Some people approach every problem with an open mouth~ Adlai Stevenson
People who love me, and even those who don't, might say that quote applies to me.
I would agree.
Reluctantly, I would agree.
Reluctantly, because I, like many of us homo sapiens, would prefer not to change. Even in an every changing world.
Reluctantly, because if I aknowledge it to be true, then the next step would be to change.
And again, how does that fit with, I'm perfect exactly as I am?
Yes, I'm back on that subject. I've been really, truly struggling with this whole topic. Perfect exactly as I am, yet striving to be more, different, growing, evolving, transforming.
How do those things fit? Yes, it's a recurring theme these days.
In the moment that I read that quote, I saw a possibility. Not a reality as I am right now, but a possibility for how I could be.
I'd rather not approach problems with an open mouth.
I'd rather approach problems with an open mind.
An open heart.
And in the moment that I read what Adlai Stevenson wrote, there was a change of awareness.
There's no going back in those moments, is there. No question mark.
Some moments change and transform us. Often just like this did. With awareness.
No change yet.
But it's there. In my mind. In my heart.
How does this have anything to do with infertility?
Change is possible.
I am not sure if I entirely believed that before this last month.
I believed in the idea of it, but faced with having the same conversations with my husband for the last 31 years, it’s not often that clear that real change happens.
Then we got a new kitten. It’s a long story and the least of it is that I am allergic to the kitten.
However, the kitten now lives with us. She has a real name, but my nickname for her is Queen of the Universe. Yes, in capital letters.
Queen of the Universe likes to lie on my pillow, on my bed. Hence her nickname.
She is joining a household that has been lovingly cared for by a 6 year old American Staffordshire Terrier/Sharpei/Yellow Labrador retriever/jack Russell mix. The Vet believes he is a true Heinz 57 and if I ever have two hundred dollars that I can’t put to better use, I will have him tested and see what his DNA really is.
So we have this dog. Great watchdog, obedient, loving, sweet animal. Never lived with a cat or shared his home with any other living beings except for his humans.
I read everything I could about introducing the kitten to the dog. I was nervous about how he would manage this or if he even would.
Mainly, I thought he’d probably lunge for her, pick her up, shake her and that would be the end of the kitten.
So we took the introduction gradually. First week, the kitten hissed and swiped in our arms, well away from the dog. The dog had his hackles up but was too well behaved for growling or lunging. He was very alert however.
We kept them completely separate and only let them see each other with the kitten being held far away from the reach of the dog. I swapped out their toys so they could smell the scent of the other one and let them see each other frequently.
We let them get closer and closer. A friend reminded me that it was in the dog’s nature to pick up small animals and shake them. That it was in his nature to hunt and kill small animals.
It scared me. I took it even slower with their introductions. I was afraid that the dog would inadvertently hurt the human holding the kitten if he lunged and attacked.
I was really afraid.
My younger sister was over and saw how they were around each other in the limited way that they were. That they were aware of each other and while not completely relaxed, neither were they showing aggressive behavior. That they were interested but not desperate to make contact.
She took the kitten, sat in the chair, invited the dog over and let them go nose to nose.
I held my breath.
It was in the dog’s nature to hurt small animals. He had never in his life had any contact with cats.
I wondered how it would be if we let the cat down and she was scampering around in front of him, making the small, unpredictable movements that she made while she played. I thought it was very possible that would send him over the edge into being reactive.
He looked. He was interested. And he was a little scared. Not only of her but of me as well. He is very obedient and was watching to see what I wanted of him
They have gradually gotten used to each other. It took a leap of faith on my part to let them play.
The dog eats from his food bowl now and right next to him is the kitten drinking from his water bowl.
He lies on the floor and thumps his tail when I walk in. The kitten pounces on it and chews it up, playing with his back legs.
Now, if she’s meowing from the other room, he comes and gets me.
He is protective of her.
Change is possible.
Growth is possible.
Even against all odds and inborn nature.
How does this relate to infertility? Read on Thursday and find out.
Yesterday was a really challenging day. Hard to get through, even moment by moment. I worked with all the tools that I have; breathing, walking, talking, time alone and quiet, directly confronting the problems, leaving things alone for a while, seeking advice, introspection. Yep, even with all those ways of coping, it was a really tough day.
Infertility is not the only really challenging process that any of us will ever go through. Sometimes it’s the first, major, life shaking one. Sometimes it isn’t. Infertility causes seismic shifts of its own; whether it’s having your hopes dashed with yet another negative pregnancy test or a miscarriage of a much wanted pregnancy. Infertility creates some of the toughest moments of our lives. We find ourselves looking at a deep questioning of faith, love, intention and heritage.
Yesterday, many of those things came into play, having nothing to do with infertility. It felt like one of the many days that I experienced during treatment though. Waiting, not knowing whether things were ok or not, out of control, desperate, scared and upset. It was a really challenging day.
I stopped taking phone calls after a while as I didn’t know what to say to the simple question, often asked almost immediately in a conversation. “How are you?” How do you answer that question honestly when you are simply having an awful day? Not wanting to lie or pretend, not having the energy to do either, I didn’t answer the phone.
My Fertile Yoga students came into mind. As did the members of the peer support group. I am inspired by the woman involved in these groups on a regular basis and I was again last night. I answered the phone twice last night and told the truth. I talked and cried (some of you know how I feel about that) and talked some more. Nothing got fixed but still I felt better. I laughed, I listened, I heard new things, I talked some more. And I felt better, letting others in.
With gratitude, I thank you all for the support. Special thanks to Kath and Tara.