Building a Positive Body Culture

Culture seems to be the buzz word of the day, but for good reason. We are beginning to realize that there is something more significant behind our automatic actions. That awareness has helped us see there is no longer the excuse of "that's just the way I am". It has shown us that there are reasons behind everything we do, whether we know what they are or not. And when we see these reasons in larger patterns, we tend to give credit/blame to a culture that exists behind the scenes.
What I am beginning to realize is that we have a personal culture about our bodies as well. We have spoken and unspoken values we place on our body, which create expectations we try to meet. Some of mine have been: "Getting pregnant will help me love my body more". "My family is all big, that is my destiny." "I need to look skinnier so people don't think I am pregnant."
But these values don't help my body stay healthy, they actually discourage me from ta…

The Infertility Worrier: You Can Overcome

As a child I grew accustomed to feeling ill when my worrying waged a war within my brain, and then body. With my first period, I actually thought it was my annual 'first day of school' gut-wrenching anxiety. A connection between my cycles & my concerns that would continue, and grow, more complicated for the next 30 years, often confusing one issue for the other. I share that background to help you understand just how long I have been battling the unwelcome powerlessness of panic. And how much fertility issues have added to the fight. 
There came a point when I finally realized the connection, but also that coping with each of them in an unhealthy way was contributing to making each of them worse. The stresses of life and infertility were snowballing and I was standing at the bottom of the hill without a clue how to stop it or get out of it's way. So it hit me, knocked me down hard. So hard I didn't get up for awhile. But that's what convinced me I needed to pr…

The Infertility Worrier: You Are Not Alone

It felt like a 20 lb weight was resting on my chest, preventing me from doing anything, especially rest. I was not unfamiliar with the sleepless side-effect of constant worry, but this was different. It was also different from the stress of keeping myself busy to avoid feeling the emptiness. I tossed and turned in bed until I decided to get up, rather than wait for the alarm to signal the next part of my schedule. Even though it felt like I could barely breathe, I forced myself to go with the flow, swept away in the tide of the day's timetable. Even though that weight was giving me the sensation of sinking.

In 2010, I found that my natural pull towards overthinking things were only inflated by the last four years of infertility. New considerations were constantly complicating things, because all the possibilities seemed endless with 'un-diagnosed infertility'. But on this particular morning, it wasn't all the treatment options, the grief of miscarriages, or the …

Taking Back My Stolen Identity

When someone has had their ID physically or electronically stolen, there is often a feeling of being deeply violated. It’s a feeling that who we’ve built ourselves up to be has now been tainted by the misuse or abuse of our reputation, or good standing that we’ve worked so hard for. Sometimes infertility can give us that same sensation, like our identity has been stolen.

I used to think of myself as an optimist, or as I called myself, a hope-timist. I used to always see the glass as half full. I always saw the best in a situation or a person. I could always find a reason to smile, to laugh. I had been through very hard seasons before, during which I sometimes labelled myself victim, and sometimes survivor, and yet through it all I still felt like me.

But with infertility, as I was losing hope, I was losing the cheerful, easy-going, positive person I once was. Then came the depressive episodes, some the result of grief, some the result of the S.A.D. I developed as I got older. But re…

Joy Beyond the Bundle

Having lived in Winnipeg 24 years, my whole adult life, one would think I'd have made peace with winter by now, but one would be wrong. However last year I was really confronted about my attitude towards Winterpeg, and someone shared the perspective that I can refuse to find joy in the cold & snow but then I will have less joy, yet still the same amount of cold & snow!  It actually worked, we had our coldest & longest winter of my lifetime this year and for the first time I didn't just tolerate it,  I embraced it!  It was so freeing! And that wasn't the end of my liberation, this revelation triggered another one as well.

It is a perspective I've actually heard years before, joy is not based on circumstances.  Unlike happiness, joy transcends our situations, our relationships, our achievements, etc.  Like I realized with winter, where circumstances are not within my control to change, why should I let it dictate my level of enjoyment for 4-5 months of the y…

All The Feels

I have been an 'all the feels' girl all my life.  I feel lots. I feel deeply.  But right now, there are so many feels, it is hard to truly feel any of them.
In the wake of the launch of my book, a friend was asking how the launch has been going, and with a deep sigh, yet simultaneous smile, I bared it all.  She smiled and reminded me of this sage piece of wisdom, "It's OK to have more than one feeling at a time."  In agreement I nodded, and then we both said that was exactly why we loved the statement 'all the feels'.   I feel like, while I wrote my infertility story, the chapter of expecting has not yet ended.  I feel like I'm trying to live in two chapters at once.
I feel 100% supported and encouraged by an amazing circle of friends & family, yet I feel 100% anonymous in the author/book world.  I am trying to focus on access to my story, not the success of my story, but it's hard not to equate.
I feel like now that I've actually accompl…

The Movie in Our Minds

Most of us live with an ongoing movie in our mind of how life should go.  There are so many things in life that influence that story, shaping why we believe what we believe about the way our lives should unfold.  This movie plays on the big screen of our brain, in living colour, so life-like that it's often what we come to expect will actually happen.

Me, I expected to be expecting, sooner than later. But the other story I envisioned for myself was being able to create.  My vivid imagination loved to capture and portray beautiful stories.  I would invent exciting tales of adventure and mystery, or I would collage a collection of colours into works of art, it didn't matter which, I loved to spend hours on both. Then, a different story encroached on that dream, one of competition, inadequacy, obscurity.  These elements flipped my script.

Many of us can attest to the script in our heads, the one that leads us to believe there is only one path to accomplishing that certain dream o…