This week, April 24th-30th, 2022, marks National Infertility Awareness Week. Learn more about infertility awareness at InfertilityAwareness.org.
A few years ago I was speaking at an annual fertility conference and hosting a book signing at the event when a familiar woman approached me. The year prior she had attended my workshop with her partner. She leaned over the table where I was signing books and asked in a whisper if I could speak with her privately.
We walked into the hallway and she became visibly upset and began to cry. This beautiful, well dressed, professional women spoke through her tears sharing that she had two more failed IVF (In vitro fertilization) cycles and after the last failed cycle her husband left, they had been separated since and recently he filed for divorce.
When her husband informed her of his decision, he based it on the stress and changes within their relationship including their fertility treatments which consisted of procedures, surgeries and three failed IVF cycles.
Heartbroken and blaming herself for both the Infertility diagnosis and failure of her marriage, she shared her feelings of being abandoned, loneliness and a sense of being broken emotionally, physically and spiritually.
Then, midstream of telling me her story, it was as if she was interrupting herself by her strong unwavering declaration.
She was moving forward alone.
Within the shock and heartbreak of the failed fertility treatments and her divorce proceedings pending, she had made the decision to still move forward to motherhood through fertility treatments with donor sperm.
I have witnessed this before, a surreal phenomenon of a wellspring of invisible energy or an unlimited supply of fortitude. That in the same moment when life is driving us to our knees, this energy seems to rush in and provide us with the ability to get up, keep moving, put on our big girl pants, conquer and overcome.
Infertility and divorce is a double whammy and unfortunately, in my professional coaching experience, this woman’s story is not an isolated case.
Infertility along with other medical illnesses can come into a relationship, sometimes as the first marital crisis that a couple faces. The life trauma or crisis can either push the couple closer together or pull them apart, in some cases it creates a breach so large it can not be repaired.
If you are confronting a diagnosis of infertility and divorce here are some strategies to help you heal and strengthen your emotional resilience.
When confronted with the bottom falling out of your life, bring your attention to being right here, right now.
When you practice choice through acceptance of this current moment while relying on radical unconditional tenderness for whatever feelings or emotion show up, you are healing. You are healing the past, present, and future in that one divine moment. So make friends with the pain, fear, and confusion and accept them. Ask “What are they teaching me?” Perhaps showing you that you’re strong, amazing, filled with fortitude and love.
You can listen within and ask yourself what you need to do for yourself today and do that with non-judgement. Self-care is a necessity when trauma and loss are present. Take a 10-minute walk. Wake up a little earlier to have a longer shower in the morning or look forward to a bath at night. Nurture yourself with the unconditional self-love that you need right now.
Who do you want by your side as you walk through this part of your life story?
Keep in mind you want people who uplift you, your cheerleaders, your unconditional supporters while staying away from naysayers! This includes your divorce and fertility team. Be picky about who you have representing and guiding you. Take your time until you find the perfect team just right for you.
Cultivating gratitude for what you have in your life right now is the jet fuel needed to get through to begin your new life chapter. Gratitude as a state of being guides you to be heart-centered while balancing your rational mind, which might be trying to think your way out of this challenging life period.
Sometimes we don’t accept help when offered and use the standard line “I’m fine” as a knee jerk reaction to the offer. Practicing accepting and receiving help is a way of balancing your life through self-awareness of your habit of giving and receiving your energy Balanced giving and receiving is an important attribute within healthy relationships. Remember you’re not alone!
Take gentle care of your wishes. Acknowledge and converse with your wishes in the way you would your inner child. Let your inner wishes know that you have not forgotten them, that you acknowledge them and hold in your heart the belief that Universe has your back, (even it if doesn’t feel like it right now) and whisper to your wishes what is divinely attributed to you in your lifetime will not pass you by. Believe in your new beginning (even if it’s foggy right now)
Create a mantra that you recite daily to quiet the negative mental chatter. Put them up where you will see them during the day. A few examples: “I love and accept myself and I’m entitled to miracles”, “All is well”, “Rejection is divine protection” and “I love life and life loves me”
Within my coaching practice, I repeatedly share that there is a beginning, middle and end to all life cycles and the difficulties of infertility and divorce will come to a close and open you up to your bright future.
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