There has been something I have wanted to share with you all for a very long time, and it’s bringing up all the feels…. the good and the bad. And with everything going on in the world right now, especially the global pandemic, there is no better time than now to share.
Last year my work was hosting a women’s networking event, that brought together female entrepreneurs throughout our community. This was such a fantastic evening and the energy each woman brought was palpable. As I mingled, I had the pleasure of being introduced to a newly published author. We were able to chat for a while, and she shared with me a bit of her writing journey and then I opened up and told her about my dream of one day writing a memoir. I bought her book and we parted ways exchanging our contact info.
Shortly after this event, she posted on Facebook about a new compilation book that was being put together examining infertility, and they were looking for unique stories that would create a book for women who suffer with infertility, miscarriage, child loss and grief.
I reached out to the group because I knew I had a story to share.
Within days I was being interviewed as a potential author and after speaking with the creator for over an hour I was asked to be a part of the book.
Needless to say, I was thrilled and very excited.
And then shortly after…. I got totally nervous. What the heck was I thinking?!?! Of course, becoming a published author has always been a dream of mine, and now I was being given the chance to get my feet wet with this collaborative group project. But it also meant that I would be putting my story out into the world.
Was I sure I wanted to do this?
Was the timing, right?
But things moved pretty fast and as the group of 15 authors was assembled, and the schedule of due dates started coming out, I knew I may have bitten off more than I could chew.
And as the journey began…I started to pull away. I didn’t understand why I was doing it except that I was beginning to feel stressed, anxious and overwhelmed. I was missing deadlines and I was feeling like the weakest link among a group of women that I only knew online but completely admired and respected. I had been used to writing on my schedule and in my style. So, when the deadline came for my story to be submitted, I panicked.
The reason for this, was at the exact time I should be writing, my husband and I had decided to move back home to Ontario. The decision to move across country happened about as quickly as the decision to leave the first time….in a matter of days. As par for the course of my life, I make knee jerk decisions and let the chips fall where they may.
In saying that, my chapter was due right in the middle of packing, finding new jobs, a new school for my son, getting renters for our home, selling everything online that we owned, plus with the help of family and friends, virtually trying to find a place to live when we arrived.
My family and I were in the middle of packing up our home to move across the country and my mind wasn’t where it needed to be.
In order to write my piece, I needed a few hours alone to really bring myself back to that time in my life that I now realize I had shut off.
The desire to be a mother, to be pregnant, to get the positive pregnancy test, to feel a baby kick in your stomach, to give birth, to hold your baby for the first time and every other image you create in your mind to realize your dream, is an innate desire for most women.
Women are biologically built for reproduction.
Women are natures progression of the species.
We are hormonally charged with the desire to breed.
So, what happens when it’s your time and your body decides you are not fit for the job?
When you body declines the job of motherhood on your behalf without consulting you first?
Well, you fight.
You fight your body and you push past the negative pregnancy test, the miscarriages, the scientific invasions and the financial costs.
While doing this, you are also fighting a mental battle of inadequacy. The feeling of ‘why me’ always present. And the mental mind game that is played every 30 days when you feel pregnant and then wipe blood that confirms you are broken.
Sitting down to write my piece brought all of this back up. Even though my time had passed and I was blessed with one child, there is a grief that you carry with you when your ‘mother picture’ wasn’t fulfilled or the path to it was treacherous and scientific.
As my story unfolded on paper, tears ran down my face as I remembered the journey and the memories bubbling up. Once I was done, I didn’t reread it, I just hit send to the editor, collected myself and continued packing for our move.
The launch of the book was happening during our drive across Canada and it required all of the authors to promote and push it out. It was going live on Amazon and the publisher wanted to hit Best Seller status within the first few days of the launch.
Again, I didn’t participate. I was the weak link. My emotions were a whirl wind. Everything in my life was changing all at once. I was spread thinner than I have ever been spread before. And as the book was birthed, I stepped aside and chose to focus on my family and getting us all moving in the same direction, needing us to succeed in this decision to start a new life again.
The good news is, the team of authors are the absolute best and the book hit best seller status in it’s category right out of the gate! Yah! The publisher was thrilled and the team was happy.
Slowly the team disassembled and each author went their separate ways with their story out in the world to help and inspire other women.
The feeling of detachment lingered and really bothered me. It took me a long time to understand why I felt this way. But finally I began to understand. Because I was in and out of the project I felt like perhaps my story wouldn’t have the impact that the other stories did. I felt that because I hadn’t put the time in and participated in the group fully, my journey didn’t deserve to be in it. I felt, ashamed at my distraction during this amazing time to finally put my truth out into the world. I was disappointed over and over again with myself and just couldn’t shake that feeling.
4 months passed and I still hadn’t purchased a copy of my own book! What the heck was wrong with me?!?!
Finally, I went onto Amazon and bought it.
When it arrived, I opened in and then it sat on my night stand for a few weeks before I cracked it open.
A month ago, when my house was still and everyone had gone to bed it called to me.
I sat down, alone and opened it up.
I didn’t go straight to my story.
I wanted to read it as you would read it.
Start to finish.
And the moment I had been waiting for happened.
The moment that we all need to feel.
I was enough.
My story mattered.
I belong with this group of women.
This is what it means to put yourself out there for others to know that they are not alone.
When you share your truth, your raw emotion of pain and inadequacies you quickly see that this revelation create a balm. The wounds you open, you may discover were never really healed, because you buried them. When you resurrect and reveal the truth, that is when you heal. And in doing so you have a chance to help someone else tell their truth and begin the healing process as well.
Therefore, what I know for sure is this book matters.
These women coming together with 15 unique stories is only the tip of the iceberg. There are millions of stories out there. If you are a woman you will have a fertility story. No matter what. There will be a story.
Reading, writing, talking, and sharing is what women do as a community.
We are a Sisterhood.
We carry and lift others up.
We stand beside one another.
We lead and sometimes we follow.
If you have ever struggled and feel alone, know you are not.
If you are feeling low and defeated in your fertility journey, know you are not alone.
And know that there are 15 women who came together with that mission.
Your journey is important.
Never give up.