photo: Riciardus

I am not sure if anyone has had the experience of one huge defining moment where we realized we doubted every part of ourself. This was mine.

Of course as a child and teen, I was intimately familiar with insecurity and self doubt. And at that age, we think we are the only one who feels it so deeply. As we grow and leave our childhood nest, we realize everyone has dealt with some form of not being enough.

Getting the news at 35 that I was in early menopause was another level of ‘not enough.’ I was broken. I was physically lacking in the ability to create life, not a feeling I ever even entertained.

I never imagined in my mid-30’s, in good physical shape, an avid runner I’d be facing this day. I was in a pretty good relationship, or so I believed at the time. I can’t remember the exact conversation, it’s been over 20 years’, but I know we collectively decided having a child was our next step.

I was excited, immediately stopped taking the pill, and we started to ‘try to have a baby’. I was already fantasizing what life would be like once our little one was here. I had already chosen classes at the “Y” to accomodate having him/her.

After a few months, I checked in with my ob/gyn to share the news and do some preliminary tests. The first big hit, the blood test results were ugly. I was in early ovarian failure. I was only 35. Essentially I was testing low on eggs and any chance of creation. I asked my partner to test, he was fine. It was me, I was broken, I was less than a woman who can bear children.

I got angry, I decided my doctor was giving up too easily, he was wrong. For the next few years, I went the highly expensive and emotionally painful infertility route. Lots of doctors, meds that made me a hormonal mess, and so many inseminations. And sex was no longer sex, it was an absolute act that had to happen. This went on and on, and I’m not sure we were even in the same relationship anymore. I was broken, I was not enough.

I don’t know if there was a moment in my life for the next three years that I didn’t feel like sobbing uncontrollably. Nothing was working, not the acupuncture, the drugs, NOTHING! So many pregnant women everywhere, why them and not me?

And finally, I picked myself up one day from this ditch I was living in. I didn’t like who I was becoming. This isn’t how it’s supposed to happen, we don’t go madly into pregnancy and drive everyone crazy on the way.

I decided I was so many other things and that this was not my intended life path. I won’t tell you this was easy but this was the beginning of knowing I truly am enough, even if I ‘feel’ broken from time to time.

We are born whole, beautiful and sacred, every one of us. I am, you are, we all are. These experiences are meant to teach us how valuable and meaningful our lives are. It’s up to us to see how full of love and grace we are.