When we are trying to conceive but don’t, or when we do conceive and then lose a pregnancy, we mourn a life that has not been realized. This can happen to us month over month or pregnancy after pregnancy. Each of these experiences of loss and missed expectation creates a growing mountain of compounding grief that we carry around, cope with, and suffer through one way or another. We can stay stuck in the perspective that there is only one acceptable way to achieve our goal around parenthood. Or, consider this … we can find a bit of relief in creating our own experience of expansion.
Once my partner and I had fully committed to the idea that we truly wanted to be parents, I approached conception like all of my other goals. My targeted focus and consequential achievement had been a reliable pattern … till now.
When I was trying to get pregnant month after month, I felt that my body was laughing in my face with the arrival of my period. I see now that my reaction was to dig my heels in even deeper with the determination that I was so totally going to do this thing. Does this ring any bells for you?
You could not tell me that I was not going to get pregnant. You could not tell me that I was infertile. The fact that none of the “experts” could give me and my partner a clear explanation about why we were not conceiving was frustrating, but it also gave me continuous hope that in the absence of any biochemical reason standing in our way, there was no real reason that we would not get pregnant. And therefore, of course we should keep doing it the good ol’ fashion way and eventually the sperm and the egg would get their acts together. As I’m sure you can relate, this was a huge tax on our relationship and our enjoyment of sex. “Perform, damn it! Now’s the time!” — we went through this pressure repeatedly.
As time continued to tick, tick, tick away — my eggs were not getting any fresher — I reluctantly went on to open up bit-by-bit to more medical investigation and eventually intervention, otherwise known as assisted reproduction. I was standing in the attitude of, “Seriously, I need assistance with this?” I was used to being self-sufficient, independent, in charge of my own outcomes. Turns out this was really not a helpful attitude or perspective. Over time, my attitude softened … I was, in a way, forced to surrender more and more of my constricted definition of what was an acceptable way for me to become a parent. As I moved into a more expanded perspective, I experienced a lightening of the intensity and stress. This was not the ultimate magic bullet, but it was definitely a useful evolution in supporting my health, my significant relationships, and the enhancement of my ability to conceive and carry to term.
I’m wondering how your goal of family building could be requiring you to find a new perspective, one that you may not have originally planned for. How has your fertility journey changed your perspective on growing your family? Please comment below.