Finding Fault

I've had a lot of opportunities lately to talk about my experiences with infertility, and I keep thinking about fault finding, and guilt, and not finding "success."

So many things are out there to make you feel like you have control when you don't, or to tell a nice story (on the surface) to make you feel like you have a chance. You do the acupuncture, the yoga, the wheatgrass shots, the visualizations, the odd ritualistic things. You do it because someone tells you it worked for them, or there's some vague statistic saying it increases the odds even half a percentage point. This is how I burned my inner thighs kneeling/straddling a hot pot full of witchy herbs to "steam my vagina" and "soften my cervix," and how I  snapped at Bryce for blowing out and not snuffing the red candles I'd lit all over the house like we were a freaking cathedral. 

So many things were recommended because it worked for someone else. But nothing worked for me... so the conclusion became, "I didn't do enough." I didn't have the strength to give up cheese, I wasn't committed enough to do acupuncture AND herbs. Maybe I let a negative thought sneak into my guided meditation. 

NONE OF THAT MATTERED. I drove myself (and those around me) crazy with odd rituals and insistence that I could control outcomes LITERALLY NO ONE CAN CONTROL. I cried when a meditation in fertility yoga encouraged us to "invite our baby to come to us" when I had recently miscarried. If you invite your baby and you happen to get pregnant, that's going to seem amazing and useful! If your baby accepted your invitation and then ghosted you, leaving you brokenhearted, how does that make a body feel? (Not good. Rejected. Not worthy. Guilt riddled. Deficient.)

I wish I could tell myself that no one has that power... People just get lucky. You can throw all kinds of money at it (if you are privileged to have it to throw) and you can STILL not have a baby. It doesn't make you less than. It doesn't mean you didn't do whatever arbitrary bar is considered "enough." I wish I could say to my younger self, "YOU ARE ENOUGH. IT'S NOT YOU. YOU DON'T HAVE TO DESTROY YOURSELF IN PURSUIT OF "ENOUGH."

I can tell myself now, and I can share with you. No one has the secret. Everyone's ENOUGH is different. Having a baby doesn't make anyone more worthy or successful or inviting. Red candles from Target will not get you pregnant. Give yourself grace, you deserve that. 

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  1. This is a brilliant post. I'm bookmarking it to share with someone who will need it, inevitably, sometime in the future. I see so much of myself in this.

  2. I remember feeling so embarrassed when I couldn't get pregnant. My cousin's wife tried to convince me that I wasn't doing anything wrong, but the guilt and shame were so real.

  3. I love this post SO much, Jess!! Thanks!

  4. Your last paragraph is so perfect!