A few thoughts.
I love to talk. Being vulnerable helps me heal. Sharing is caring after all, right?
Our second IVF cycle failed. Yep, I'll just uncover the elephant in the room right away. I am a straight shooter and this one hit us where it hurts. Again.
As I am writing this...I find myself numb and unable to process what's just happened. As I sort through the facts I am puzzled, this time should have worked. Hell the first time should have worked too...but here we are. No steps closer to the family we have been praying for and day dreaming about.
The emotions of each cycle have been profoundly different. This time I don't have anger and shame...just disappointment and misunderstanding. Heartache.
The hard truth about being hopeful and full of faith is this, the fallout. When the things you are praying for are lost in a moment, next is devastating heartbreak. No way around it. I genuinely believed with every ounce of my being that this time would be "our time". So, as the initial fog clears I am now realizing that all the God "winks" I found comfort in during this process were not actually leading us to a baby. Not now anyway. They did however help me keep my composure as several of my beautiful family members and friends announce their positives and beautiful babies.
Through my tears I am genuinely overjoyed for them. But listen friend, I hope you never find yourself in any moments where you have to dig to find your joy for someone you love...all because you are literally dying inside. Sadly, I know some of you reading this, will or worse, already have like me. It’s excruciating. I hope you never have to cheer someone on while you secretly bury your pain. It's just hard and so very unfair...but you dig deep sister because the people we love deserve their moments (and our support) even when we are drowning. You are a warrior and celebrating with them is what's happening right now...do not let yourself miss out on that joy. I know it's hard but the truth is, I am so happy for them. Their blessings have nothing to do with me and I wouldn't dare taint such a God given gift by making it about me. I want to share their joy despite my circumstances. Yes it is difficult and I do have to unplug every now and then...but I am telling you to please keep sharing with me. I love you and your happiness helps heal me.
Want to know what the hardest part of being vulnerable in all of this is??? I didn't plan for this part. The aftershock. I am not ready to start thinking about what's next. I am not ready to process that we failed again. But I am sharing in this raw moment because I know there are women who need to hear they are not alone in their pain with infertility (or damn it, life in general). I know there are thousands of beautiful souls who just need a break from all the madness. Here's your proverbial hug sister. I hope you can feel how much I care about you and your story.
Sisters, we must take our pain one step at a time. We cry when we need to. Breathe when we need to. Vent when we need to. There is nothing shameful about this. The truth is, in my opinion, it's all about timing. There is a plan in place but we do not get to pick the dates when we receive our blessings. It's the hard truth. Another hard truth...you can take a break...you can rest. Take care of yourself. Learn to heal your body instead of feeling betrayed by it. I know the world puts time limits on things like this, BUT God y'all. But God. Don't count yourself out just yet ok?? He's got something big planned for each of us in this journey. My prayer is not that it comes when WE want friends, I pray it is right on time. From the trenches of infertility to the changing tables...you can do hard things...and I will hold your hand the whole way.
Sometimes life knocks us down...no wait...let's get real, life knocks us down ALL the time. It's how we rise that really matters, but let me ask you a question...how do you rest? Do you even know how? Do you even try? And I mean more than simply going to bed at night (sssshhhh and the amount of actual hours you sleep, probably isn't reflective of a healthy life balance either, but we will table that for now) or catching some Zzzzs when you nod off in the afternoon by mistake? I mean real quality rest. Time that you honor and respect as much as you do your hustle.
I personally have lived a life full of "get back up girl" moments. I am proud of each time I rose stronger and more equipped for the next life challenge. However, one thing I never gave serious thought to was the amount of rest I gave myself. Recovery time if you will. Mainly because I didn't rest. I believe we are called "overachievers" but I want to challenge that notion today. The breakneck pace that we run full speed ahead to the next "thing"...as if we get "there" before the "trouble" begins, then maybe we can control it? Prevent it? Course correct? Um NOPE. That's not reality. I am admittedly a person that creates and solves problems 10 years in advance. I am quite certain I have come up with and effectively solved most of my future mishaps. What a superpower huh?? (insert eye roll emoji) All while life was happening around me and I literally was missing it all. Hey sister, this is now. Now is everything. And let me let you in on a little secret...I have NEVER found myself in ANY of those prematurely crafted situations that I spent (wasted) countless hours reeling over. Sorry for the spoiler alert, but it just never works out the way we plan, want, or even fear. Sometimes it's worse and a lot of times is WAY better. Thank God for that.
So, what is this rest I speak of then??? It's something I only recently caught on to. And it's changing my life. Before you roll your eyes...read on a bit. Maybe you can relate. You see with IVF (In Vitro Fertilization, we are in our second round...see a few blogs back to catch up on that) there is so much out of our control. Really the only thing we can control is our attitude and it's not always easy. So, because of this I uncomfortably, found myself in this very foreign season of rest. One that I had to choose. At first I had NO CLUE what to do with it. My mind was all over the place...finding shame and guilt around every corner. Thinking that rest is for the weak or dare I say lazy (gasp).
It's just nonsense. All of it. All the lies we tell ourselves about "having" to be busy. Carrying it as if it's a badge of honor. It most certainly is not. However, busy and rest are not opposites. The opposite of busy is FREE. As in free time. Busy... and free can't exist in the same house. Busy in definition means having a great deal to do. But how careful are we to assess these tasks before piling them on top of our plates. When is the last time you said "let me think about that and I will get back to you?" or listening to your gut and going with the No (immediately) that you know is right for you? Hmmmm...what I am starting to realize is this, I don't want to be busy. Finding my choice in it all is very freeing. I want to be FREE. And in this freedom I get to decide how I spend my time. I get to choose what I give my energy to. So do you friend. What a freaking concept huh?? We do not have to say yes to people that we don't like, just to save face. We do not have to do anything that goes against our core values. Listen, I absolutely respect everyone's right to this...but if your energy or requests of me bring me down...I get up and leave. It's that simple. Sure it's uncomfortable (at first) but in order to rest you must learn to honor your time. That is your badge of honor!
So, if free is the opposite of busy, where does rest fit in?? Once you've eliminated “busy”, and start making choices that choose YOU first...that is where rest is found my friends. It is not just something that happens to you. You choose. Yes, sure maybe circumstances (like IVF) can cause you to slow down...but rest is a gift you give yourself in that slow period (or not slow at all). You must be intentional with it. Use it to bridge the gaps and tend to the parts of you that you've neglected for far too long. It is never something to feel guilty about. Choosing rest doesn't make you a bad person...it simply is recognizing you can not pour from an empty mug. And hear me friend, I believe when we choose rest...we'll uncover some of our greatest life wins. Maybe you are well rested (bravo, really), but if by chance you are not...I hope that today you consider taking one step in that direction, all while giving yourself a boatload of grace for your past life. It's in the past for a reason, let's leave it there and begin again, today.
Hugs & Love,