Flashback almost 20 years ago. Young married couple in their early 30's who just bought their first home, excited about starting their own family together, both with great salaried jobs and proud new owners of 2 sweet dogs who are bathing in all the unconditional love that this young couple has to give for now.
My journey in having kids was not what I had envisioned at all. After all the previous years of doing everything to 'prevent' getting pregnant and having kids, who would have guessed that getting pregnant would be such a challenge? Well, the next four years of my life changed me forever. Without going into excruciating detail (because some of it was just that, excruciating pain, that is), I experienced a constant emotional roller-coaster (an oxymoron perhaps but true), numerous tests that involved poking and prodding of my womanly parts, depression, 2 operations (one discovery and one 'roto-rootering'), doctors telling me that my only option were adoption and that ever unknowing feeling of why this was happening to me, and what was wrong with me. You see, since I was a child in my pre-teens, I always knew that I wanted children of my own someday. I had always felt a strong connection with children because of the natural and pre-societal influenced beings that they are. I often thought that someday I might be a school teacher. Before I was even married, I had been grateful enough to be asked to be the godmother of an adorable little girl. I got my first glimpse into being a mom by spending wonderful periods of time with my goddaughter and her sister. So for me to realize that it might not be possible to reach this lifelong goal of mine to have my own children and family some day was devastating to say the least.
I learned a lot about myself through this 4 year journey. I learned that having been for the most part an optimistic person my entire life up to then, that I could break just like any other human being, into the world of depression. The feelings that I experienced, thoughts of suicide, the numbness to all around me yet going through the motions and expressions that allowed people to think everything was fine, the lack of motivation to do anything at all were contributors to this awful disease called depression, something that I didn't even know was happening to me until the day I went in to see my primary care physician. I made an appointment to see him because I thought maybe something physical was wrong with me. Once I got the diagnosis that I was experiencing depression, I was able to do something about it. I am grateful to this day that my doctor did not prescribe anti-depressants but instead, gave me an information sheet on depression so that I could explore it on my own and figure it out for myself. Shortly after that visit, I went to see a psychologist. Because not only was this not getting pregnant thing a factor in my depressive state, but my psychotic, narcissistic partner at work at the time was also doing a number on my state of being. By the time I had conjured up the courage to set up an appointment with this mental health professional, I was already starting to take the steps towards a healthier mind. After just 2 visits with her, I came out of her office thinking 3 key things: 1) I had options, 2) I must be wasting her time because I know what I need to do now, and in the meantime she must have way more serious cases (i.e. alcoholics, drug abusers, etc.) and 3) I will not let another human being or situation cause me to spiral into a depression ever again. It is a dark, horrible world to be in, and the saddest part is that it's all in your mind.
The other thing I learned about myself throughout this experience is that I don't give up that easily. It may have taken me 3 out of those 4 years to reach a point where I was willing to do everything in my power to give this 'having kids' thing a try, but that experience taught me that you don't let go that easily on what it means to be your authentic self, your core self, what you believe in, and what has been a life goal of yours since you could remember. You also don't let other people tell you what is, just because they are the expert. I often think back to that journey, and am so grateful that I exercised my own grit and growth mindset even back then, because had I not persevered, I would never have met these 3 amazing and beautiful individuals who have entered and been a part of my life for the last 15 years. And oh, the story doesn't end there. Because even after getting pregnant (finally!) with my eldest child, there was another series of adversities that I had to overcome involving having children. But that will have to wait for another time. The bottom line is that you have to be committed to do what it takes to get what you want in life. I am so grateful that I have 'life coaching' oozing out of my veins, because I coach myself every day of my life, and I sometimes think that had I had a life coach back then whom I really connected with, I could have saved myself some years of agony and misery and fast forwarded to the good parts. Live and learn.