What a difference a year makes
Last year at this time, I was on a call with a client I’d been working with for about 6 months. Prior to and during that time, she’d suffered multiple miscarriages and then an IVF cycle that did not proceed to transfer. When we talked during the late Fall last year, though, she was feeling more confident and positive than ever.
She had a plan. She had a new doctor, a terrific acupuncturist, and she had more information about her body and fertility than ever. She knew nearly the hour at which she would ovulate and had been assured by her new doctor that no major medical interventions were required.
So when she called me a few weeks later and cautiously whispered, “I’m pregnant!” I was not surprised. She was, understandably, anxious and fearful that the pregnancy would not continue and so we focused on staying present and giving herself space to breathe and relax which was her form of daily self care.
That pregnancy did not continue, unfortunately, and it was heartbreaking. For both of us.
She was able to move forward, though, with remarkable grace and confidence unlike earlier times after a miscarriage. Fear no longer controlled her path and could not keep her in a state of despair. A few months later, the hour of ovulation arrived and with a bit of progesterone and some additional monitoring with her doctor, the pregnancy continued to move forward - eventually passing beyond any of her prior pregnancies.
I got a 20-week ultrasound picture about a month ago. Baby is “healthy and perfect.” It looks like the world will get to meet her sometime this spring.
This story brings tears to my eyes and motivates me to work harder to spread messages of confidence, empowerment, hope, and acceptance.
It is this last one - acceptance - I want to pause on today. Acceptance is a funny one because it can often be confused with approval. As in, “accepting my fertility journey means I’m OK with it...that somehow it is a “good” thing.”
That’s not what I’m asking, nor is it something I believe.
Acceptance is defined as, “the action of consenting to receive or undertake something offered”. It is only saying OK to what’s been dealt your way. To not denying that you are on a path you have not chosen. To letting go of the anger, guilt, or regret that you are on this path.
I believe acceptance is something we can do for ourselves. To stop resisting the path gives us the freedom to then choose how we will approach it.
And that’s what my client did. She chose to approach her path with persistence. She armed herself with information that gave her confidence she was doing all she could to become pregnant. She chose to keep going in spite of setbacks that previously had crippled her for months.
And, she leaned into the tiny voice of assurance that said she would be a mom - while pushing aside the other voice that shouted “but when!”.
There was no way of knowing last year what our conversation would be this year.
As she enjoys new milestones of announcing her pregnancy, healthy ultrasound reports, and soon-to-come birth and breastfeeding classes, my thought keeps going to “what a difference a year makes.”
I understand that for some, this year may not feel all that different from last, or even the year prior. And that is frustrating and difficult. While we may not understand why we are on this particular path - we can choose to accept, persist, and rise above to improve our experience along the way.
So, to you I ask - how can this next year be different for you? What can you approach with acceptance and, in doing so, give yourself the freedom to make choices that improve your path to baby?