I feel like most of what I have written about on this site has been medical. We’ve spent so much time with doctors this past summer that it seems like that is all the information we’ve shared with you. In my early posts, I recapped the first few weeks and months of learning about our infertility and how there were so many sad days. I don’t know if we were just feeling better about it or ignoring it, but once we began working on BabyOrBust everything seemed to get a little better.
I definitely have my down days. Days when I see the cutest families grocery shopping or couples pushing a stroller on their evening walk. Being perfectly honest, my first nephew was born in May and the day he came was so painful. I was unbelievably happy for my brother-in-law and sister-in-law and from the first moment I met him I’ve called him the love of my life! He’s perfect. I don’t think I was even jealous. Just something about someone so close being able to effortlessly have a baby- wondering when it would be my turn.
My sister-in-law and I were talking a while back and she told me that she and my brother-in-law had been talking one evening. They believe, just as I do, that everything happens for a reason. And while I can’t remember what reason it was that they came up with, I remember my response. I told her that it was for Shelton and I to learn patience. This is a trait we both lack and luckily our impatience balances one another. And since that moment, I’ve thought a lot about that. Most things in our lives have come so easily to us; But this, having a baby, one thing we’ve both wanted since the very beginning- God is telling us we’re just going to have to put some muscle into it. I was mad at first. Why not make me work really hard for something really unimportant? Why this?
Simply put, it’s patience. And I can honestly say it’s a lesson I’m not taking for granted. The past six months or so have been the most trying in my life. It started with the infertility, work got a little nuts for a while and most recently my parents divorced. I spent several weeks recently feeling like I was fighting for air. Where did I lose so much control? I’ve done a lot of soul searching since all this started and I’ve found my weaknesses, but I’ve also found my strengths. And it is those strengths that are making me work so hard on improving and changing my weaknesses.
I want this experience to mean something, I want to learn so much about myself, my marriage and this life. I mean, if God is going to make me work so hard to find my way to our baby, we might as well make it interesting, right?
Someone recently gave me a copy of 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. I reluctantly started reading it, months after it was given to me. But I quickly pulled out my highlighter and started marking page after page. This isn’t just another self-help book. I was reading and found it was relevant to my work, my marriage, my relationships with my parents, my infertility- it was touching every aspect of my life.
So far, the one thing that has really struck me and I already find myself implementing in my everyday life- it’s the idea of your “Circle of Concern” and your “Circle of Influence.” The COC is a big circle, within in it is a smaller circle that holds the COI. In my circle of concern, I have my medical bills from surgery, my parents divorce, my infertility, work issues, school shootings, the price of gas, laundry, etc. I’ve concerned myself with all of these things, they are all stressers. But most of them are out of my control, nothing I can fix or change. Where my energy should be focused is the circle of influence- in here I can put the laundry, what we’ll have for dinner this week, work issues that directly affect me, many aspects of my infertility, living more healthy by diet and exercise, etc. These are all things that I have a direct influence over and can actually make a change in. All the other stuff just adds stress and drama that I don’t need, and no matter how much sleep I lose or anxiety I build, nothing is going to fix them or make them go away.
So I’m working on a little soul makeover. I want to be more positive, patient, smarter, friendlier- just an overall better person. I’ve always said that one of the things I love most about Shelton is that everyday he makes me want and work to be a better person. I tease him that he is so much better than I am, and in so many ways he is. If we were ever playing bad cop/good cop, he would be good cop. He has held my hand, soaked up my tears and held me close so much this summer. While most days he didn’t know what to say, and I don’t know what he could have said that would have made any of it easier, he was there.
The point to this long rambling post is this- whether you’re dealing with infertility, or any number of other major life events, find the meaning behind it. Why was this task brought on you? What can you learn from it to make not only the situation easier to deal with, but to make you and your life better? The many, many women, and some men, I’ve talked to since we started BabyOrBust have all told me about situations where major stress interrupted an IVF cycle or caused them to lose a baby- and I just won’t have it. All of the stress in my life is because of too much attention on my part. I’m saying NO- I won’t let you break me, I won’t let you wear me down and I refuse to let you get in between me and having a baby!!! I encourage each of you facing infertility to do the same. It feels really good.
And, I encourage you to pick up this book. Like I said, I didn’t want to be caught reading a self-help book. But every page so far has been worth it. When we get some free time this week, we need to update a few links that readers have sent to us and I’ll add this book to our book list. (FYI- if you would like to donate, but want a little something in return, any of the books posted under “About IVF” can be purchased through Amazon and a percentage comes back to BabyOrBust).
Internet- thanks for listening.