender works for me. On Monday I’ll share how I’ve worked to surrender in each of the scenarios above.