There are a few times throughout the year where my yearning for a baby, my desire to experience pregnancy, and my desperation to be a mother hit extremely hard.
Mother’s Day and my birthday are close in proximity and are both HUGE triggers of my baby fever, usually leaving me feeling blue for the month of May and through the beginning of June. And this year was no different. In fact, this year may have been even more challenging than the previous ten birthdays considering I turned 41 and am now divorced.
As anyone who has struggled with infertility knows, the mental and physical aspects of the “hope/disappointment” cycle, month after month, year after year, are heartbreaking. As the finality of one month leaves you completely hopeless, the next month brings new hope, only to end the very same.
After nearly ten years of this cycle, turning 41 this year and finding myself single, brought on a new kind of hopelessness and sadness and a mental trap that I couldn’t wrap my head around. There was no logical solution or new wall I could build around my heart and my mind to protect myself from the pain. There was no hope of “next month” and no story or dream I could convince myself to buy into that would allow me to move on from the feelings and brush them aside. I had to sit with the knowingness that the likelihood of it ever happening was in the zero percentile – it doesn’t exist.
And as often as I’ve tried to accept this reality in the past, I never really could. There was always this little voice inside me that resisted the truth because it was too painful and instead hopped back onto the hope wagon to ease the sadness.
But randomly last week, and without any prodding from external sources at all, I suddenly had a quiet thought pass through saying… It’s OKAY if I DON’T have a baby.
And as my mind wanted to jump to the next subject, whatever it may have been, I caught it. I stopped myself in a moment of awareness and said WAIT. DON’T MOVE ON YET, I JUST HAD A HUGE MOMENT OF CLARITY, BUT MORE IMPORTANTLY, A MOMENT OF ACTUAL ACCEPTANCE and I must take this moment to recognize it before it passes.
And then I smiled and said it out loud about ten more times: IT’S OKAY IF I DON’T HAVE A BABY. It’s okay if I don’t have a baby. it’s okay if I don’t have a baby.
And I suddenly felt free.
It was as if I was finally giving myself permission to not be a mother without also judging myself for being a failure as a woman because I hadn’t been able to get pregnant, even though I wanted it more than anything else -ever.
I felt lighter. I felt like everything was finally okay, like somehow, this mental rubber band ball I had built, rubber band layer by rubber band layer, had finally snapped and exploded in colors and rubber band by rubber band went flying across space and time.
And I realized that no matter how hard I tried to force myself to accept it year after year after YEAR, true acceptance only came once I surrendered to trying to control something which I had no control over and let go of the idea of it and see the true reality of it all.
Surrender control… let go of what we think we need and remember the truth of who we are.
I am aware that even though I feel like I’ve finally had a major breakthrough, that some sadness may return on occasion. It’s still a loss, like any other, even though I’ve accepted it. I may still have moments where I tear up at the thought, but now I can metaphorically give myself a hug and remind myself that it’s okay if I don’t have a baby, and really mean it for once.
5 Steps to Spiritual Surrender by Gabrirelle Bernstein
I began writing this last week and have finally gotten around to finishing it today, but in the meantime, I found and watched this talk (below) by Gabrielle Bernstein that really coincided with my feelings on the matter. Gabrielle struggled with getting pregnant, and in the midst of her pain on her journey, created 5 steps to her own surrender, which she shares in the video below. You can see her get emotional and nearly break down in tears a few times while talking about her struggle to get pregnant, which encapsulates all the infertility feels and I hope it may help any of you who may also be on this journey. You are not alone.
1. Take your hands off the wheel (through prayer) // stop praying for that outcome to be exactly how you want it to be in the time that you want it to happen.
The secret to prayer is to forget what we think we need… when we begin to stop praying for what we think we need but instead we begin to pray for what is of the highest good for all, that’s when we get lit up. That’s when invisible doors begin to open for us, that’s when we align with the truth of the presence of our authentic power.
2. Focus on what’s thriving // we focus so much on what’s NOT working… once we focus on what’s already thriving in our lives, you begin to uncover things about ourself we never knew, and relieve the pressure of that thing you think you need.
3. Obstacles are detours in the RIGHT direction // we need to go through the journey, to hit another bottom so we can have another awakening … a detour in the right direction, an opportunity to love yourself more
Reorganize your obstacles, in what way can you turn you obstacle around and see it as a way to get to the truth
4. Ask for a sign // the universe is always showing us signs, it’s up to us to be aware
Mantra: Thank you Universe, for showing me a sign that I am on the right path, going in the right direction.
5. When you think you’ve surrendered, surrender more
Those who are certain of the outcome can afford to wait and wait without anxiety.