It’s been a long time since I started yearning for a child of my own, what the doctor said drains my finances and keeps me wondering if opening my wallet is the same as peeling an onion. The emotional part for an oversensitive person like me was what scared me the most, when I realized, it will be tough holding my mini-me after my marriage. The turbulence caused by hormonal drugs left me feeling like a wreck but these seven years of this rollercoaster got better with time, despite my empty hands and empty uterus, I learnt lessons on the way, on staying calm in the fire, I will be bringing a couple of buckets for those who are sinking from the weight in the fire but first you need an anchor, that holds strong and keeps you believing and having hope amidst all.
Most times I try to smile so as not to attract people who come with their Sarah and Abraham’s tales, common! I may just be hungry some days, or I may just have too much work on my desk or I may even be thinking of something delicious other than blended celery, spinach, cucumber and ginger. I had a fever the other day and a kind friend sat me down suggesting the Adoption option. lol!
With time I learnt to manage myself .
• Learning how to focus on every beautiful thing except that, I trained my thoughts and it worked, sometimes I see a cute baby and the thoughts come rushing but I tune out fast enough. Just positive thoughts; at least I don’t go weeping at the sight of a pregnant goat and wishing it was me anymore. Lol.
• I learnt how to write or tell my story/ narrative without casting myself as the victim. I chose to view myself as one of the special mothers in the old books who brought great men out of their wombs eventually, something huge is cooking up. This hope keeps you bouncing with great expectation, mothers like Elizabeth, Hannah, Sarah and Samson’s mother, I can’t remember her name.
• I learnt how to view myself as the fighter in a battle or war and that was how I survived the failed medical interventions. The ‘sorry’ looks people give you from now and then keeps you feeling sorry about yourself, so you don’t allow them get to you as much as possible. Yesterday, I stopped by the market to pick up some vegetables and the lady selling kept on repeating “My customer, pick these mangoes for your children”. I had to reply that “I have none”. I noticed the awkward silence and the pitiful look despite my smiles, the numerous prayers that follow while I walked away. I have gotten better; I didn’t feel any bit sad. Some may say…. Don’t say that!
• Get other life goals going, though the financial implication of infertility can almost cripple your savings, try as much as possible to upgrade other goals so you keep busy and not sit in a corner all day waiting for the cute one’s arrival.
• I know being one- in -eight hurts a lot and it’s heartbreaking but when you meet fellow ‘one in eight’ ladies and you discuss with those acronyms, you know you have a BFP goal despite AF. It feels a bit better, you don’t feel less lonely.
• Your birthdays and anniversaries may come with pain but when you focus on other people’s pain with the motive of helping them, it feels better. My last birthday was spent at the hospital pushing my father who is now in a wheel chair, I saw a lot of patients and I took the focus off me. I also saw their courage. You can also do this by celebrating yourself, your very existence each anniversary or birthday, buy yourself something special or treat yourself nice.
• It’s okay not to go for the naming ceremonies and kiddie’s birthdays, I realized after a while that we were no longer invited for these events, it hurt but it was okay.
• Do not take it personal when your friends take in with child and they start avoiding you or picking your calls. Sometimes it’s tough for them and they don’t know the depth of your love for them, they may assume you may feel bad.
• You may not fit into your friends’ gist anymore, do not blame them for this, their lives have changed, they may be talking about doing homework and children’s favorite toys or best brands. Learn to smile and get busy with other things when their talk switches to their little humans, it always does. I guess we will learn when we cross the bridge.
• It’s okay to stay off social media pages if the children announcements are choking on all sides, it’s okay to avoid negativity by all means, unfollow the pages if possible and cherish your positive energy, you need to focus on the beautiful things of life.
• Music does help, it calms a lot of stress, softly play it in the background and you may just feel like, it’s just a background sound track and you are the actor in a movie, you will know that each scene comes to pass, and it will surely end, make the wait worthwhile. I learnt that when they come, they take over your life. I love hymns by the way.
• Pray as much as possible, some say meditation. As for me, I meditate on the promises in the Bible, it works for me… at some point, I got really angry at God and didn’t even want to pray but I realized I was only drowning in bitterness. He is a friend, so sit there and talk it out, it heals, I did talk sometimes behind the shower curtain while taking a shower. The flowing water washes the tears and no one sees you there and looks at you as a weirdo or avoids your draining energy. when you come out, you will feel good and fresh.
• Take care of yourself, look good for yourself and celebrate your unique beauty, motherhood isn’t everything you were born to have. There are other aspects of your purpose. Motherhood will come.
• Forgive yourself for the wrong choices in the past, if they were, learn to forgive yourself.
• Encourage one another, this helps you stay encouraged too. Iron sharpens iron.
• No one may understand you, even your mother or sisters because they might not know what it takes, even close friends may not even understand but forgive their inconsiderate harsh words, it’s mostly out of ignorance.
• Journaling works, try writing, its therapeutic.
• It’s totally okay to ask for hugs from loved ones.
From this side of the world, Africa, it’s tough been a woman, who is waiting. Its viewed as a curse. it’s talked about in hush tones and you can practically hear the muttering as you walk pass groups of people. In most parts, a woman is basically brought to this world to procreate so it’s as good as you are not useful. it’s tough to still smile while they stare at your swollen but empty stomach while talking to you, but it’s totally doable, empty the negative vibes in prayer, try not to dwell on it and you will soar above the turbulence.
I remember, rushing excitedly to greet an old family friend of ours, I saw him last as a child and after I introduced myself to him, he said” oh! Are you the one that is barren? I heard of you” and I stood there with a twitched eye and awkward face, I politely nodded, then he introduced me to his grown up son and we shook hands and walked away. At least this was better than the woman who would hit my stomach every Sunday after church and ask “Hasn’t something entered this belly?” lol, one day I gently lifted her hand off my belly with a frown and that was the last time she did that. I realized after a while that she had seven children, yes! Seven, so I understood, she didn’t know how to struggle to have one.
It took me a lot to pour this out here, I hope this helps someone out there, I hope this makes you wipe your tear and I hope this makes you get up from your pain of miscarriages, failed IVFs and abdominal injections and lack of funds and stare at your beautiful face in the mirror. Keep your hopes high,Dear.
You are a warrior!
Lots of love,