I wasn’t so surprised when I looked up recently when an altar call was made for those seeking for the fruit of the womb, and I didn’t see two of my favourite women, who were also TTC, there.
I knew they wouldn’t be there. Instead, lots of other folks stepped forward; some were even standing in the gap for family and friends. The pastor prayed and everyone went back to their seats.
Combined, these two women have been waiting for close to 2 decades, been through different procedures, both here and abroad, suffered miscarriages, even when they were already showing, and are still TTC. However, it was clear for all to see that these women are not dwelling solely on their TTC journey and its soul sapping “joys.” Perhaps, I should say, they are giving a very good impression of not being disturbed by the fact that they are not getting pregnant just yet.
The path that these women has chosen isn’t wrong; it is simply their current reality. Neither is it wrong to want to take an aggressive approach to fertility treatments and just want to keep going and going.
However, that is not the focus of this post. It is about being, instead of constantly pursuing something.
I watched a video on Facebook a few days back, of older women who were being asked what they would change about their youth, and the general consensus was they wished they had enjoyed life more, stayed on the dance floor longer, elongated that good night hug, instead of worrying about having to wake up early the next morning, chasing things instead of just being, worrying so much about what could have been. I saw my life and those of other TTC women in these elderly women, and I pinched myself to remind myself you only live once, YOLO (thanks, Drake).
We worry so much about what could have been, the if-onlys, the future and forget to live or even just life half-heartedly.
And now to the TTC momma, who literally inspired this piece and was even willing to contribute her thoughts, I owe a debt of thanks for sharing her story.
Yemi has a bad reputation for being a no-show at social outings. Even when she was in the school, she was one of those people you heard had very good grades, but you struggled to put a face to the name. In fact, if not that she had good grades, no one would have known about her. She can easily get lost in the crowd.
This TTC mom was too safe. She was always too careful, too concerned about being good and straight. Too worried about what people would say, or not say. But she was also a blessed person, things always worked out for her…at least until TTC.
Where her mates struggled with academics, she had it smooth. When her mates were thinking of jobs, hers landed on her laps and within months, she was already a high flier amongst her peers. Yet, Yemi remained humble, regardless of the fact that she had become a reference point of sort.
When it was time for her to get married, she got the best man and that was a miracle in itself, at least when you consider how boring her life’s trajectory had been. And no, I’m not the one who declared her former life boring, she did.
So, it was from that space of being a passerby in her own life that she was thrown into TTC. In this one instance, babies didn’t land in her laps, and that was the toughest challenge she had ever faced.
As you may already have guessed from her go-with-the-flow tendencies, she thought babies would be rolling in soon after marriage, and was even giving a thought to waiting a while, so much so that it took a while for her to realise that they were not getting pregnant.
It was her mother who broke her blissful oblivion, with the question of when they were thinking of starting a family, and she had replied that they had been working at it but it just wasn’t working out yet.
Yemi’s mother, who is a deeply spiritual woman, took the matter to another level entirely, and that jolted her.
They went from doctors to non-orthodox fertility practitioners. She had drugs, potions and all the works, but none worked and that frustrated her mother no end, while it made Yemi more withdrawn. If she was withdrawn before, she literally disappeared while she was TTC.
Eventually, a diagnosis was reached. She had PCOS, and it was as though that diagnosis was what she needed to face life again, because she attacked the PCOS as though it was a real enemy. She immersed herself in research on the condition, ticked off her own symptoms, and set out ways she could relieve them.
For once, Yemi was animated about something, even though that thing was her cross. Her approach to her treatment was also aggressive. If this approach didn’t work, she moved to the next, and onto the next, and onto the next, and with her mother’s backing, on and on they went. Nothing worked though, and she was getting depressed as the years went along. Her marriage, her job felt the impact of her TTC journey. Her social life was none existent and then something happened.
Her husband had a health scare, and it was the wake-up call she needed to face life. In her need for a baby, she had moved from a passer-by in her life to a narrow minded being, whose living and sleeping thought was about baby, to the detriment of everything and everyone else.
By this time, she was in her mid 30s and had been TTC for nine years. As she nursed her husband back to full health, they drew up a bucket list of things they would like to do, places they would like to visit, and as soon as he was certified healthy, off they went, ticking items off their list and just being.
No more is Yemi’s life about the next cycle, the food she eats (even though she still tries to eat clean), whether to try a new fertility add-on, or go the convention route. It is now about living and enjoying her life, rather than solely waiting for baby.
Does she still think about trying again? “Yes” Yemi says, “But, I’m not going to lose this new me that I just found to the journey.”
The fact that she is yet to get her success story is unfortunate, but at least there is something good that has come out of her TTC journey. She no longer hides from life, she lives fiercely and purposely.
So, when baby comes, it will be a perfect addition to an already complete life.
Sending loads of baby dust to moms still on the TTC journey.
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