A Note from Parijat on Finding Peace

On Finding Peace Amidst a Complex Reality

The decision to stop trying to grow our family affects me to this day. Every time I see my children playing, I wonder what it would have been like to have one or two more with them. Every holiday when we cook our feasts, I wonder what the children we never got to raise would have requested.

Infertility is a life lesson in being able to hold both–the gratitude you have for the people, things, experiences, you have in your life and the sadness you have for the people, things, experiences you don’t. while you’re faced with countless situations that demand impossible decisions with no clear or good answers.

We made the decision to stop trying to grow our family before we had all of the children we had dreamt of. We actually made this decision twice: once after my first egg retrieval before we knew the avalanche of events that would follow, events that led me to creating Ruvelle. The second time we made this decision after my second egg retrieval, after my body revolted against all of the hormones.

Both times, the decision was extremely difficult to make because we had always imagined a house full of children, and it was clear before we even made it to our first embryo transfer, that this would never be our reality. After that second egg retrieval and when the embryos came back from testing and went into the freezer, before we even scheduled the next transfer, we decided we were done. Unlike the first time, though, we made that final final decision from a place of peace.

Peace is something that we’ve glorified and misunderstood. It seems like something you’d feel when everything is just as it should be, just as you wanted. Peace, I think, is often conflated with contentment. “When I…then I’ll feel peace.”

In my experiences, though, peace is much more about acceptance. Acceptance of the good, the bad, and the ugly. Peace is elusive for as long as we fight what is, holding on to what we wished was. When we can radically accept what our reality is, and all of the joys and sorrows that it brings, we no longer fight, and that’s when we can let peace in.

When we made that decision to stop trying after the second egg retrieval, we found that peace in accepting that we may never have more children than my 24-weeker who miraculously survived. We held the grief of all that we’d lost and missed out on with the relief and gratitude to be able to raise our son. We do the same now that we are also raising our daughter. We remember the dream of wanting more children and that never takes away from the joy we have of the two we hold in our arms.

Infertility taught me that peace can be found and cultivated amidst heartbreak and chaos.

Peace isn’t something I have to wait for, and it’s not something you have to wait for either. When you can build the somatic capacity for that heartbreak, the chaos, the grief, the anger, and you are able to sit with it and do nothing to it, you will find that you can coexist with it and the experience you want to have. The pain is no longer something that colors your day to day, and it is no longer something you push away or avoid. No longer something your fight. The minute you stop fighting, you make room for peace–for radical acceptance of what is your reality as you try to grow your family, as imperfect, as joyous, as heartbreaking as the journey may be.

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