So, I recently found this wonderful support group on Facebook (The Dovecote Community) based out of the U.K. with so many women who face infertility for many different reasons. It’s been such a saving grace, even for the short time I’ve been a part of it, and what I love most is the topic questions the admin posts every now and then. The topic posted yesterday was to ask us how we would show ourselves self compassion this week. So I thought, well damn..I could turn these questions and my answer into a blog entry, duh.
Because of course after my strong introduction over a week ago…..I’ve been at a loss for words on what direction to take this blog next.
When I first got this diagnosis I was initially pretty devastated, obviously. But I don’t think I ever started to really go through my grief stages. I kind of decided a week later to just dust myself off and take the reigns and treat it like it was the common cold. Sure, I had days here and there that I forced myself through with some Kleenex, but then I had my pretend days where I was still having a bad day but if I didn’t have my Kleenex in hand I didn’t have to admit it was another bad day, right? Wrong.
I started having these days too often. And kept pretending to crack a smile too often, until they meshed into one big box of Kleenex and hiding in my apartment from everyone. I wasn’t, and still a little sometimes, am not facing this for what it is – a lot bigger than the common cold. So the biggest way I can show myself compassion is to allow myself to feel every emotion that comes to me, whether it’s good or bad. I can’t LIVE in that emotion, but I need to feel it when it happens and recognize it for its purpose and then move on to the next. If there’s one thing I’ve learned from my own research and support groups, this isn’t going to get better or easier overnight. It’s going to take time and work, and patience, with myself, more than anything.
It’s perfectly acceptable to feel a little twinge in my heart when I see a commercial or movies with babies. Or pregnant bellies. It’s unavoidable. And Facebook…oh Facebook. News Feed was great until the day I left that damn doctors appointment. But sometimes I truly can’t handle all the ultrasound or school picture posts. I need to be okay with that decision and those moments that I RSVP “no” and not feel like I’m weak. I always pray that my friends and family would understand that too, if they knew. Who knows..one of these days I might make this blog public to them so that they do understand and don’t hate me for it.
It’s perfectly acceptable to have a night here and there where I need to just let out some tears, because I’ve turned down yet another baby shower invite to spare myself the heartache because I’m jealous of the people in my life who get to be called Mommy. Or cry because I’m having a mood swing and couldn’t stop it if I tried cause hormone therapy side effects are just effing fantastic.
It’s perfectly acceptable to laugh about this. Who knew I’d be experiencing hot flashes and mood swings 25 years earlier than I’m supposed to? At least I’ll be able to help my friends and family navigate through “the change” when it’s their turn. I’ll have a book written and ready on tips and tricks by then. I’m also pretty effing hilarious, if I do say so myself, when I have to run in to the dairy cooler at work to hug the gallons of milk because I feel like my bones are on fire. Or when I text my boss from CVS picking up my HRT and I’m watching a kid throw an epic temper tantrum and say “damn..maybe this infertility thing ain’t so bad?” I can laugh about this sometimes. Or today actually when I realized I am either spotting or getting my first half ass period in a year and a half and I text my best friend to tell her fumbling for a tampon in the bathroom was like an elderly person trying to work a smart phone because I haven’t needed one in so long. Tampon? How do you work this thing??
It’s also perfectly acceptable to eventually come to terms with and accept this diagnosis, whether other people understand that or not. Even if that means I have a childless future. If it also means my story helps someone else, then accepting this is a big and important thing.
I will work to show myself more love and compassion. Face what I have to instead of avoid it internally. Remind myself I am not a failure as a woman for this and try to remember that God always has a reason and plan.