In early 2013, shortly after I’d been diagnosed with infertility*, I would go to my weekly yoga class. It was a refuge of sorts; a place where, even when the world around me felt so grief-filled and sad and hard to understand, there would be this thing–yoga–that was stable from one week to the next.
By the end of class, I would be wrung out from the twisting and stretching and vinyasa sequence, and laying on my back in savasana, I would pray and cry little rivers of tears that ran from the corners of my eyes to tickle behind my ears.
I say that as if it was a choice, but instead, the prayers and tears just seemed to arise on their own. The prayers in yoga were different than the desperate, sad prayers that seemed to come up so often at other times. Something about having exhausted myself, and then lying in utter stillness, made those prayers…simple. Unfettered.
Week after week, my prayer would be the same, a prayer to the soul of a little being that I was convinced truly had to be out there: I don’t know where you are, but please come to us.
As one month progressed into the next, and as my FSH–the test that measures ovarian reserve and that is considered a predictor of whether or not you can conceive–rose ever-higher, my prayers shifted slightly: I don’t know where you are, and I don’t care how you come to us, but please come to us.
In the late spring, I pulled a pectoral muscle when I got a little over-zealous with my chaturangas, and I injured my shoulder. I had to take a hiatus from yoga. I was doing a lot of summer travel, anyway, so I decided not to renew my membership for a few months.
When I finally returned to yoga in the fall, I had arrived at a place with the infertility where I still felt some sense of sadness arise, but acceptance was moving in. I honestly just couldn’t see, given what the numbers were showing after the extensive and thorough tests that my fertility doctor had run, tests even more involved than the FSH test, tests that all brought the same shitty news, how pregnancy was going to happen. Adoption was certainly an option, but mostly I was exhausted from trying to figure fertility out, and just trying to get back to some kind of new normal, whatever that would be.
Two weeks after I renewed my yoga membership, I found out that I was pregnant. I was too bowled over by the news to go to yoga class (and didn’t feel like getting into downward facing dog in the midst of wanting to toss my cookies via morning sickness) in those initial weeks. But then, finally, about seven weeks in and after reading extensively on what poses to avoid during pregnancy, I went back to class.
It wasn’t until I was laying in savasana at the end of that class that I remembered how often I’d ended class with those prayers.
–only this time, I realized with a start, it was different! Despite everything, despite the failed fertility treatments earlier in the year, and all of those needles and testing and all of the hopefulness and disappointment…despite all of it, I was laying in this class and I was pregnant, and even more amazing was that somehow, I’d gotten pregnant without any medical intervention.
Tears seeped from the corners of my eyes, again. I lay my hands on my belly. A new prayer came up. This time, it was to Universe/Spirit.
Please, please, please. I already love this being. Please let it come through and be healthy.
I cried because I already knew I loved this tiny little being that was showing up; that I’d love this being for as long as it was around and that I’d love it even if…the unthinkable happened.
I cried because I felt so vulnerable every time I thought of that love, because the more I opened my heart to love, the more it absolutely fucking terrified me to think of the hurt I’d experience if I had a miscarriage.
I cried because I was so grateful, anyway, because the love was greater than the risk of loss.
Then savasana was over, and as per usual, I got up, rolled up my mat, and headed out. That was me, living life, crying and praying at the end of yoga, and so utterly thankful for the miracle of an answered prayer, and then walking back out the door, mat under one arm, back out to my ordinary car, back out to my ordinary house, back out to my lovely, ordinary life.
* While I appreciate the intentions of love and support, given the highly personal nature of this post, I kindly request not to receive emails or contact regarding any of this post’s content. If you feel it might be helpful to someone who might currently be struggling with the same issues, please do feel free to share it. You’re more than welcome to check out a few baby bump pictures–I post them over on Instagram.com/katecourageous