From Infertility to Jeremy
How challenges can heal us
By Nevine Shazli
After seven years of infertility and miscarriages, he was finally here. My baby boy was born. A difficult, heartbreaking seven years had passed, and I was grateful for every minute of it; because not only had Jeremy arrived, healthy and strong, but I had also been reborn. I had used this huge baby-making challenge not only to grow, but to heal myself on every level. We can all do this, using whatever difficulty we encounter. But we must choose to do so. The choice is between being a victim, or being a victor.
Today, Jeremy is two and a half years old. There are still (and will always be) moments when I look at him and still can’t wrap my brain around the fact that he is here. I was almost 32 years old when my husband and I decided to start a family. I, like most couples, had taken for granted that it would “just happen” when we were ready. I wanted to complete my yoga teacher training certification before becoming pregnant, so when it was done I was on to the next thing: baby-making!
I got pregnant on the first or second try, and thought the deal was sealed; easy, right? No. Eight weeks later, cramping and bleeding started as I was on the phone announcing the pregnancy to a friend. It was a crushing loss.
After a few months of sulking and grieving, we decided to go for it again, but this time it didn’t happen. Month after month, nothing. Months turned into years, and then more miscarriages. Four in total. We went the fertility route, getting tested for everything, being poked and prodded, taking medications and planning for procedures. I saw the doctor scribble in my chart: “unexplained infertility”.
If nothing was wrong physically, I would find out
what was wrong mentally, emotionally,
energetically and spiritually.
But in the end, it was a perfectly natural and healthy conception and pregnancy that brought Jeremy into human existence. It really wouldn’t have mattered if he had come via insemination or IVF, but my journey was to unfold this way, and it was to be a journey of healing.
There was a turning point in the beginning of the journey when I made the key decision: instead of being helpless and playing the victim, yelling “it’s not fair” at the sky, I was going to grab this situation by the neck (replace neck by another word that rhymes with calls) and face it head on. I wanted to get to the root cause of this unexplained mystery. If nothing was wrong physically, I would find out what was wrong mentally, emotionally, energetically and spiritually.
I would see every kind of practitioner there is and be open to healing myself on every level. My goal was to get to the end of the journey (I had set myself an age limit where I would drop the baby dream and move on) and feel at peace knowing I had tried everything; that there was nothing blocking a child from coming to me other than it just not being meant to be. I did believe that there is a divine wisdom that knew whether or not it would be good for motherhood to be a part of my life purpose. And I would accept that, after having opened myself to making it possible in body, mind, heart and soul.
Here is a small sample of the disciplines I turned to for healing: acupuncture, ayurveda, naturopathy, physiotherapy, psychology, osteopathy, core energetics, nutritional approaches and all sorts of energy healing modalities including Reiki and intuitive healing. Bit by bit, the layers of resistance started peeling away. It wasn’t necessarily a conscious resistance; after all, I wanted to have a baby! But as I discovered, there was “stuff” in my subconscious mind, in my energetic body, and in my soul that was preventing this from happening.
My goal was to get to the end of the journey
and feel at peace knowing I had tried everything;
that there was nothing blocking a child from coming
to me, other than it just not being meant to be.
Of course there’s also always the issue of divine timing (see “Life is a harvest”). Outside of all these sessions, I did the work. I faced past hurts, examined my life and went willingly into the abyss, knowing with faith that I would come out the other side (the only way out is through, says Robert Frost). I read and listened to talks and attended online and live workshops. I journaled, cried, forgave, prayed, meditated, and then cried some more. There were many moments spent on the floor, similar to the bathroom floor moment Elizabeth Gilbert describes in “Eat, Pray, Love”. I was on a mission to rid myself of anything that could be weighing me down or keeping me from my full potential.
The physical and spiritual healing I received at the end of my journey from a few earth angels was the culmination of my journey. It was the final letting go, the final leap of faith. I knew in my heart that if I were to never have a child, to never experience biological motherhood, that I would be ok. That it would all be ok. Because I felt whole now, and I knew of a truth that was deeper than circumstances that appear on the surface of life. There would only be one more try at conception, one last pregnancy test to take. And yes, that is when it happened.
We will all face difficulties. That is the nature of human life. What turns difficulties into challenges that we can face and overcome is the conscious decision we make to use the situation in which we find ourselves for a higher purpose. What difficulty are you facing? You can choose to use it for healing and growth, or to help others in a similar situation. But if you’re too scared to face the demons, too discouraged to do the work, or too tired to help yourself, you may just take the easy way out and stay in the victim role. Being a victim is safe. You retreat into your shell and let life have its way with you.
However, this sense of safety is an illusion. You’re not really protected when you’re living in fear and powerlessness; you’re simply hiding in your suffering and will never reach your potential this way. If you want to come out of your hole and see what is possible, you will need help. None of us can do it alone. We need each other and admitting this need is not a position of weakness. We all know now that vulnerability is real strength.
What turns difficulties into challenges that we
can face and overcome is the conscious decision
we make to use the situation in which we find
ourselves for a higher purpose.
The beauty of it is that once you do reach out, a flood of help comes your way, and then, equipped with new tools and learnings, you can offer a lifeline to others. You are now a victor, and having walked through the dark forest, lost and lonely, you can now show others the way to the clearing. The victor is like the phoenix that rises from the ashes. Do you want to stay buried in ashes, or spread your wings and soar high above them?
Start today. Pick one discipline or one professional who you think might be able to help you. No matter what the challenge or situation is, there is help out there; but you have to ask! You have to take the first step into the sea before the waters part. Make this key decision today. It absolutely will alter the rest of your life for the better.
Nevine Shazli is a certified Strategic Intervention Life Coach. Having graduated from the Robbins-Madanes Training (RMT) program, she uses Strategic Intervention Life Coaching with individuals who need help with relationships, personal growth and development, and general life challenges. She is a certified ThetaHealer® and uses the ThetaHealing® technique as an integral part of her life coaching services. Nevine graduated from the McGill University School of Physical and Occupational Therapy in 1997 and has since worked in health care as an Occupational Therapist. She is a certified yoga teacher and Reiki Master practitioner.