question: “how do you deal with infertility?”

Every now and then I answer a question from a reader that I figure best to answer en masse…here’s one that struck me recently:

I recently dug up this question from reader Dharma. It was in response to my interview with Brene Brown on vulnerability. It’s a doozie.

115572 1 600 question: "how do you deal with infertility?"

Ok, I have a question for you. And I am only asking this because I have been basking in some pretty painful vulnerability for the past six months. The area of vulnerability for me is my fertility, it’s drifitng away from me. I try to be optimisitc, sometimes I fail. I went through searching for answers through friends, family and experts only to learn no-one else has the answers either. I have learnt to let go, my life is far less in control than it was a year ago. I am learning to be ok with this, to understand not everything works out the way to plan.

But, I still struggle with, how, when you are in this state of being do you make tough decisions? How does being deliberate come into play when the risks are high and you don’t know what way to turn?

I’m a spiritual person, I meditate, I practice yoga, I do any number of things. I TRY to trust life. But when those flashes of vuneralbility do come in, it can be hard to trust.

– Dharma

OK. This strikes chords right now. For all of you who’ve followed my thyroid/hashimotos/autoimmune journey, you’d know I’ve had ups and downs. Two weeks ago I had a bit of a down. I found out I’ve got some serious complications with my hormones. Again. Sadly, things have gone wonky and so my body has reacted. Mostly to tell me to slow down. Again. I’d been travelling well, but my anxiety crept back in and BAM! my body reminded me I’d pushed things too far once more. I’m working on getting things back working again with Chinese herbs. I believe I will. I know I will. This is not the first time.

So Dharma, I answer you intimately. Because I appreciate “fertility drift”. I think the hardest thing about the issue is the uncertainty. During my 20s and early 30s, having kids was something I just knew I’d do. So it all felt safe and certain, albeit “down the track”. Now, it’s a big fat unknown. Or seems to be more so because the volume on the uncertainty is turned up by this idea of “running out of time”. And this is the bit where vulnerability comes in. Because as Brene said in my interview with her, wholehearted, life-enhancing vulnerability “means actively letting go of certainty”. And I know you’ve said you’ve been working on this. But you’re finding it tough. Fair enough!

The second hardest bit for women – and men – in this predicament, I think, is having to reposition yourself.

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