Changes Unseen

Last week I was talking with a friend and mentioned that I don’t feel I am accomplishing anything right now. I can’t write down my goal list toward success and check things off because I’m so busy being a mom right now. The conversation turned to how we change on the inside long before it’s ever noticed by anyone on the outside.

My past year and a half has been like this! I am not the same person and I have grown so much during my pregnancy and being a mom. There have been many moments of insight regarding myself but they aren’t things that I can check off on a list and say “I accomplished this step toward my life goals today.” The reality is that I have made huge strides toward my future. These inward steps can’t be seen by everyone in the world yet but they are the foundation that is required to accomplish all the future goals I will have for myself!

In the past months I have become more confident in myself. I am beginning to realize that I have the power and energy necessary to become who I want to be and I don’t need others to validate me. This is huge for me to realize that the energy I feel is mine. It’s not someone or something else sending me energy it is ME! The power is all mine.

For each of you out there your revelations will be different because they are for YOU. They are no less important or powerful than my own revelations. While you are out there raising your kids and feeling like you aren’t accomplishing much today because all you have managed is to feed the kids, change the diapers etc. Don’t feel like you aren’t creating a pathway to your goals and your dreams because you are growing and changing on the inside. The lessons you are learning right now are changing who you are and one day they will be apparent to everyone else and they are going to say “Wow, you have really grown” and you are going to think to yourself ” Oh that, that happened a long time ago.”

The Journey

Taken by Stephanie Vignal

Taken by Stephanie Vignal

It’s been a while. So much has changed in 2 1/2 years. I’d like to move forward but I want to keep what I’ve already written because it was a part of me at that time. I think the perfect transition would be to share part of a speech I shared in Toastmasters.

Ernest Hemingway said “It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end”

The journeys in life that change us the most are the ones we never wanted to take. For me that journey began as some of you already know in a Doctor’s office 3 1/2 years ago. My husband and I sat eagerly awaiting news from our test results and we were not prepared  when the Dr. looked at us and said “ You have a 5% chance of ever, (Pause) getting pregnant. If you want to have children you need to consider donor eggs or adoption”. I was devastated and as I stood outside his office in the noon day sun, tears streaming down my face my wonderful husband looked at me and said “ 5% is still a number, it’s just a number” and with those words I began the journey that would change me forever.

Eastern medicine says they can help in cases like mine so I actually braved it and went to my first acupuncture appointment. Over time acupuncture would become my weekly place to pamper myself and feel at one with the universe. I started sleeping better, I became more cheerful. Acupuncture made a huge difference in my life.

I began to take yoga a little more seriously and I even took Chinese herbs.  I sought out energy healing from many practitioners and discovered Reiki for the first time. I began to meditate even though I had swore as fast as my mind goes I would never be able to silence it. Before I knew it I would meditate every day. As time marched on my meditation time grew from guided meditations where my mind would wonder to silent meditations where my mind would still as I sat in silence and the most peaceful feeling would come over me.  I became more aware that everything in life is energy and I could feel the different energies around me. Somewhere along this journey I had become the person who was calmer, more content and longed for her meditation time.

As my journey of self discovery continued I found myself cross legged  in a oneness-meditation. As I peacefully lost track of time listening to the meditation leader he said “You are enough. Right now in this moment.”  It was this moment that I realized that I was enough. If I never have a child, I am enough right now. If there is nothing else that you take with you from my journey I hope that you go home sit still and realize that right now in this very moment that YOU are enough. This realization showed me that I was always running around chasing my tail trying to be more, do more and never feeling like I had accomplished enough. Along this journey I had begun to love myself and accept that I really am ok If I’m never a mom.

Finally, there is one more lesson that I have learned on my journey. You see, every now and then our husbands are right. Five percent indeed is after all a number. It seems this beautiful little spirit wanted her mommy to know the importance of meditating, to feel the energy all around us and to know that she is enough and one day prepared to tell her that she is enough. You see  my husband was right,  I am the 5%. I started this journey heartbroken and hurting and I end this journey knowing who I am in the still calm moments and happily the mother of a tenacious baby girl.

This speech belongs to Stephanie Vignal and is copyrighted.

It’s Independence Day and I’m Taking Back my Life

 

After a year of trying to decide what to blog about vascillating from topic to topic and taking a detour to deal with my own infertility I have decided the time to begin is now. I’m not sure if anyone will actually read this but I feel I should begin with my vision.

Stepping out from almost two years of trying to conceive. Doctors, Acupuncturists, chinese herbs, hormones and fertility drugs I have decided to stop. This one act is quite liberating yet there aren’t many out there who discuss stopping the roller coaster ride and moving on with their lives. I have searched for information on moving forward and living a child free life after infterility and I have found a few though it seems that they are few and far between. I’m not sure society knows how to deal with those of us who have tried modern science yet come up short without a baby in the end. What does this journey look like, stepping out from the never ending cycle of infertility?

The truth is that I don’t know. As I begin to take back my life and discover new dreams I have decided that I should focus on those dreams I can control instead of the dream that I have tried so hard for and failed. Coming to terms with the reality that I can’t control whether or not I ever have a child there are many dreams I can control. So from this day forward this blog will be about the journey toward the dreams I can control. From time to time I am sure there will be a post or moment of sadness and reflection regarding the one dream I can’t control but the time is now to move toward the future.

With this in mind I step boldly into my new found Independence. The freedom to be happy again, to not spend hours a month in the doctors office, to not know my temperature every day and not know what my body is doing every second of the day. The freedom to drink caffeine and not worry if it’s the reason this month was not a success. We are moving into the bright future that I can actually do something about.

Just Keeping It Real

I am human just like everyone else and less over the next few years anyone may think that I am always courageous, cheerful and strong I want to take a moment to say that I am not. The world sees me as a cheerful person but in my private moments I too have moments where I am full of despair and question whether or not I should trudge on. I ponder that all the truly great people of our time and past most likely had moments like this too yet they didn’t stop.

 Recently this weekend was one of those moments. As the reality began to engulf me that once more we would be starting yet another cycle in our efforts to conceive I grew weary and began to question should we keep going on? It was the next day as I was moping about that I remembered a Napolean Hill Quote from a book I read a few years ago “You Just Might Be Three Feet From Gold”. The lesson of the story about three feet from gold is that someone stopped digging for gold, gave up and sold their rights when it turned out they were literally three feet from gold!

With this thought in mind I let the idea wash over me that my baby could be just within grasp. It has been 19 months of negatives but next month just might be my positive and all of the sacrifice will be worth the outcome. I do not know what the future holds for us, will we have a family or will this dream remain elusive. I do know that it’s not quite time to give up yet and I know how you feel when you sit alone and cry because yet another month has passed. I dry my tears, strenghten my resolve and start the next cycle with a fresh hope yet again. I know you can too.

Blessings in Infertility

I had lunch with a wonderful friend a few weeks ago and we discussed the concept of thinking about what we are grateful for each week. I must say that I haven’t been thinking about this so much while I have been faced with infertility but the more I thought about it the more I realized that my infertility is a blessing. Before you throw things at me out there let me explain.

I was thinking of the small things I am grateful for right now and realized I would not have these things in my life if my infertility had not forced me to begin to make lifestyle changes. I love my acupuncture treatements! Before I was told that I wouldn’t have children I would never have imagined going to acupuncture but it has become something that I look forward to and by consistently going I have become calmer and more peaceful. I also feel amazing changes in my body.

I also have re-discovered meditation. I am so excited about my meditation practice right now. I am able to focus better during mediation and I can become calm faster than I used too. It also brings a sense of joy and peace to my life. If I wasn’t going through infertility I would probably not be taking the time to pamper myself in this way and I feel less stressed and more energetic.

I also have made a few dietary changes that contribute to my health and aid my body to feel better along with the acupuncture and I am feeling healthy.

When I have days that I want to give up and believe me, even I have my moments, I think on these blessings. Infertility is a journey, a journey of your soul. You are faced with circumstances that you never imagined happening to you and surely never wanted to happen to you. Along the way, you begin to find yourself and hopefully you will find your voice as well. I am reminded of the words of Robert Frost,

” I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference.”

Perhaps one day I will look back at my infertility journey as a path that has made all the difference.

Hope Returned

Have you ever had your hope handed back to you? Today mine was handed back to me. In July while running a battery of infertility tests I discovered I had high FSH. What does this mean? Basically my follicles aren’t producing good eggs and I was told I most likely can’t have children and only could use donor eggs. After turning to alternative medice I began going to acupuncture, changing my diet, changing to only natural skin care products and using Chinese Herbs. Today, I had my bloodwork tested again at my acupuncturists insistance. My FSH has dropped in half! I have went from someone the Doctor won’t see to someone on the borderline but they are willing to treat. I feel like hope has been handed back to me. I have a higher than 5% chance of getting pregnant and the world is full of possibilities. For those of you who have set in front of the doctor and heard those horrible words “You need to use donor eggs”, there is hope.

I spent the afternoon getting comfortable with the fact that I do indeed still have a chance to get pregnant and all is not lost. It’s a strange new feeling after four months of coming to terms with the constant thought that I probably won’t get the chance to have a child, yet here I sit with that hope handed back to me. It is a nice change and I will take the chance that I now have.

For over a year now I have wondered about my blog and what it should be about. I want to discuss women’s issues and I will because I’m passionate about them. I also think that others need to hear about my journey with infertility as I strive to become a mother, perhaps someone will be helped. Everyone, there is hope…….

Welcome Everyone!

Well, it seems I am about to embark on a new blogging adventure. I keep waiting to have everything perfect before undertaking this adventure. I’m currently working and going to school full time as well leaving little time for my blogging adventures. I go back and forth on what the blog should be about and I finally am settling on women’s issues that I am concerned about and anything else that strikes my fancy on a given day. I am excited to just begin, as the days unfold and my time allows the image of the blog will change and grow as I get everything in place but alas, I must begin to write. I have numerous things spinning around in my head to share right now and need to begin to formulate everything into a cohesive place for discussion. Let’s sit back and begin a dialogue about the things that matter. I look forward to our discussions as the blog begins to take shape.

Steph