This I Believe: Being Is More Important Than Doing
In August 2007 I found out that my eggs were expiring. Three long months of poking and prodding, outpatient surgery and performance tests on both me and my husband Mike to end up with the cold fact: we had about a 3 percent chance of getting pregnant on our own.
We had been trying for over four years to start a family, and we both knew that something had to be wrong. Because Mike was almost sixty we assumed more than likely that his age played a big factor. Consequently he resisted getting tested more than me. I was in my late thirties, taught and practiced yoga, didn’t have any health problems or any glaring indicators that my body was secretly about to fail me; so I pushed and pushed for the fertility tests, making the case to Mike that even if we discovered something was wrong with him, at least we could then fix it.
After our less than hopeful diagnosis, over the next nine months we went through one In Vitro cycle and one egg donor cycle. My body changed almost daily from all of the injections and hormones. My short-term memory began to fade, and my emotions were constantly in flux, vacillating between busting at the seams with excitement to wanting to crawl under the covers from the weight of uncertainty. I felt like I didn’t even know myself anymore. Who was this person with the expanding waistline despite hours of cardio? Who was this person who yelled at her beloved dog for jumping up on her after a long day apart, which normally melted her heart? Who was I now that there was a strong possibility that I’d never be a mother?
Both cycles failed. Mike and I were crushed. We didn’t really know what to do with all of the anger, sorrow and disappointment. It didn’t seem fair. There we were two people who wanted to be parents and, for a reason unknown to us, life had said “NO.”
As the weeks passed after the news that our second attempt had failed, I began focusing on getting back to “normal.” No more drugs. No more daily visits to the doctor’s. No more wanting. I realized that I’d spent almost five years of my life wishing for a certain outcome that I clearly had no control over. I had spent more time focusing on what I didn’t have than what great gifts were already in my life: our two rescued hound dogs, our ornery cat, my body, all its strength, all its flaws, the ground under my feet, the breath, that simplicity of inhaling and exhaling, and not knowing what will happen next, but learning to trust and grow from a surrender to the mystery. I’ve stopped forcing my way through my life, and I’m slowly learning how to accept what is, even if the “is” sometimes hurts.