Updated: Nov 22
At the end of 2021, I had been having health issues with the fibroids that caused the infertility and my mental health was suffering because I felt so blocked by them. I felt like the fibroids stopped so much of my life from moving forward. I decided to talk to my doctor again and see if she could give me a referral to anyone but that last reproductive endocrinologist. She sent me to a wonderful new doctor who does laparoscopic myomectomies that are much less invasive and easier to recover from than the open myomectomy.
The doctor had me do some tests to see if I was a candidate for that surgery. Turned out with some blood work and an MRI, I was! I would be able to have a laparoscopic myomectomy with a robot (yes like Jetsons style!) as an outpatient procedure. I wouldn’t have to stay in the hospital and it was about a 2 week recovery to feel like myself again. I could go home and resume most life tasks pretty quickly which was much more feasible.
So I decided to have the biggest fibroid removed and it went smoothly. When I had the surgery, my daughter went to our wonderful neighbors house after school everyday so I could rest. The first day she got home she said, “I'm ok being an only child. You don't have to have another baby.” This is after almost 3 years of asking for a sibling. I think she saw that my attention and energy could be taken away from her and she viewed other sibling relationships up close at her friends house.
If I were to get pregnant again, I would have to have a C-section to avoid uterine rupture and it would be another major abdominal surgery. After she said she was ok with no sibling, I felt another weight lift off my shoulders. My age and infertility struggles put my chances of conceiving naturally at only 2-5%. I’m not sure if it’s even possible to get pregnant with my torn up old uterus and eggs or if I'm willing to put myself through it all again. Plus the idea of a C-section is not what I envisioned for my second child/birth. I imagined laboring in a warm tub of water at home and having my daughter be part of the birthing process, not in a sterile hospital setting. None of my dream birth scenarios would be possible post myomectomy.
The surgery just so happened to be the same week that my book came out. I felt like I lost this big weight from my gut and was able to birth life into a creative project. In Spanish they say, “Dar La Luz” for giving birth which means to give light. I love that sentiment and it resonated with me. I was so nervous to speak about my infertility in my book because it brings with it the stigma of failure, that my body can’t do something it should. I also didn’t want any pity from people.
Yet when I released the book, I received nothing but kind and supportive messages from friends, family members, and even strangers. The sacral chakra which is where the uterus is located, contains creative energies and fertility and sexuality. When I had the fibroid removed, I felt so much freer and lighter and able to connect to these energies, not just with making a baby.
I think I had gotten a lot of outside pressure to have another child from my family members (including my daughter), from everyone around me having more than one child easily (or so it seemed), and just plain living in the South where reproduction is like a job here!
When someone has a baby in my neighborhood, there is a stork and/or a bow on the person's house that’s either pink or blue (don’t get me started on the coloring of gender down here). It’s in your face! In Chicago where I’m from I have only one really close friend with a child and she has just one. My best friends and sisters are amazing aunts but not moms and aren’t choosing that path. I’m now coming to terms with being content with our smaller family.
When my book launched, it felt so validating that I made something I'm proud of and that can help other families and promote only child families. I am now feeling so content with our family of 3 (plus our dog ;). I had been struggling recently with where I want my career and energy to go.
I recently went back to teaching prenatal and postnatal yoga now that I'm done TTC. While trying to conceive a second child, it had been difficult being around all those wonderful moms who were getting what I wanted but couldn't. I am really enjoying teaching again and now realize my path into supporting expecting and new moms is where my passions lie. I'm also publishing another book about Nature Schools coming out December 2022.
I listened to a meditation that said, “Pain is a conduit for creativity” and I truly believe that. With writing these books, I feel like I was making something I am passionate about and putting it out into the world to process it and ease the pain a bit. The community I have been building around me is helping me release a lot of the self doubt and feelings of inadequacy of my body. There have been so many people reaching out to share their infertility journeys and struggles. Other people have expressed how they’ve always dreamed of writing a children’s book and are now inspired to take the steps to do it. Some people are both struggling with infertility and wanting to write children’s books!
All of this connection and inspiration have kept me motivated to speak out. I also was invited to present at a Self-Publishing seminar in October 2022 about how to market a new book and plan a book launch. It was a fun and gratifying way to show what I had learned and help other future authors.
I’m still working on myself and trying to stay in a positive mental space. Intentionally being present in my life has really helped. Taking time to turn off electronics and social media. Noticing things around me. Walking my dog and listening to the birds. Being present and available to my daughter and not thinking about what could’ve been or if we're missing something or someone.
Staying in the moment and being still with my thoughts is a goal for me in 2022 and beyond. What will the rest of 2022 hold for me? I’m not sure since my identity is still evolving.