A little bit about me and my involvement in The Butterfly Run
I am a mom to one strong, loving, and beautiful daughter (Véronique). My husband and I were very excited to start our family (many years ago) and as I have no siblings, I was eager to have more than one child. We were happy, positive, and ever hopeful that our first child would soon be in our arms. The months went by with no happy news to share with our family or friends. Those months began to stretch into years, and I found myself consumed with grief as I watched my friends having their babies and building their families. My husband and I had so much love to give – why were we unable to conceive?
We often hear it said that ‘grief is not linear’ and the grief and despair associated with infertility is most definitely, nonlinear. Each month brings both hope and loss and over time, that sense of loss is reinforced and compounded. When I found out that I was infertile, both my very identity and my life became increasingly defined by that label.
We began to explore why we were unable to have a family and so began the journey of exploratory surgeries, treatments and again, the inevitable cycles of hope, disappointment, and feelings of failure. Time went by and we rejoiced in the births of our beautiful nieces and nephews and the precious babies of our friends. We grappled with accepting the fact that we would never be able to have a child of our own and we began to explore other options such as adoption and fostering children. Imagine our surprise and joy upon finding (seven years after we started our journey) that we were finally expecting!
Letting the light in
I will continue to tell you more about my own story in future blogs but wanted to share ‘from the heart’ a time in my own life that was incredibly difficult and how my experiences around infertility, loss and hope have shaped the person that I am today. I sincerely feel that it is in sharing our pain that we connect with others who have walked a similar path and who truly understand. I believe that in that sharing, healing begins. Finally, when we are ready, we ‘give a voice’ to our experiences. So often, when we are grieving, we ‘live in our heads’ and process our grief and pain internally. If we do reach out to others, we often share only small fragments of our story. Having the ability to share our story from beginning to end in a safe space, validates what we are feeling. We share our story, those around us respond and we feel a sense of connection and of finally being understood.
So today, I have shared a part of my story because I feel that by shedding light on topics that are often seen as ‘taboo’ and are misunderstood (such as infertility and perinatal loss), the more we liberate ourselves and begin the journey to healing. I will add a favourite quote of mine here that seems particularly fitting for this blog entry:
“There is a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in.” (Leonard Cohen, “Anthem”)
So dear readers, when you are ready, take that first step and begin to share your story – help the light get in.
Next: March is Pregnancy after Loss Awareness Month.