Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Infertility: You Are Enough

A little back story...

Earlier this month I went to a writers workshop in Middlebury, Vermont as part of the Burlington Writers Workshop that I am a member of. I had submitted a poem to be critiqued, about softball, and I plan to submit it to some literary journals for publication.

The feedback I got was amazing and I am ever grateful for the group of people in that group because they are raw and mindful of the importance of constructive feedback. Normally we have two people who have their pieces "workshopped" and critiqued but this particular evening it was just me so we spent the first hour or so going over my piece. I was "in the box," which means I could not say anything while the other group rest of the group was discussing my piece. I came out of the box when they were done, loving the feedback and have a lot to work with to tweak the poem.

Next, we worked on a prompt - we were to write about something you wish somebody had told you. The member who gave the prompt has been leading writing workshops or writing groups for probably 20-25 years if not more. He said that my poem had inspired him to bring this prompt to this group that night because the theme of the poem was something that was obviously to him something that I had wish I had been told when I was playing softball when I was a kid, but were things that I have learned over the years on my own.

The prompt inspired me to write about what I wish I had known about my infertility diagnosis.

I wish I knew it was a possibility. I wish during sex-ed that infertility was mentioned as something that happens. I wish that sex-ed, specifically around puberty and periods, was not taught in such a way that it is assumed that people would all develop the same way, and that all women would start their period by a certain age or have the same flow as each other every 28 days. As we all know by adulthood, that is just not the case and I wish that was pointed out during sex-ed or told to me by my parents or somebody. As it turns out, I learned all of this the hard way when I hadn't started my period before I was 15. I went through all kinds of tests to figure out why and I ended up being diagnosed with MRKH, a form of primary infertility.

And so I am here to tell you what I wish I knew when I was younger. I want to tell you that you are enough. You are everything that you are supposed to be in this life. Despite your so-called flaws, despite your inability to do what the female body is supposedly supposed to do, you are enough. You are one hundred percent who you are supposed to be. This struggle, this infertility struggle that you are going through is making you stronger, it is making you more compassionate, and it is a test you will pass.

You are not alone. Your infertility journey, by society's standards, makes you feel like you're alone, like you're living in isolation and nobody else knows what you're experiencing. I am here to tell you that while not everybody's experiences are the same, there are people who empathize and understand what you're going through without you having to explain it to them. You are more than your infertility journey because it is only one piece of the pie, it is only one fraction of your life and who you are as a person.

You are everything you are meant to be in this life.
You are loved.
You are not alone.
You are enough.

This video, titled Not Alone, sums it all up. It's produced by American Greetings as part of their "Give Meaning" to relationships campaign. It's what convinced me to share my answer to the writing prompt with you.

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

June Wrap-Up and July Forecast

Well, I think I was a bit overambitious for June considering I was traveling for half the month. I was really hoping I could get some books read in the car if I wasn't driving and listening to some audiobooks. Turns out I didn't have as much down time as I had anticipated!

Books Read in June

  1. The Alchemist by Paul Coelho
  2. Silence: The Power of Quiet in a World Full of Noise by Thich Nhan Naht

Posts for Books Read in June


Posts for Books Read Before June

  1. The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien
  2. A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini
  3. The Boston Girl by Anita Diamant
  4. Bag Balm & Duct Tape: Tales of A Vermont Doctor by Beach Conger, M.D.

Reading Challenges Updates

No new challenges in June.

Audiobook Challenge 2017

This challenge goes all year along, so any audiobooks in 2017 count. Since I listened to 7 books so far this year, I am at the Weekend Warrior level.

Read Women 2017

This is a challenge on Goodreads that lasts all year long. I have completed 8 of the 13 books I plan to read this year.

2017 Goodreads Reading Challenge

12 books completed out of my 55 to read goal, which means I am 15 books behind schedule. Ahhhh!

Top Five

  1. Favorite Book: Silence: The Power of Quiet in A World Full of Noise by Thich Nhat Nahn because of it's content about cultivating mindfulness and the author's ability to break down the practice into manageable steps, and providing real life examples. This is my first time reading this book and I've had it book for a couple years, and I think that was subconsciously intentional because I wasn't ready until I was. I also just happen to participate in a 4-week Cultivating Mindfulness Workshop Series this spring, which helped give me some context for mindfulness practices.
  2. Least Favorite Book: The Alchemist by Paul Coelho - only because I had forgotten I had listened to it until I checked my Goodreads for the books I read in June. It didn't make a good enough impression on me for to even remember that I had listened to it.  
  3. Most Exciting Moment: being at my cousin's wedding and witnessing her perfect day marrying her best friend. They are made for each other. I am so happy I was able to be a part of it and witness their love for each other. 
  4. Least Exciting Moment: Realizing I had been in the car for a total of 48+ hours for a road trip just in travel between destinations, not including driving around said destinations. That's a lot of car riding without reading as much as I'd hoped!
  5. Favorite Part of June: I'm listing a few here:
    1. Attending my cousins wedding
    2. Launching my Pampered Chef Consultant business
    3. Making a weekend out of seeing 2 Dave Matthews and Tim Reynolds concerts
    4. Seeing friends and family I rarely get to see

July Forecast

I plan to finish reading or listening to the 4 books on my Currently Reading List:
  1. The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck
  2. Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult 
  3. Rokitansky by Alice Darwin
  4. Dragonfly in Amber by Diana Gabaldon
At least 1 post per week - content is TBD!

Happy Reading, and most of all Happy 4th of July!