Being Kind.

August 19, 2012 at 12:17 pm | Posted in And I ran (I ran so far away), another cycle! (aka: deja vu), Choosing Happiness. | 6 Comments

Be kind to yourself.

I have heard this sentiment for years now, whenever I’ve written some self-recriminating post.

I’ve said it myself – to others, when I see they’re beating themselves up for SOMEthing.

Usually it’s failing to “get over” the pervasive grief that dogs me after a failed cycle. I feel like, hell, this is the same old story again and again – we hope, we fail, we are heartbroken.

Rinse, repeat.

Yet whenever I see another blogger hurting, it’s one of the first things I say to them.

Be kind to yourself.

On vacation, I read a book which may have actually changed my life. It’s called “The Flying Carpet of Small Miracles,” and was written by a foreign journalist named Hala Jaber. An infertile journalist, actually. A woman who tries to bury herself into covering the war in Iraq from Baghdad after 10 years of failed treatments. Who, even in the midst of war, cannot escape her infertility, who gets embroiled in trying to save two sisters newly orphaned by a missle attack which kills their parents and 3 other siblings. She is so taken by Zahra and her infant sister Hawra she dreams of adopting them, even proposing her idea to the girls’ grandmother. She makes a promise to Grandmother that she will do everything to ensure that Zahra lives.

Except that things never go the way you envision them. Zahra, who is greviously wounded from the missle strike, dies from her wounds.

And Hala spends the next 5 years beating herself up from the guilt of promising Grandmother that Zahra would be saved. Somehow, Zahra’s loss is HER fault. And she punishes herself by taking on more and more dangerous assignments.

I can’t tell you how much I recognized her anger and her self-punishment.

I don’t want to give away the ending of the book. What I can tell you is that it gave me GREAT hope. Not only did the author realize that she was punishing herself needlessly, but she does also, in fact, find peace. And her peace means that the pain of not having the family she dreamed of exists right next to her thankfulness of the family she does have – her niece, her siblings, Grandmother and Hawra.

I spent a long time this week sitting with this idea: Resolving our infertility – really finding PEACE – doesn’t mean it still won’t hurt.

I also spent a lot of time this week smarting. Seeing my pregnant SIL, watching her kids play together, my niece looking for my nephew before she’d go anywhere, my SIL planning for the fall and a new baby.

I felt left out, and sad, and empty, and envious, and angry.

But I also felt grateful that my niece loves me so much, how she wanted me to pick her up and take her into the lake. I got to see her in the clothes we bought for her birthday. And I watched Lucky play with my nephew, knowing that they have a family bond that is just as strong as any brother or sister I might produce for Lucky.

And whatever happened to me, physically, I’ll take it. My runs, FINALLY, came together, and I managed to have a week where every run was amazing. I feel strong, and happy, and capable.

This morning, AF showed up. Which means that we’re going to embark on yet another cycle; one more step closer to the end.

I don’t know for sure that we’re done forever when we use up these embryos. But I’m pretty sure it will be the end. Because I can’t really do this anymore. Bcause my husband tells me that he can’t do this anymore. Because it’s been a long, long time, and we need to move on.

And on my run this morning, it struck me that I might be able to find peace if we end up at the end of this process without a live baby.

It’ll take a lot of kindness, that’s all.

So my new mantra?

Be kind, Serenity. Be kind.



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  1. Why is it so hard to treat ourselves the way we treat others?

    Thinking of you as you start another cycle.

  2. LOVE this, Serenity. I hope that you can find this kind of peace, too.

  3. Whoa: 15 minutes ago, I wrote that in a comment.

    This: so, so this: “Resolving our infertility – really finding peace – doesn’t mean it won’t still hurt.”

    Beautiful post. And thanks to the tip on that story: I’m going to check it out.

  4. I read this the other day and was speechless. Maybe because I can’t be kind enough right now to feel like I am doing myself any good. Right now is HARD. It doesn’t help I’m now in the midst of my longest cycle in who knows how long waiting to start AF please God please now so I don’t have it for my race on Sunday. Although wouldn’t that be appropriate?

    In this with you. I may not be doing treatments anymore, but I’m in this. With you. You aren’t alone either. ❤

  5. […] Now had a post about being kind to ourselves. We grow up being told to be kind to others but rarely do we think to […]

  6. “Resolving our infertility – really finding PEACE – doesn’t mean it still won’t hurt.”

    Yes! So well said.

    If someone lost a spouse, we would never expect the pain to go away. Yes, they would find joy in life again, maybe even remarry. But they would never look back on that loss cheerfully, or without a care.

    Do be kind to yourself.


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