I'm feeling brave today and thought I'd share with you a little more depth into my personal stuff. My deep dark secrets. This is a little vulnerable and awkward. But, I want to connect further about the inspiration behind my music. Isn't most art created through pain? So here goes with Secret #1, in full trust you will love and accept me in all of my glorious, or not so glorious, imperfection.
If you've been following me for a while, you may have guessed that for years I suffered from the "I word" - infertility. Oh, I really don't like that word... I internalized it and wore it as a nametag of judgements - unsexy, unwomanly, unable. But it was more than that. It signified an ever growing hole in my heart where someone infinitely special and irreplaceable belonged.
When Eric and I got married we didn't feel there was any real rush to get things started. So I didn't toss out my pills.
After a few years of traveling the world and enjoying all the things non-parents unwittingly do with ease, we decided we were ready to slow down and take our union to the next level. Joyfully we began planning and doing what's necessary to become in the family way.
Well, several months of trying went by with high hopes and low success.
And months rolled into years.
What was the wrong? We had seen our doctors... well, more like we had collected a medical posse. We had fallen in line with all the graceless and embarrassing procedures offered a couple struggling with the I word. All to be told that our diagnosis was unexplained infertility.
Hmmm... it was nice to know there was nothing really "wrong" with us that could be ascertained through medical science. At the same time, having some type of diagnosis would have given us a chance to know if there was any cure. That didn't stop us from trying every type of treatment that we heard of, medically documented or not.
Thanks to me, the library's shelves were free of all books on alternative medicine. We radically changed our diets. Gone was anything remotely fun to eat or drink like coffee, wine, gluten, dairy and sugar. More beans and less meat was our protocol. My lower abdomen was full of life, but not the kind that takes 9 months to arrive.
Combing the internet for clues became a favorite pastime. This is where I learned about the advantages of pineapple for women in my circumstances. So of course, I started consuming it in extra large portions. Yep, there is a bit of folklore about an enzyme in pineapple that can help one get the pea in the pod.
Next came acupuncture, acupressure, Qigong, and guided visualization.
One of my Eastern Medicine books was all about diagnosing the problem through examining the tongue. So I sat in front of the mirror with my mouth gaping open, marveling at the little creases and trying to determine where they lined up on the X-Y axis, and if this meant I should soak my beans a little longer before boiling them into a hideous barely edible paste. A dinner of that, followed by copious amounts of pineapple, was our cutting-edge scheme setting the atmosphere for a racy time between the sheets.
Of course I did not neglect quickly scrambling to stand on my head straight after the horizontal hula.
We tried everything. Nothing was left but to go to Ireland and pray for a miracle at the shrine of St. Brigit of Kildare. So we did.
But Brigit didn't seem to be in a listening mood.
I decided it was time for soul searching a.k.a. more self judgement. Why did I want to have a child? Was it nothing more than a biological female urge? Was it something more than wanting to conform with my culture and be part of what the many friends around me were experiencing? Was it all just a selfish endeavor when there are so many children around the world of all sizes shapes ages and colors who are absolutely precious and in need of capable parents?
My mother was suffering from breast cancer. It metastasized and spread to her brain.
In her final days, she advised me to live in the moment. It was such a simple concept, yet so difficult to implement. I was hearing from her that it was really important that I get this. And that I live her guidance in that regard.
I'm not sure exactly how that changed me. But, after my mother passed, I was somehow able to let go of my deep rooted need - well more like a demand - on myself to get the bun in the oven. A decision arose in me that we would have a family whether they came through me or to me. And a realization rose in me that I already had it. All around me. I just needed to open my eyes and allow that hole in my heart to be filled.
And that's when it happened.
I don't know if it was the medical intervention, the fact that I'd finally let go of my demand, or the bean paste and pineapple finally kicking in. But, the miracle happened.
A wise person once told me that we are given the child that we need to receive in order to grow into who we need to become. In my circumstances, I feel that couldn't be more true. But, that's sort of another story.
The thing is, I'm so super grateful. More than I really know how to put into words.
Thank you for my beautiful daughter. Thank you for the opportunity to have her in my life. Thank you that I had to struggle for a while before she came into my life. It taught me that some things are really worth waiting for. And that there are some needs that can be met in different ways than that which I'm demanding.
Thanks so much, Mom, for teaching me the importance of choosing happiness in the moment, even if I don't have everything I think I need or want right in that moment. It's still a moment above ground, and that's a good thing.
It's sweet to imagine you looking down on us. Surely you've had a chance to see our amazing daughter. I hope you are hanging out with Brigit and chatting away about silly things like O.D.ing on pineapple.
Much love always,
My beautiful Mom and me.
Naturally, I've poured this whole kit and boodle into music creation. Here is a video you may want to check out sometime with some of the music inspired by my experience.
Please stay tuned to hear more of my deep dark secrets, coming soon. If I don't chicken out.
Do you have any secrets to share with me? Please let me know in the comments. I love to hear from you!