Learning from infertility
In the wee hours of the morning I am awakened, my mind abruptly connects to my physical body. The visceral pain of wanting a baby, not just any baby, a beautiful healthy baby. The kind in Hallmark photos. Anatomically the pain resides in between my 11th and 12th posterior ribs on the right side of my body. The pain represents infertility but on a deeper more profound level it epitomizes my life long struggle with control versus trust.
The pain is deep, aching, dull, constant, throbbing and nagging. It is a loyal reminder that never sleeps. Having worked as a Open Heart Nurse it feels as though an angry surgeon has permanently wedged a cold stainless steel rib spreader into my thorax. As my eyes open widely I shallowly breathe in, I inhale longing, hoping, praying, bargaining, grasping and searching for understanding. Why me? Why this?
It was on that night I decided to subject myself to in vitro fertilization. Boy was that a novel in of itself. Instantaneously my life turned into constant shots, doctors’ visits, uncertainty, wondering and agonizingly waiting. To help distract myself from my (the) mind, I had signed up for a Yoga immersion in Arizona. Following a typical 10-hour day of studying and asana I carried my weary self back to the cave like dwelling I had reserved that week. While waiting for the shower water to heat I nebulously began to undress. Suddenly just as if I were in some sort of deep meditation a thought popped into my head, “I need an injection tonight.” I gathered my medical supplies; the smell of alcohol permeated the surroundings as I let out a deep diaphragmatic sigh. The lights were dimly lit and I was standing there exhausted, already swimming in hormones and totally nude, naked, exposed and vulnerable. As I withdrew the needle from my 38-year-old skin, blood began to squirt! The contracting of my broken heart resulted in the blood reaching the mirror, with each and every pulsation the blood continued to ooze out. I began to cry…to release…but most of all to surrender. I was so alone in this struggle. No one could save me. However, something had begun to shift in that moment. I was drained of this feeling. I craved peace. Which is just as desperate as longing for a baby.
The actual in vitro procedure turned out to be a failure (or not). During what I thought was a routine visit, I was surprisingly called me into the attending physicians office. I naively entered his office, I gazed across his enormous desk and he politely delivered a piercing message. “You do not have enough eggs.” You know those moments when it feels like someone stuck the pause button; well this was one of those moments for me. What? Come again. I thought everything was rocking along. And just like that everything changed. The stately handsome physician whose desk served as a barrier between me and my hope for a family dropped a bomb on me. I was taken aback. I was surprised. I was devastated. I was in immense pain, but most of all I was once again alone. Everyone one was working because they too thought the appointment was routine. I sat in my car sobbing. I somehow made it home only to crawl onto the far side of my bed onto the cool floor. I curled myself into the tightest fetal position. I began to release my longing for a baby. The saving graze that day was a girl named Zoe. She is the most beautiful Rhodesian ridgeback you have ever laid eyes upon. She was there to comfort me. That day in that loneliness she was God…that is what they mean when they say dog spelled backwards is God. I slowly began to put my self back together again. With each passing day, things got a little easier.
It seems my suffering came from focusing on the want, the lack, a desire for control and ultimately the past.
And at the very heart of all this wanting, lacking, desiring and so forth I realized an illusion. The illusion that I know what is best for me. The illusion that if I had a baby I would know peace, joy and bliss.
Deep down my spirit and soul knows that what I truly crave is a connection (a connection to something bigger than myself).
The doorway toward peace began to open when I decided that I had enough pain. My desire for peace had begun to soar beyond my longing. However, ultimately it was in my deciding to change that was the answer to my healing!
Now that I had made my mind up to change; I knew that I had to begin to surrender my attachments, cravings, and wants. But how, this was going to be no simple task.
I began with journaling, I bought myself a beautiful new journal pad sat down and wrote. I wrote all the curse words, the wants, the good, the bad, the crap you don’t want other people to know about your thoughts I started getting it all out. I poured the thoughts out of my head and body and onto the paper.
I hired a counselor for awhile and then onto a life coach. Research reveals that there is a healing when we share our story!
I took up volunteer work (even though I did not feel like it). I was not ready to give up my pity party but I made myself.
I spent more time in meditation.
Slowly, a peace began to replace my 5 year obsession with my own desires. I began to trust God.
A few months later, while practicing under my teacher Tim Feldmann I realized the parallels between this situation and yoga. While attempting a forward fold, I was determined to get my torso onto my legs despite having sustained a nasty hamstring tear. As he carefully observed my futile attempts he kind-heartedly said, “There is so much more to experience in this pose. The drishti, the breath, the bandhas, ect..” Aha! There is more to life than having or not having a baby.
It is all-metaphorical. There is so much to experience in this life. Oneness. Service. Love. Laughter. Expanding. Freedom. Fun. Kisses. Hugs. The longing for a baby has resolved. However, the rib pain still reveals itself, it is a clear message that I am struggling to trust somewhere in my life. I am grateful for this reminder. I must admit I sometimes still look at babies and just simply wonder. But isn’t that what life’s all about? Wonder