I always say that one day I will take pictures of before and after.
Especially for those who have never been in class before. Even more especially for those who’ve never taken any yoga class before. Especially for those who are not sharing with their friends and family about their fertility treatment or have and been let down in the reactions that they’ve received.
Wearing Infertility Masks
There’s a definite before. Infertility can wear you down, hunch your shoulders up, make it hard to take full, deep breaths. Our faces before class are our polite masks. Strained masks. Although the masks are on, it’s not hard to see underneath.
They show the strain.
Our faces. Our bodies. Our minds. Our hearts. Our breath. They all show the strain.
We cover it up, don’t we?
We cover it up with, “I’m fine”.
We cover it up with, “I’m ok.”
"I'm Fine" – OK, I'm Not
When really, I am not. I am not ok. I am not fine. I am overdone with baby pictures, baby showers, baby announcements. Baby gender reveals. Intrusive questions about our baby making plans.
Really, I am not fine. I am not ok.
It’s a lot of work to pretend we’re ok when really we are not.
And Fertile Yoga melts those masks off, revealing ourselves.
Ourselves. Remember them? Our self, where we don’t edit our comments to make them socially polite enough.
Ourselves. The ones that had a sense of humor. In fact, a wicked good sense of humor.
The ones where we left our masks at the door because they simply weren’t necessary. There wasn’t a burden that we were carrying making it hard for us to show ourselves in public without a mask.
Ourselves. Comfortable within our own skin. Content enough with how we look, how we feel. Content enough with what we have. And what we don’t have.
Remember her? Or him?
That’s who I get the pleasure to know in Fertile Yoga and Ladies Night In.
Without your mask. At least for a little while.
Take Off Your Mask With Infertility Support
Last week at Ladies Night In, I really wanted to record a few moments of the time that we had together. I didn’t of course. I wouldn’t without permission. And I didn’t want to interrupt.
Here’s what you would have heard though.
I am talking about down-the-hall, around the corner laughter. Not polite ha ha ha’s.
Loud, gasping out loud laughter.
That’s what I would have recorded.
Not a mask in sight.
Honesty, caring, compassion, educational, supportive, helpful. Yes, Fertile Yoga and Ladies Night In are all those things.
And they are also laughter.
That place to fling that mask across the room. To acknowledge how hard it is to wear and feel the incredible relief of taking it off.
If you have this idea that these groups are somber, serious or depressing, guess again. They are, we are, thoughtful, yes. We are compassionate and kind and generous.
And funny. And twisted.
Don’t believe me?
You’d be amazed at the difference in our faces.