Practicing What I Preach

woman reaching for birdsA cherished part of my purpose in this life encompasses holding the space for women moving through fertility challenges and guiding them, as best I can, to breathe, to stay as present as possible and to recognize that just about everything in this beautiful & complicated life is impermanent — especially the hopeless thoughts and heartbreak that can accompany the fertility journey.

I am grateful I have the tools to help others and that I can utilize those tools for challenges in my own life. But that doesn’t mean the road doesn’t have its very hard moments. That fear doesn’t creep in. It does. Oh boy does it. Especially when we are trying to move forward from past ‘failures’, pain,  and experiences that may directly feed into the current ‘pursuit.’

I​n his book The Power of Now, Elkhart Tolle writes, “Die to the past every moment.”

That is such a profound idea; another way to say “Live in the Now.” But that ​sure can be​ difficult to put into practice, especially when you are moving through, say, pregnancy for the third time in just over a year with two losses behind you.

I have longed for some time now to share freely to those I teach and guide about what I am personally going through, and yet, something held me back. Just a few months ago I posted on our fertility support group page on facebook how I was feeling melancholy at the one year anniversary of the loss of my first pregnancy. Then, I proceeded to ‘preach’ about how we should all share freely what was happening for each of us. I deeply meant everything that I very passionately expressed in that post. And then just a mere 3 weeks later I found myself withholding my own sharing. Out of fear? Unreasonable mental chatter? Avoidance of ‘jinxing it​’? (Ugh. So silly, that last one.)​

And yet, another part of me kept saying to myself, “Y​ou better practice what you preach, girl!”

So, almost three months later, I have finally gotten the guts (and time) to sit and spill it. I want to share for many reasons and my hope is that, no matter what happens next, my sharing prompts others to share whatever  — ​ and whenever — ​they may feel inspired… And that my sharing is somehow helpful…? I want others to know they aren’t alone. The fertility journey can feel very isolating. And truthfully, so can pregnancy.​

Almost exactly one year from my first miscarriage & subsequent D&C​, I conceived. I have been doing my best in this last year to prep my body, my heart, my spirit, and my relationship for this. And yet, being the analytical and ​practical p​erson I am I also was some how trying to consider a life without having a child and really being okay with that. Life is so unpredictable. The one thing that is constant is change and so very much of life we have absolutely no control over. So, with the ‘excitement’ of getting a positive pregnancy test also came with it a feeling of detachment. I kept saying, “We’ll see…​[what happens with this]” with almost a sense of disbelief. Looking back, I think this was a way of protecting my heart. Of coping with another potential loss. And also feeling in my heart that if this one didn’t take that I​ had to get really honest with myself and my husband because I wasn’t sure I could try again because the losses are so painful​. And then,​trying to be okay with that!

So, with all that preamble, all I really wanna say, with joy, with trust,​ is: I’m pregnant. 12 weeks! Everything so far looks amazing. Waiting now on blood work from the first trimester genetic screening. But I finally feel peaceful. I finally feel like I can be with what is without trying to trick myself into not feeling all these many feelings, fully.

I am sorry I withheld. And I apologize to you, but it is also an apology to myself. ​It felt wrong, honestly. And yet, I stayed quiet. For fear of not appearing ‘together’, maybe? Or the self-struggle of releasing the need to be ‘perfect’, perhaps? Who knows?​  All I know is I am human. And I am hoping to continue to push myself to grow and practice what I preach. In all areas of my life.​

The cycles of life are humbling, for sure. I just lost my dear father-in-law last week to a massive stroke. I feel my husband’s heartbreak deeply, and yet we are reaped in the joy of this little one inside me. It is so true what they say: we must have the contrasts in life to fully know what it is to love, to ache…to live.

Blessings to all.

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