Monthly Archives: March 2013

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Keep going!

I’ve wanted to be a mom pretty much since birth. Likely because my own mother was so amazing. Also, I think, because she seemed to really enjoy her job. She made it look fun. I was never under any pretenses that it was easy (because it’s not), but was always certain that it was a fulfilling and rewarding vocation.

Once I became an adult and motherhood was just around the corner, I started craving it. And when we started “trying,” it was pretty much all I could think about. Envisioning my life as a mother. What kind of parent I wanted to be. What kind of values I wanted to instill in my children, and how I might do that. Daydreaming about getting to experience again the magic of youth – Christmas morning, preschool, family vacations. 

When we had trouble getting pregnant, it made me desire it even more. I became simultaneously obsessive about wanting it so much and depressed about not having it. I wondered if I would ever have it. I feared that all my dreams would be shattered. I lost sight of the thing I tell all my single friends who are looking for a partner – you weren’t given this great desire to love and be loved for no reason. You weren’t given this passion to share your life with someone only to have your heart broken. You have this in you because it’s your destiny. And the same goes for motherhood. I knew I was meant to be a mother. I believed in my bones that it was what I was supposed to do. 

And here’s the truth: It’s even more wonderful than I imagined. Let me qualify that by saying that it’s also more trying, more exhausting, more frustrating and more terrifying than I imagined, too. I’m not trying to sugarcoat it here. But I often find myself struck by how completely overwhelmed I am by the love I share with my son. And the love my husband shares with our son. And the bond it’s formed between us.

John said to me last night, “…what about that feeling when you’re pushing him in the grocery cart and he rests his little hand on yours. How soft and gentle it is.” And I knew just what he was talking about. That tiny, innocent hand, lightly holding onto yours, thoughtlessly trusting that you are his safe place. You will take care of him. He’s looking around at the big, wide world knowing that you are his anchor. It’s thrilling in a very quiet way. Every night I thank God for my son and for the gift of getting to be his mother. I consider it the greatest blessing of my life.

I’m not writing this post to “rub it in” to my readers who are still struggling to conceive. What I’m hoping to do is cheer you on. Keep going! Keep fighting! It is so worth it. If I could go back in time and talk to myself two years ago, I would say this: don’t give up hope. Just keep moving forward. It’s a long and exhausting road, I know, but keep trying. You will get there, and you will be rewarded. It isas good as you envision. Even better. Get ready.

Friday, March 1, 2013

A great new resource – Shine Chicago

I was recently introduced to an amazing resource that I wanted to share with my readers, a company called Shine. It is a support community based in Chicago for women who are living with infertility. They offer both peer support group meetings as well as relevant educational talks for members on a monthly basis. I met with Katie, the founder, and she told me a bit about how she got started with this venture and the purpose of Shine.

Katie conceived her daughter through IVF in 2010. Before that, she was a fertility patient with many of the same struggles that I had. It took a lot of time, effort, and physical and emotional trials before she was rewarded with a pregnancy. Once she finally had her daughter in her arms and was reflecting on her experience, she realized that women could use a place to vent their fears and frustrations, ask their intimate questions and hold each other up during this stage in their lives. It was a badly needed haven and Katie decided to create it.

I’ve mentioned before how important it is to have support as you travel this journey. I would add that, in my experience, it’s also incredibly helpful to have a community of other women who are going through the same thing you are. Even the people who love you can’t always understand your anxieties and emotions. And sometimes it is easier to talk to a stranger about getting shots in the butt (surprisingly). I found this both at my fertility yoga class and through online message boards, and I still keep in touch with some of those friends.

Now, I’m excited to get involved with Shine. It’s exactly the kind of thing I was looking for when I started having fertility issues a few years ago. And since I may soon be a fertility patient again, it’s still a good place for me to be connected.

If you are interested in checking it out, Shine has a freeevent coming up that I would recommend to anyone. Shine will be hosting a guest speaker, Sara Connell, whom I can attest is amazing. She leads motivational workshops for women and also went through her own (Oprah-worthy) fertility journey. Remember that visioning retreat I mentioned awhile back? That was lead by Sara. She is inspirational, uplifting and motivational. I highly, highly recommend this event and will be attending myself!  Here are the details: