I write a lot about unintended positive consequences of spending years living on IF Island, because I think that's one of the only ways we can actively try to turn lemons into lemonade. Patience, persistence, learning to advocate for yourself...all results of having no choice but to do so on the infamous "journey to parenthood." But one thing I've been thinking more about these days, as I try to navigate the world with a rambunctious 18 month old in tow, is the idea of going with the flow.
I had a hard time with going with the flow during much of our infertility treatments, because I desperately wanted to control the outcome and have some structure, some sense of what was going to happen when. What I came up against time and time again was the reminder that I have no control. That my body was going to do whatever it did, that it would respond to meds in different ways than expected, and that I would literally have to cross out all the appointments and instructions on my carefully constructed calendar because I was literally having to go with my flow.
This drove me bananas. I like to know what the next day will bring. I like to know when I have an appointment. I like to be able to plan a little. I helps me feel sane. But infertility often comes with it's own version of insanity, whether it be free floating in the waters of the unknown, or doing the same thing over and over again trying to get a different result, it's all basically insanity. Until of course something works, then all is forgiven I suppose.
Pushing against the unpredictable nature of it all is the one thing that will actually make many of us feel even more insane. Because then we are also super disappointed and even more emotionally exhausted.
There's a mindfulness practice I started doing way late in the infertility game, but it's helped me get over trying to ever have plans or much of a schedule now with Momo. I just remind myself to pay attention to what I know now, in this moment, and know that what comes next might be totally different than my expectation. I tell myself that I will try my best and just be present and grateful for whatever is happening. The more grounded we can try to feel and the less attached to our schedules, perhaps the easier it is to be flexible. This was never a strength of mine, but over time and with practice and necessity, I've gotten better.
How do other people help themselves go with the flow? Who's got a good mantra? I good tip? A helpful perspective? (Jojo, I know you do girl!)