Fertile: capable of producing abundant vegetation or crops, fruitful, productive, high yielding, rich, lush, capable of becoming a new individual, characterized by great resourcefulness of thought or imagination, fertile mind, plentiful, affording abundant possibilities for growth or development”~Merriam Webster
I felt like everyone could see the word INFERTILE inscribed across my womb after my diagnosis.
I soon came to realize that even if people didn’t initially know about my fertility struggle, they would soon. As each year passed, friendly family planning inquires stopped and there was just a quiet knowing. Some relief was finally found now that awkward baby conversations were over.
But then I started to realize that this is the new norm.
I felt like people looked at me with pity. I was the only one in the entire office without kids. My infertility felt like the elephant in every room. It wasn’t. But for me it was.
I felt embarrassed and ashamed.
And oftentimes there’s an extended period of still hoping. Waiting for a miracle baby.
I don’t think that hope for a miracle ever goes away. No matter your age. And no matter how long it’s been. The possibility feels right at your fingertips. Like it’s ALMOST there. Long after you’ve stopped “trying,” a late period still brings butterflies.
All of that is ok. You can have that longing inside and still move on.
But there comes a day when you refuse to keep the label “infertile” as the overarching theme in your life. And you’re now free to choose another label.
You aren’t mother. Your heart is absolutely broken. But your life can truly become whatever you want. You can single-handedly shape your future.
That ONE possibility is closed, but there are literally thousands of others. You yourself are the fertile ground you’ve been looking for.
Because you see, you are fundamentally fertile. I know some of you are balking at that comment. Totally offended. But please know beautiful lady, that fertility does not just mean one thing.
As women, we all have the following fertile qualities: “Abundant possibilities for growth or development.” “Capable of producing fruit and becoming a new individual. “Productive, high yielding, rich, plentiful, lush and abundant.” And above all: “a fertile mind capable of great resourcefulness of thought or imagination.”
None of that can ever be taken away from you. Regardless of your ability to procreate.
After I stopped fertility treatment, I now have a growing business that affords me the ability to grow and learn every day. I am creative and passionate about what I do. This is the life that I chose. I would not have this same life if I was a mother. I could not pick up and travel when desired and work feverishly everyday towards my healing. I am completely selfish in what I want to be doing.
And it kind of feels amazing.
I’m done with the shots, endless doctor visits, and the dreaded two week wait. I’m done planning sex, done with those fucking ovulation strips, and done spending my retirement money. I’m done with pregnancy being the only goal and topic of conversation.
And I’m done hoping things were different. Because they’re not. They’re just not. So here I stand. This is my new reality.
The treatments, promises, and hoping didn’t work. It does not mean anything about WHO I AM. It just is. This is where I’ve landed. No more struggle.
And by all means if you’re someone reading this that says “No, it’s not over for me! “I’m adopting.” “Or I’m using a surrogate,” then that’s ok too. Everyone has to find their own “done” moment. And if you haven’t reached yours, that is completely fine too.
But if you’re truly “done,” let us take a moment to acknowledge where you’re at. I know your heart is broken. I know you’re in shock.
Allow me to gently cup your face with my hands. Look into my eyes sweet lady. You will be ok. You will find a new normal. You will come back to life. You will learn once again what it means to take care of yourself and to have your own goals. Goals that are just for YOU. Goals that make you happy.
And sometimes they’re not “goals” at all, just things that lay gauze over your raw heart. Things that made you happy before all the baby stuff.
Reconnect with yourself. Reconnect with who you were before infertility. And who you are now.
Know that as you look into my eyes, there is truth when I say that you have a very bright future. There is a whole big world out there for you. New opportunities are going to open up for you. You will have an abundant and fruitful life.
Your entire being is truly fertile ground now. Your very heart has been uprooted and your soul tilled. You have been through so much. Learned so much. You have so much to give. So much wisdom. And love.
Dear one, pry just one of your eyes open through your tears. You don’t have to look for long, but begin to see a new possibility. Begin to find your compass.
Your compass will be what you loved before this journey. Does it still make your heart swell? Does it still call to you? Follow that. Whatever it is. Always follow THAT.
Now close that one eye again and allow whatever time is needed to sit there. Nothing else is required right now. Just sit. Let the sadness come. Allow the grief to wash over you.
There is no need to hurry it. Or to brush it away. It’s not going anywhere anyway. Allow this constant companion to have a pillow. You two might as well get comfortable.
And when you finally get up and look outside, you may notice how beautiful that blue sky is. Or you might hear a bird singing for the first time all year.
In that moment you will know that you’re ready to unearth that compass again. The grief has broken a tiny bit to let the outside world in. A new journey is about to start.
Rediscovering passions, gaining back your health, and spontaneous sex are all invited back in! A weight has been lifted. Let’s step one foot forward into our new lives.
A life that is different than desired, but one that is still valuable and WORTH LIVING!