Once upon a time I thought I would never ever try IVF.
I thought “If it doesn’t happen naturally then it’s not meant to be.”
I had a big fear around ‘interfering’ with the process. What if it wasn’t meant to be, and I ‘made’ it be, and something terrible happened?
I had huge issues with the idea of inhaling drugs every day to shut down my ovaries, then injecting myself with drugs each night to rev them up again. The idea of conceiving a baby with so much medical and scientific involvement was something my brain couldn’t register even though we knew beautiful families whose wonderful children were a result of this help. Nope, not for us thanks. We thought we would try everything natural possible, and if it still didn’t happen then we’d have to make our peace with it.
I am so grateful that life slapped me out of that narrow-minded mentality. As challenging as this road has been, I am thankful that year after year of not being able to conceive our second little one made me confront my fears, and let go of a lot of beliefs that could have stopped us from doing absolutely everything possible. I had to get over those beliefs.
I had to get over myself!
It is so liberating to get over yourself!
To walk forward absolutely free of any preconceived ideas around the ‘best’ way to do something. To get to a place of total surrender where you truly see that any way that works for you is what is best for you in that moment. And even the ways that don’t work for you, they too were best for you in that moment because they lead you to the next thing and the next thing.
After almost 3 years of trying, of energy work, kinesiology, acupuncture, herbs, Mayan abdominal massage in actual Maya country, Lakota ceremony, naturopathy, vitamins, maca powder, bee pollen, change of diet, more sleep, less working out, letting go of parts of my business, slowing down, reducing stress, relaxing more, and it still not happening, we found that no, we weren’t able to just make our peace with it. Not when there was a quiet, insistent tap on the shoulder from Miss IVF saying “you haven’t tried me yet.”
And for the people who say “Let go of trying” – yep we tried ‘not trying’.
After we got back from the most fabulous three months in Mexico and the US, where if we’d been any more relaxed and happy we would have turned into actual rainbow unicorns, and we still weren’t pregnant, we realised it was crunch time. Either let go once and for all, or give IVF a go. After a pep talk from one sister then the other, it took about a second to realise: WTF am I doing? I’m like that guy who is caught up in a flood, with the Universe sending boats and helicopters his way, meanwhile he says “No thanks, God will save me.” When he eventually drowns, he asks God “Why didn’t you save me?” God says “I sent you boats and a helicopter, what more did you want?”
It dawned on me that IVF was only this big scary foreign thing because I had made it be that. Once I fully surrendered to it, I had this awesome vision that looked something like the last scene in the Matrix movie. Golden light is everywhere, and everything is ultimately made up of the same divine energy. The drugs are divine energy. The doctors and scientists and lab technicians are divine energy. It is all God or the Universe or whatever name you want to use. None of it is separate.
So off we went, in a very different headspace to how I would have approached it not so long ago.
We had months of tests. Then during the process itself it is blood test after scan after blood test after scan. You realise that there are so many steps in the process, and every step has to work before you can go to the next step. And it can all end the second a step doesn’t work. Which made me realise: no matter how far we’ve come with technology and medicine and science, at the end of the day our bodies still have the final say. Mother Nature still has the final say. The divine timing of babies yet to be born still has the final say.
That gave me a lot of relief because I saw that as much as we are receiving all the help available, we really can’t make something be that isn’t meant to be. It soothed any fears around ‘interfering’. I also have seen how while IVF does have an ‘interfering with nature’ stigma around it to people unfamiliar with it, it is no different to anyone going to get help when something in your body isn’t working properly.
If something isn’t functioning as it should, we don’t usually suffer in silence. We don’t berate ourselves and feel like a failure. We go get it sorted out. But for some reason it is often different with fertility. We think that eventually it should just happen. It is what our bodies were designed to do. So people going through fertility issues do sometimes suffer in silence. We do berate ourselves and feel like a failure.
I felt such a sense of failure from the perspective of being someone who genuinely believed energy work could solve anything that was truly meant to be solved. It worked for our first, Jaxon, who was a little natural miracle. So we assumed it would work again for our second. Boy have we been taught a thing or two, and I am really, really grateful. This whole thing has changed me for the better, and opened my mind, heart and soul, and made me let go of a lot of Judgy Mcjudgy-pants around how things should ideally be done.
I feel so grateful to have an army of friends and family around us who are so supportive and who are so easy to talk to in a real, deep, open-hearted way. We talk honestly about where we are at without them placing any pressure either way to talk or not talk about it. If you are going through this, open up to those you feel comfortable talking to. You and your partner don’t have to carry this all by yourself, and it shouldn’t be something that we are ashamed to talk about whether to our friends, family, colleagues or employers.
So far we’ve have had two cycles that didn’t work out, and are preparing for our third. People talk about the emotional rollercoaster of IVF but for me the emotional rollercoaster was the three years preceding it when it was month after month of feeling hope, sadness, disappointment then back to hope again. Now, we are somewhat at a point of surrender. I feel we have truly done all we can think of to do, and have handed it over to powers greater than ourselves: to Mother Nature, to the fertility specialists, to the little soul who is meant, or not meant, to come.
Sending lots of love and prayers to anyone going through this journey. If you are trying for your first, extra special prayers to you that the stars align for your little one to come on down.
(c) Dana Mrkich 2016
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