Hi friends. I’m on vacation until the day after Labor Day, so I might just catch up on some blogging, dust out the corners over here. No lie, it’s been really hard & I haven’t wanted to share much, or even when I want to share cute things or little trips it feels disingenuous to do so without acknowledging everything else under the surface. I’m not really sure what my future on the internet looks like, what I do know is that every pregnancy announcement (and oh, there are so, so many) is like a knife to the heart. I feel more and more isolated as each day passes, more and more thinking I need to take the time to actually process what it will truly mean to go through life never becoming a mother. I’m not there yet, because thinking down that road is not pretty – it’s a lash-out, crazy crazy place. So I avoid it.
An internet friend emailed the other day and asked if I was SO busy that I couldn’t start a yoga practice, as it’s beneficial for infertility. It was a long email and there was a lot to think about, but in the end, the answer is no. No, I’m not busy. I’m depressed, I’m isolated, I spend my free time trying to escape my reality with books and little tasks and work. But I’m not busy. I’m just terrified of the open, thinking times that yoga brings.
I was in my favorite little tea room and overheard (read: snooped on) a conversation between two people where one was feeling pretty overwhelmed and lost, and the response from the other is something I want to think about during my week away from work:
What do you have that’s really valuable right now?
I love that question. I need to be thinking on that too….and I really wish you lived close so we could hang out. I had lunch with Robyn Mizrach this week (who I found through your IG) and totally referred to you as my friend even though we haven’t met IRL <3
That’s a dream lunch! Except I’d be the chubby midget in the corner with you 2! <3
A very good question. I hope the process of answering it helps. I know I need to ask it of myself right now too for different reasons. I absolutely empathize with keeping ones self busy just to avoid thinking. I’ve been there many times. I think about you often and wonder how you are doing.
Re yoga, I know we are at slightly different stages of the hideousness that is infertility, but it has helped me a lot. Yoga hasn’t helped with my infertility (ie it hasn’t made it disappear), but it has helped with my emotional and mental state so much. The difference between post miscarriage/beginnings of infertility me 18 months ago and this year when I really started a regular yoga practice is incredible. Yes, I still have times when I feel depressed and fearful and despondent, but there are less of those times now.
I think that part of what has helped so much is that for me and the way I am taught yoga, it is about being in the moment and not thinking about the past or the future, at least for the time that you spend on the mat. So even in the relaxation/mediation time, my goal is to simply enjoy that time and be present in the moment. I’ve been taught that even if other thoughts cross my mind, and they often do, to let them float past but to try not to focus on them.
I know this all sounds airy fairy and vague, but I always, even on my worst most depressed days, walk out of my yoga classes feeling like I have peace in my heart. It doesn’t always last but it’s better than nothing. It also gives me a reason to celebrate my body. Infertility gives me so many reasons to hate my body but seeing the progress I make with yoga makes me feel strong and helps me to see that my body is actually capable of doing good things, even if one of those things is not getting pregnant (yet).
As for your question, it is such a good question! My answer: my marriage.
I will definitely be doing more yoga – whether or not I manage to let thoughts float by like clouds is another story altogether. Always impressed by those who can actually quiet that jibber jabber down.
Really valuable ? What’s horrible about that question is I first think of the gaps the things I’d value but don’t have. In real life friends, mostly.
But what is valuable are the smiles Forrest gives me. The puppy wiggles that greet me. The ridge top breathless wonder.
I think of you often. I really truly hope this will be over soon. Do not think of *that* dreadful, crazy place, because it is not here yet.
Keeping busy, distractions, and yes, actively focusing / trying to find the valuable all help.
What a beautiful question. I immediately think: love. Most valuable and thing I least thought I could count on, last year at this time. I hope you find some peace in your thoughts and your time. My heart goes out to you.
Oh Tamera, I worry about you. It feels weird to say that since I’m sort of just a distant internet person, but it’s true. I can’t even comprehend what you’re going through and I hope that you can find support to help you through this journey. Mostly I hope for you that magic will happen and that you’ll get exactly what you want.
The baby announcements online seem rampant. Every day there is someone new with “big announcement.” Even as someone who is not trying to have kids right now I find it suffocating. There are so many times that I feel like walking away from the internet, but I know in some ways it’s also my only social sphere and doing so would isolate me more than would be healthy.
I hope you know there are many of us here for you, and rooting for you. xo
A question I need to ask myself as well…
You are certainly not alone in your journeys, fears, struggles, and tears.
I have been battling the same emotions and questions right along with you, over here on the other side of the country.
I’m 36, have been trying for 5+ years. I too have battled fibroids (and emailed with you about it several years ago), have had multiple surgeries, long waiting times for healing, tests, am on my third miscarriage in as many years. Each miscarriage has been a traumatic event for my body, with severe blood loss, emergency rooms, emergency D&Cs, blood transfusions, hospitalization, etc. Not only that, but the aftermath of depression with each loss. I too find myself becoming more and more isolated from what my life once was …
Most certainly traumatic for body AND mind AND heart.
Dr’s have offered no explanations…
I’ve finally begun to accept that I may have to ask myself those hard questions you mentioned. With such damage to my body with each attempt at pregnancy, at what point do I need to walk away? I really question wether this desire and quest will end up killing me, and that is no figure of speech. I have this nagging intuitive fear that it could end up killing me, and I have tried to ignore that nagging, alas…
I ‘m sorry that I cannot offer any soothing words of encouragement or strength for you. At the moment, I’m waist deep in the sh*t with you, so at the very least, please know that this struggle is not yours alone. Though probably not much of a consolation, Tamera, you do have sisters out here going through the same thing. We are not all sharing our baby announcements.
You are the only person in my life going through this, so for me, I am glad to know that I am not alone. If you ever want to share or chat, please do find me…..
Correction – I’m 37…ha! Where do the years go?
I’m so sorry you’re going through this. I often think my intuition is telling me something (though for me it’s like “exercise! eat more fiber! take probiotics!” and not “you will die”) – as terrifying as it can be maybe it can provide clues for your doctor to help to fix it? When I think about how positive I was post-fibroid surgery (and told everything was great by doctors) I just want to scream and throw things, so I get the frustration of trying to work with medical professionals and just getting NO answers.
Every time I think I need to shut up about infertility someone says that no one else talks about it and I realize how important it is to stand up and exist. Hoping for you.
tamera, like many others here i don’t know you personally but i think of you often and feel in the trenches with you, because i too would love to start a family, but have not found a willing partner. at 37, i wonder if i should use a sperm bank? and after years of stark singleness, what do i make of my new and spectacular boyfriend who already has a child and doesn’t want more? what a vexing conundrum i have created here…and i wonder what will happen. to me and to you. and i wish for these dreams to come true.
that said, i want to reiterate my once meek endorsement of colon hydrotherapy. i’m not a wingnut about it, but i will say that for months i thought i had fibroids or endometriosis, and a short series of colonics totally transformed my world. all of that cyclic uterine and low back pain and bloating is simply gone. it’s a radical approach in some ways, but it was the right thing for my body, so much so that i want to recommend it to you.
sending you lots of peace, and support, and love in this journey.
In one of my favorite books ever, The Passion, Jeanette Winterson writes (repeatedly, and always in a one-line paragraph): What you risk reveals what you value. A different way to approach the question, but it always makes me think.
Hi. I feel I can identify in some ways with you. I’ve been reading your blog for quite a long time now, following your journey and now I feel as if perhaps I can contribute something worthwhile. If it’s okay I would like to make a suggestion. I noticed your list says ‘acquire a baby’. If this is the goal (sorry to make it sound blunt – It’s difficult to hit the right tone in a comment. I say this with full love & respect) then this may be what you need to focus on. No, I don’t mean illegally acquire a baby but DO consider ALL of your options. If your goal is to create a loving family then think outside the societal ‘norm’ square because from what I can gather about you, this is where you truly excel. You are a creative thinker, a unique person with vision and I believe that your family might look any way you choose it to when considering all of the options including surrogacy, adoption & becoming foster carers. Don’t give up on your own child either. Perhaps the timing has been not quite right. Perhaps this journey & experience is what you needed to develop the strength you will need to be a parent. I believe you have a lot more choice than you might be able to see right now. I believe love is limitless and will carry you through any storm. I believe you will find a way to have your beautiful, loving family. I think I am just reinforcing the tearoom lady’s thoughts when I say build on the great stuff because you have a lot of great stuff to build on. And since quotes seem to be the thing of this post, this might be my absolute favourite.
“There will come a time when you believe everything is finished. That will be the beginning.” Louis L’Amour
I truly believe that this is your beginning on an exciting new journey.
<3 and hugs, Tamera
I appreciate the question. I am trying to focus on the things I value more. I don't have many talents, as far as creativity – couldn't knit a hat, paint a picture, or play a song to save my life – but being able to share stories, to weave little snippets together, it gives me comfort and pride, especially when others appreciate it. It is very important to me and I'm more aware of the value of being able to play with words. So, there's that.
hi tamera, i’m so sorry to hear your pain about wanting a baby and a family and not being able to conceive. i’m probably past the age of being able to conceive and hearing news of pregnancies and seeing people’s families is very painful. and although i am not in a position to do this myself, i have a good friend that wasn’t able to get pregnant and decided to adopt. she now has the most beautiful baby girl. it may not be right for you and sean, but at least something to consider. there are lots of babies out there that need a mommy and daddy and a family. sending healing and peace to your heart.
Yoga helped me let go of a lot of baggage, last year. Looking down the road of “maybe, never” is one of the hardest things, that I think most people don’t understand until they’ve had to do it. I am so hoping that isn’t your path. That there is magic waiting for you, just around the corner.
And to those who would cry, “adopt”, even with the best of intentions, it’s not the same thing. It’s not for everyone. And it doesn’t lessen the despair of wanting a biological child.
So. What I have that is really valuable: a partner, interesting work, good health, a past I am more content with then regretful over.
For me it’s my family (parents, 3 sisters, 1 niece and 2 nephews). one of my sisters (and mother to the children in my family) died in an accident. Hers was the first funeral I ever went to, and also had to plan it. Life and nature is so wonderful and terrible. Before this I my greatest worry was that I would never become a mother because I’m 34 and only getting older….. Now, while the thought does hurt, having to lose my sister is the worst. Personally knowing that small children are left without parents.
I’m so sorry for your loss. I hope you get to spend a lot of time with your niece and nephews.
I recently picked up a book by Alisa Vitti called Woman Code. In it she lays out a program for reconnecting with your body and using food to help heal your endocrine system. She apparently has great success helping women through infertility, including dealing with endometriosis and PCOS, including curing her own PCOS. To me her program doesn’t seem overwealmingly complicated and has the backing of greater support through her clinic in New York.
I know you’ve had every one give you advice on the next thing to do and I’m sure it’s tiresome, but I only recently found out about it so I thought I’d throw it out there.
Also, I don’t know if you journal, but I find that it helps me release the thoughts that I can’t fully let go of when they are swirling angrily around my head.
I’ll check that book out, thank you!
Tamera, all the hugs to you. I admire you for being so open and real in this post – and while our goals are different, I completely know what you mean about that “everything else under the surface” thing. What’s valuable to me? Friends and love and friends I love.