March 20, 2023

Breaking the Silence: In Honor of Women on a Fertility Journey.

I see you
Moving through this journey

Grief in every stage
I hear your silent cries
I too lived in this space for many years

Suffering in silence
Pushing through the pain
Not trusting my body
Feeling like it had failed me
Feeling like I had done something wrong
Endlessly on a chase
As the external voices said that my time was running out

And so I ran even faster
More pressure
More hustling
Barely surviving
One loss after the next


As I reflect on my own journey with unexplained fertility, I acknowledge how this younger version of me felt like a failure because I could not hold pregnancies, and how with every loss my relationship and trust with my own body and womb space started to dwindle. Until I no longer felt home in my own skin, until I was convinced that my body was my enemy—one that had betrayed me.

In retrospect, getting guidance and support from a professional or being part of a support group would have supported my healing journey, as it would have helped me manage my grief and feelings of isolation and would have also helped me be kinder to myself.

However, that was not how my story unfolded; rather I suffered in silence with PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder), a brave face on the outside and a fury of devastating thoughts on the inside. I was living with constant fear of losing all my loved ones. Each moment, I prepared to grieve the loss of another family member.

And even though I was physically surrounded by loved ones, all I felt on the inside was “I am alone in this” and “no one can know how deeply terrified I feel,” and this had to be my secret; I could not burden anyone with my truth. Suffering in silence also felt like a badge of honor—one that I had witnessed women in my lineage embody and now it was my turn to do the same.

Now, I choose to forgive this younger version of myself who was doing the best she could with what she knew. I hold her gently and thank her for all that she did to help me survive those years. And I reassure her that she is no longer alone, that I am here by her side to tend to her, to embrace and accept her just the way she is.

I now tell her a new story—a story where it is safe to seek support and help from others when suffering strikes, where sharing her pain with others is how she can practise vulnerability (and that is not a weakness, rather a strength, one which takes a whole lot of courage), and where suffering is a reminder for her to create space and time to tend to herself with kindness.

And dear sisters, if you are on this path of yearning to call in a beautiful soul, please know that you are not alone, that you don’t have to suffer in silence or push through the pain and suffering.

Instead of seeing suffering as a badge of honor, or as something that we need to push through, what if we can see it as an opportunity to be kind and compassionate to ourselves? What if suffering is here to remind us that it is time to focus on self-care/self-tending and self-compassion, and on treating ourselves with the same kindness and understanding that we would offer to a loved one?

To aid in this practice, I offer you a self-compassion ritual, inspired by the work of Kristin Neff and Brené Brown:

1. Find a quiet and comfortable place to sit or lie down. Close your eyes and take a deep breath in and sigh as you exhale.

2. Bring to mind a difficult situation or feeling that you have been experiencing related to your fertility journey. It could be a negative pregnancy test, a failed IVF cycle, or feelings of disappointment or inadequacy.

3. As you think about this situation or feeling, repeat the following phrase to yourself: “This is a moment of suffering. Suffering is a part of life. May I be kind to myself in this moment.”

4. Now, imagine yourself talking to a dear friend who is going through the same thing. What would you say to them? Offer yourself the same words of kindness, understanding, and support.

5. Remind yourself that you are not alone in your struggles and that many others have gone through similar experiences. Repeat the phrase “You are not alone in your struggles.”

6. Take a deep breath in and out and let go of the difficult situation or feeling.

7. Now, think of something you did well today or something that you’re grateful for. Repeat the phrase “I did my best today” and “I am worthy of love and belonging.”

8. Open your eyes and take a moment to journal or reflect on your experience.

And know that you don’t have to walk this path alone, find a village, a safe space where you can be seen, heard, felt, and guided gently to bring somatic and mindful pauses in your journey so you can breathe again, so you can find a soft space to land and move through your journey of fertility whilst tending to yourself with kindness and tenderness. You matter, and you are worthy of kindness and compassion!

Many blessings and love,

From my heart to yours.


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