Be Your Own Advocate
I was standing in the shower with sobs wracking my body. Hoping that the water would wash all the hurt away. Crying in private about my private pain and my private challenges.
ANOTHER baby shower!? That made the tally 22 invites. Going was sure to bring on the remarks, “When are you going to be next?” Or my personal fave (heavy sarcasm intended), “You’re not a spring chicken anymore.” A couple of the women were even on their second baby. I was still yet to have one. To even have a positive test. How could I not feel like there was something wrong with me? Like my body was broken. Like I had done something to deserve this. The doctors assured me there was nothing they could find wrong. Leaving me with the shallow explanation, “Sometimes two people just don’t work.” What was I supposed to do with THAT?! What did that even mean!?
So we did what so many other couples do… we saved our little tails off and took the next step in western medicine, in-vitro fertilization. Every thought and action was directed by the all-consuming desire to have a child. It was a very invasive and unnatural experience but, with the end result of a positive pregnancy I didn’t even care. That moment that I had my first ever positive pregnancy test there was immeasurable joy. Quickly followed by immeasurable fear. Knowing that we were at a greater risk for miscarriage. Or so we had been informed so by our doctors. The whole first trimester was spent like that. Back and forth from rejoicing to trying not to get ahead of ourselves. I now know that all couples who have struggled to get pregnant or have had miscarriages feel this way. Eventually I completely settled in to all the joys of pregnancy. Then, when the pregnancy went according to plan, all the joys of being a new mom. My little boy was everything and more and I had imagined him to be.
We had two embryos still frozen so we didn’t wait long to try again. That resulted in a miscarriage. Crushed! After it worked the first time I was overconfident that it would work again. I spent so much time trying to remind myself how grateful I was for the child that I DID have. And I wouldn’t have even needed to do that job, several others in my life were doing that for me. It WAS true. I was beyond grateful for my little boy. I just had always thought I would have a pile of kids. I was never the girl to dream of her wedding. But, I DID dream of all my babies. Why were so many people ‘accidentally’ getting pregnant and I couldn’t even do it on purpose, on purpose.
Turns out there was a greater plan for me.
We did try one more time. We found a specialist and traveled and spent big bucks. I mean this doctor was a real hotshot. He talked the talk and walked the walk. I was sold that he was THE ONE to make it all happen. And then we were only able to retrieve a small number of eggs. All fertilized but, none survived to transfer day. That experience was one of the very worst things I have ever experienced. Holding my phone in my hand from the moment I woke up. My hands shaking so bad that when the embryo report call finally came I could barely answer the phone. And then hearing the news being told to me as if it were the weather report. $50,000 invested.
And not even a chance for a possible pregnancy. So much heartache and still no peace of mind.
In that moment I knew that I had changed. I allowed myself to cry it out. Grieve the dream that I had carried for so long. When I was ready I released that dream to the Universe. I was no longer in the space of ‘I-can-make-this-happen’. I was ready to enter the space of ‘Whatever-is-the-greater-purpose-I-accept’. This experience had taken so much life out of me. I wasn’t willing to give any more of my precious light. Five years invested into dealing with fertility challenges I was ready to focus ALL my attention on the baby that I DID have.
A fire lit in me with a desire to help other couples on this journey. If I couldn’t find answers I COULD find OPTIONS! And that’s when the research began.
Anything I could get my hands on to have a better understanding of hormones and the female body I devoured. I read book after book. I read medical articles and studies done on fertility challenges and endometriosis and poly cystic ovarian syndrome and more. I listened to pod casts and books on tape. I took multiple e-courses to learn different things that might be happening to impede optimal fertility. And I took notes furiously on all the ways to enhance fertility. I also challenged myself to dive into personal development. To really get to the core of ME. I saw myself in a whole new light. I was no longer only defined by being just a mom. I was a woman. A woman with a passion and a purpose.
I happened upon Merciér Therapy. This is a hands on approach to manipulate the reproductive viscera, address malformations, improve circulation and mobility and also soften adhesions. It made so much sense to me! As a body worker of 15 years I jumped with joy. THIS I could do and should do! So off I went to get the training.
After spending so many years feeling lost and alone. Confused and afraid. I feel like I found a new light. A path that wasn’t the obvious one or the easy one has become a great adventure. It is such a blessing to now work with other couples who have experienced similar challenges as my husband and I. I love offering a natural alternative to help women get back in touch with their bodies. To trust their intuition and learn to find the root cause of what may be causing painful periods, fertility challenges and so many other things that we deal with as women. Rather than getting brushed off or sent home with medications I can offer up new ideas that may be something my clients have not yet thought of or tried. Most of all to offer support. We don’t have to feel so alone. We spend so much time in our head going over what we are experiencing and not feeling like we have anyone to turn to. I dream of a world where we can learn how to support our sisters and our friends in the way they need to be supported. So even though it may not change the hurt of our individual challenge, you don’t have to feel like you are facing it alone.
My favorite piece of advice is to be your own advocate. It is YOUR body. You have a right to know and understand all that is going on. It’s ok to ask your doctor questions. And if you don’t understand the answer don’t give up asking. Also, do more research. It’s true… it can be hard to find credible sources sometimes on the internet. But, that certainly doesn’t mean you should avoid trying. Most importantly, find a support group. A trusted friend or family member that can be there for you. Or a paid professional that can guide you through ideas and options.
Believe in that beautiful body of yours. It was designed to heal itself. Now it just needs your help and support. One of the best ways you can support it is to love it, listen to it, and care for it. There is so much power in living in the moment. Trust your higher power to know your dreams and wishes. Stay present in each step of the journey. There is so much wonder and joy to life if you allow yourself to live in it. Connect with yourself and trust your intuition and instinct. You know what your body is telling you and what it needs better than any other person. If you stop and connect and tune-in… that, is love. That, is support.
I revel in the joy with phone calls of a pain free period, or texts with a picture of a positive pregnancy test. Helping other women get in touch with their feminine energy is something that I am SO passionate about. I truly believe that it is the reason that I had struggles of my own. This led me on the path to my soul purpose; to help other women become their own advocate. To help to educate them on what their bodies may be trying to tell them. And also what they can do to give their body the support it needs. To help them learn to love their periods and the blessing that it is to be a woman! I love the support and the power that we as women can offer to other women. The more we have the more we can give and it creates this beautiful cycle. There is plenty to go around for each of us to live in abundance, to live in our truth, to live in love and to do it all feeling the best that we are intended to feel. Embrace that! Be your own advocate for your health. It is YOUR body and YOUR future. And you ARE worth it!