I have never been one to respond to loud coaches, fiery preachers, or teachers that yell. Some are motivated by this, but I’m not one of them. That still small voice though? Yes, please. I wish it would come around more often. Better yet, I wish I would stop talking and slow down my fast and furious brain long enough to be quiet and listen for it.
Let me preface this post by saying the following: I respect all decisions regarding having children or not. Truly. In my younger years I may have asked couples about their interest in this area, but not anymore. I have come to despise that question. Any thought that you are less a couple without children, or complete with them, holds no weight with me. Being asked this question, and the accompanying feeling like you need to justify where you are at with a partner or spouse is a thinly disguised burden. My calm advice is please don’t do it. My pissed off, end of my freaking rope advice is, “For the love of all that is holy, stop asking people if they are going to have kids, have more kids, or really wanted a different kid”. Thanks much.
Disclaimer over, now on to my story. It just so happens that I fall into the camp that wanted kids and couldn’t have them. Perhaps you are in this tribe along with me. I don’t know about you, but I turned myself into an unhinged lunatic trying to have them. The advice is endless. Drink wine, relax, lower your anxiety, eat healthier, take your temp, make a plan. When the front line advice didn’t work, like star students, many of us become even more determined to pass this test: take this medication, have this exploratory surgery, and this one, wait, this one should really be the ticket. Up the game, have fresh vials of hormones dropped off at your doorstep in large coolers. Have a glass of wine, relax, and then have your husband give you injections. Super romantic.
Through all this, I knew that I really wanted a child. Until suddenly (um, 5 years, I’m a quick learner, right?) I started to question if I was losing touch with my life. As a final push, I went for the brass ring, the doctor of doctors, a renowned endocrinologist at a research hospital. I had to subject myself to a series of tests before he would consider taking on my case. He may have been brilliant, but Mr. Sensitive MD he was not. Imagine the teacher from Ferris Bueller’s Day off ala “Bueller, Bueller?” and a persistent inability to look at my face.
“Your tests have all come back and you do not have gonorrhea, chlamydia, trichomoniasis, ….or AIDS.”
Me, laughing: “Well, that’s good, right?!?”
Eyes on the floor, “Yes, it does remove some complications.”
Truth is, I would have stood on my head with boiled chicken feet around my neck to please this guy. I just wanted a baby, and not any baby, I was certain it would look like this.
Celebrating my 10th wedding anniversary with my husband, ” I think I’ll be ok if this doesn’t work.” That was me, finally starting to come to terms with this business of infertility.
At my next appointment with Mr. Personality MD, there was construction thereby forcing me to walk through the pediatric oncology department. I can think of few things more sobering and poignant in America than walking through a pediatric oncology department. At that moment, I felt it in my bones. Enough. Enough. It was the still small voice.
At the visit with doctor that afternoon, he told me it was another bad round, the eggs weren’t right and the lining wasn’t good, they were calling it off. “I’ll go get you a shot to end this cycle.” And there it was again, the still small voice. No. I had never said “no” to this man before, but I did. “No, what for? It’s not necessary. I don’t need it. In fact, I don’t need any of this. I’m done.”
Walking out of that office, I felt such relief. Like mountains moved and waters calmed relief. Amazing. And let me just say, I’m not a shouting hallelujah from the rooftops kind of gal. I called my husband, “I’m done.” I called my sister, “I’m done.”
And to the still small voice? Thank you. My son was born 9 months later. I would have unknowingly terminated the pregnancy that I had fought for without standing up for myself that day.
I wish the still small voice came around more often. It’s out there though. We just need to be quiet enough to listen. Some things come with the force of hurricanes and others come with a still small voice. Be brave and listen.
Keep sharing moxie.