Infertility During Holidays: From Silent Hell to a Haven of Compassion

By on November 28, 2017

Fertile Heart Infertility Inspiration

Last night I received an email with a link to a Huffington Post piece titled: The Silent Hell of Infertility During Holidays. This is my response to that piece.

Yes, it can be heartbreaking to walk into another holiday gathering filled with other people’s children. Yes, we must honor our grief and mourn the children we feel should be in our arms right now. Or the babies we lost in miscarriages, or the years of repeated failed treatments. Yes! we must allow the injured voices of jealousy and anger to speak their peace and be heard.

But NO! I say no to feeding the dragon of despair, and exploiting our fears of childlessness. It’s up to us to turn the SILENT HELL of Infertility into a HAVEN OF COMPASSION and HOPE and POSSIBILITY. It starts with us, With shedding the shame, becoming just a little braver each day.

No, none of us would choose “infertility,” or as I like to call it, the “scenic road to parenthood.” But we CAN and MUST turn it around. We must keep going until this longing for a child becomes the most powerful healing force in our lives. No matter what!

Otherwise we might end up bitter and broke and filled with regret years after our children have graduated college. And that’s simply not an acceptable outcome. Is it?

That Huffinton Post piece has inspired me to call for a different kind of Fertile Heart Miracle Challenge this year.  Shed the shame and break the silence with just one person. Take a chance.  See what happens. And tell us about it.

If you’re feeling generous, the 20th Anniversary Edition of Inconceivable was just released by Harmony Books.  I would love to say thank you to my publisher and let them know how much that book is still relevant and needed; how it can support people from moving from a Silent Hell toward a Haven of Compassion and Healing. So if there is someone who might appreciate knowing about it–your acupuncturist, your RE, your mother-in-law who needs to be inspired to take better care of herself–would you break the silence, send them a link. Or a book?

And here is another miracle challenge:

Each day in the coming week or for as long as you wish to take on this challenge, post a comment about one delicious, compassionate Visionary rooted action you have taken to transform this journey into a Haven of Compassion and Self-discovery and Healing.  

Happy Holidays, I’m hugely grateful for your presence in our community!


#ShedtheShame  #HavenofCompassion


8 Responses to “Infertility During Holidays: From Silent Hell to a Haven of Compassion”

  1. desertrose says:

    I had a very difficult time during the holidays, during which I saw many babies, so this is a timely post for me.

    While spending time with lots of little ones made me want to run to the nearest IVF clinic, my inner Visionary has repeatedly been reminding me that I need to back out of this competitive, entitled, “where’s MY baby” mindset and re-ground myself in my own journey. It’s extremely hard–but going on a social media diet (I don’t have Instagram or Facebook on my phone) has helped. This way I don’t have to constantly compare my life to the lives of my peers, as they run off into the sunset or surf with children in hand. Instead, I can keep my head down and focus on the complexities (and pleasures!) of my “scenic path to parenthood.” So that’s one Visionary action I’ve taken.

    At the same time, my inner Visionary has prompted me to rethink my impulse to distance myself from my parenting friends in real life. As Brene Brown wrote in her recent book, “It’s hard to hate people up close.” And as Julia wisely said on a recent call, “You can only be left out when you leave yourself out.”

    Healing happens in relationship, and these people are still my support system. Moreover, they have repeatedly indicated that they are interested in remaining so — as people with kids understand the stakes with the “scenic road to parenthood” in the ways my not-yet-ready-for-parenthood friends do not. As a result, I’ve grown closer with some of them, despite the baby-elephant in the room.

    Through inviting myself back into the lives of these friends, I have been able to see for myself that it’s true what they say: having a baby does not guarantee happiness. Many of my friends are struggling in other ways, with partners or finances, particularly those folks with those coveted “oopsie” babies or those who rushed right into baby-making after marriage.

    It reminds me of Julia’s frequent comparisons to bread-making. We watch a great deal of Great British Bake-Off: they are always talking about the problem of over-proving the dough, heating it up and making it rise too quickly, resulting in an underdeveloped range of flavors and textures. We are all taking the time to let our “loaves” rise as they are meant to. As the Supremes say: You can’t hurry love :)

    So, my final Visionary action is to claim my right to feel gratitude for what I have, rather than retreating into a space of victimization and disempowerment, simply because it feels safer in some ways. I don’t have to feel guilty for my gratitude if I decide feel self-pity instead, and I know my Orphans prefer it that way, but my inner Visionary wants me to live bigger than that. I feel fortunate that my partner and I are living a relatively stable existence together and have grown closer through this process. Thanks to this slow rise of love and connection over time, I know that whenever our baby is ready to join us, we will be too.

  2. hwe123 says:

    Hello everyone-

    I am looking forward to the Visionary call tonight. I have really been missing hearing from you all, and craving the wonderful space that Julia holds for our circles.

    The subject of this blog is so important to me; I am really turning my attention to HOW I want to be in the world, and how I wish to walk through this life. It is so easy (for me), even prior to this fertility journey, so whine, complain, and feel like things are not going the right way. But I am deeply inspired by the possibility of choosing another way, and fortunately, I am connected to many great people who are lighting the path for how to live more ease-fully.

    The holidays weren’t super easy for me, and I definitely felt angry and clenched up when I had to first see my pregnant-“by-accident” sister-in-law, but I just tried to stay with my heart, my breath, and I admit that I feel a sense of confidence in my own wisdom, even though there are deep feelings.

    I am thinking of everyone and look forward to connecting tonight.

    It’s my 43rd BDay and I’m going to try saying WOOOOO-HOOOOOO what an amazing life I have, rather than the habitual, “OH (^%%$$#$$%% another birthday”. Anyone care to join me?!


  3. rr84 says:

    Julia, it’s so wonderful to be back here reading your inspiring blog posts. I see how much my attitude towards my “scenic road to parenthood” has improved and grown under your guidance. It shows that growth and hope are possible. I’m still holding on!

  4. SarahB says:

    I’m loving the calls and I’m actually sticking to my Visionary actions, that’s my miracle. Right now I’m just making sure I do one imagery every day. I’ve been working with Jailbreak and I could feel how much I want to stay in jail. My jail has pretty pastel colored walls. It’s pretty and very pleasant,except that I’m stuck there. I guess that’s the first step to getting unstuck, realizing how stuck I’ve been in the IUI jail this past year. My new year resolution is to go for a jailbreak.

  5. Gravid Sans Doute says:

    Dear Fertile Mamas,

    One thing that sometimes helps me is to keep in mind those less fortunate, those who have not found a life partner, those who feel stuck in abusive relationships, those who live in countries with scary governments. It helps me to gain a perspective on this journey. Doing something to cheer others can be helpful as well, even if it is only just giving someone who needs it a few more minutes of your conversational attention. Maybe if the situation involves being with family where many have had children easily it might be possible to think inwardly, these moments I’m jealous of these people having with their children, which of these moments, experiences could I have regardless of how a child comes into my life? Also, maybe this is a time to share with one’s significant other what brings them joy, and reflect ourselves and then bless ourselves with something special or a special activity that we like.

    I admire a co-worker I have who has a dog. When she speaks about what the dog might be thinking about her she refers to herself as mom (to the dog). She is very kind and friendly, she enjoys her friends and so far has made an enjoyable, satisfying life with her dog and her friends. She doesn’t seem to be all about – Oh, I have to have a man to be happy or I have to have a child to be happy. She is just enjoying her life as it comes and planning times that bring her joy and make sense to her.

    I have been doing letting my body move the way it wants to body truth and confidence walking for my job as well as 9 Hearts Fertile Heart imagery.

    Blessings to all.

  6. OneMoreMiracle says:

    I love, love this challenge and I am taking one delicious V action tonight. Going out with hubby and having a big juicy burger for the first time in three years and I can’t wait!!! Thank you Julia for clearing up the whole crazy fertility diet thing. I’m done with deprivation, it doesn’t work for me.

  7. WithGrattitude says:

    Happy Holidays Julia and to the Fertile Heart community!

    I am literally the last woman in one of my friend groups who has not had a child who has longed for one. I looked around the table at our last brunch a few weeks ago and confirmed. I was the only one in the conversation who did not have anything to contribute on the subjects of going into labor, or what age my child started speaking or potty training. It was a hard day. My dear friend who was alongside me on the fertility journey for a while, just gave birth to her daughter (Julia!) 3 days ago.

    Last week on my wonderful vacation on the other side of the world, I found myself sitting in a group of women a bit younger than me, some of whom are just starting their own fertility journeys. And I found myself opening up about mine to women who were mostly virtual strangers to me. There is a time I would have kept this information to myself as a closely guarded secret. I am now finding that it feels good to talk – to let go of the shame, the hurt and despair. It helps me heal, and if it helps even one of them on their journey then it will have been entirely worth it.

    Congratulations on the new edition of Inconceivable! I will be sure to recommend it to anyone I feel would benefit.

  8. Mariamom says:

    I remember the shame and I also remember how you encouraged me, Julia, to find one person, just one person other than my husband to open up to about what I was going through. It was a kind of a breakthrough for me. It was definitely the first big step toward letting go of the shame. This blog makes me think about what it is that I’m ashamed of these days, now that I have my miracles and life is generally really good. I know there are things that would be healing for me to share with one of my friends.

    Congratulations on the new edition, I already bought two copies for my new chiropractor and my gyn. I have to say everybody I gave the book to over the years really loved it. It’s such an inspiring timeless story.

    Happy Holiday to the Fertile Heart sisterhood!!!!

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