Sometimes we get lost in a quest. I don’t care whether it is the desire to conquer infertility and have a baby or something else. We can get so wrapped up and single minded that everything else around us can fall to the wayside. Even ourselves.
I understand this from a personal level – and I understand this from years of supporting literally thousands of individuals who are struggling to build a family. The most horrific story was of a beautiful woman that I will call Ruth. I met her over a decade ago at a RESOLVE NYC meeting. She had just recovered from uterine cancer and was going against her doctor’s advice and trying to have a baby using her own body. I talked to her about exploring surrogacy, but she wouldn’t have it. We talked about her health and risks – but she put that aside. Nothing was more important to her than conceiving, carrying and birthing a child through her own genetics and her own body.
Through the years I kept track of Ruth and her attempts to conceive and carry a child to term. I was thrilled for her when I found out that after many years that she gave birth to a beautiful little girl. Then a few years later I learned that Ruth died from her uterine cancer that was aggravated by the hormones induced by fertility medications and pregnancy. Her doctors had advised her to use a surrogate.
The other day I was reminded of Ruth when one of my fertility coaching clients was going through a health crisis in midst of a series of IVF attempts. She was struggling with whether to take off the time she needed to truly get well or push through and do a next cycle. I needed to remind her that her life was as big a gift and a miracle on this earth as any new baby she might give birth to. That she was precious and that her being here on this earth was like winning the biggest lotto prize in the universe! Yes – she wanted to share that life with a baby – but if she didn’t take care of herself first – she would not be able to truly be there in the way that she needed to be for fertility treatment, pregnancy or child birth.
Sometimes we forget in our desire for a child – that we too are somebodies baby! Our lives are precious, just as we are. So take the time to make sure that you are loving you through your quest for a baby. See the doctor, take breaks, exercise gently, get your teeth fixed and get all of those annual check ups even if it means skipping a cycle of IVF and putting it off for a month. Please don’t forget that you are a miracle too!