My name is Lori and I’ve been married to my husband Sean, my anchor, for almost 16 years, and we have unexplained infertility. I began what I call our pregnant pause in 2006, and it turned my world upside down, all I’d ever wanted was to be a mother. While I was an eager mother wanna-be, my husband was a somewhat reluctant father, so we compromised and started off slow, but I was happy at least we had started. We didn’t immediately assume something was wrong when we didn’t get pregnant in the first 18 months, however it wasn’t until 2008 when we were finally tested. However, going to a specialist got us nowhere. On top of outdated information, it was just more negative results after all the negative pregnancy tests we’d already been through. No one wants to be ‘tested positive for’ when it comes to medical issues, but anything seemed better than unexplained infertility.
In 2010, after 4 years of trying unsuccessfully, I broke. I just couldn’t take it anymore. What started as a journey towards a bundle of joy ended up the most heartbreaking road I’d ever walked. The negativity had become all consuming, and I had to stop the spread before it consumed me. I became determined joy had to come in other shapes than a baby, even though that was all I’d ever believed for myself. For the next 2 years I put a purposeful hold on our TTC, not sure I’d ever start it up again, and began an intense search for my new purpose, searching for that thing that could bring me joy and fulfillment.
This soul search forced me to look at myself with a new perspective, I could no longer live with tunnel vision, trying to force all my passions and abilities to be fulfilled through the lens of motherhood. I had always loved research and so I dove into personality and gifting assessments, as well as so many books about discovering self. I felt like I was truly getting to know myself for the first time in my life, yet I was not surprised about anything I discovered. With these new revelations, a new dream began to take shape. By 2012, not only I, but my husband as well, found ourselves on a new path, we found ourselves volunteering in a program that supported, guided and encouraged other hurting people, which also had a profoundly healing effect on our own hurts, our own marriage, and helped us surround ourselves with a much healthier community than we had prior. We also both came to the place where we really wanted to start trying to have children again and picked up where we left off. By the end of that year we were also on a new career path, both switching from administrative type roles towards the field of counselling. Life was looking good again.
That wasn’t the end of our infertility roller coaster though, we continued to have early miscarriages, we went through new rounds of testing, trying more natural treatment options. Between Chlomid, essential oils, nutrient supplements, acupuncture, etc., my body went through hormone hell. Finally, in 2016 we finally decided to stop any type of treatment. We have decided to only pursue 100% natural conception, and if it doesn’t happen for us we’ve made peace with that. Yet, as hard as those 4 years were, maybe even harder than our first 4 years of trying, we never sunk to that same low place again. We have learned there is so much more to us than parenthood. Parenthood isn’t a destiny, it is a circumstance. And we have found joy and fulfillment for our lives that can transcend circumstance.
While I am still in the pregnant pause, still hoping, I am not wasting the waiting. Since 2014 I have been working to develop a support network and infertility coaching business, to help other women who find them stuck in the pause, looking for that elusive joy. I have also just finished writing a memoir, about my journey to finding positivity when all the results are negative, called The Pregnant Pause. I hope to have it ready to release before Mother’s Day this year, a gift of hope for women who find that day painful. I am so thankful that I have found hope, and I am blessed that every day I wake up looking forward to how I can help one more person find a joy-ful-filled life!
You can follow Lori's journey to mamahood online: