This is somewhat unrelated, but a story of resiliency. My sister-in-law has downs syndrome. She participates in a choir for individuals with disabilities. Last night they had a fundraiser.
I was looking at the faces of all the choir participants and was thinking of their parents. What hardship and joy had the disabilities of their children brought? How have they (as parents) survived when tough decisions had to be made or even day-to-day living when things were not easy?
It was clear that some of these people had more assistance or care than others. In the group there were two faces that stood out the most. The first was a gal with spinal bifida (I believe). She was in a wheel chair and had very little muscle control. She was not able to fully participate, but I sensed she was there to be a part of something. She continually made eye contact with me. Although she had little control of her mouth, her eyes were smiling. I wondered what was happening in her mind that she could not express via her body.
The second face was a gal who was visually impaired and had another disability. I have seen her before at other functions. I am inspired each time that I see her. She is always an active participant who wears a smile. Her face brings those around her a great deal of joy. I could see the others in the group standing near or assisting her were also struck by her positivity.
In watching these two interact with the other members of the choir I thought about internal strength. These individuals have survived a great deal of hardship in their life time; yet, they still are able to smile and find pleasure in life.
To me this is a story about resiliency and overcoming barriers. It is not directly related to infertility however I think as we move through these difficult processes on our path to growing our families we can learn a great deal from others who have struggled to accept their bodies and minds.
Stay strong. Be resilient. Learn from others.
When I went through my first round of IVF I started a journal to help me process my thoughts. I also thought that my journal could be a great resource for someone else if I decided to pass it on. Along the way I found myself wondering about heredity of infertility. I wondered what the possibility would be of my son/daughter having similar infertility issues. I took it one step further and thought about what it might be like to share my journal entries with a future child.
Through my journaling I found had two types of thinking:
1) My journal is here to support you, should you find yourself in a similar position.
2) When my son/daughter is a rebelious teen, they will know what awful process I went through to have them. (Yikes)
I always came back to the realization that I can’t use the method and stress of the infertility treatments to manipulate my kid. My kid had nothing to do with that process or hardship. Making him/her feel guilty for our infertility issues is a weight that he/she shouldn’t have to carry. Therefore, use your experience to teach resiliency and strength to your child. Use your experience to show them that they can make it through some tough times. In the end, you may also learn something about yourself.