As I write this blog post, many of you are as mad as hornets about your fertility clinics closing due to shock, despair, fear of losing time, infuriated, blocked, lacking control. You literally cannot go to your clinic because it is closed, with one exception: cancer. Thank goodness you do not have cancer.
Both/And—You are furious and you are grateful that you do not have cancer.
And my mother has been in the hospital with Covid-19 for more than two weeks and I am scared out of my mind. I have more feelings about this than I am able to put into words but here are some of them: shock, love, fear, terrified, sad, protective, fear of losing time, blocked, lacking control. I cannot get to my mother to be with her. I cannot get on a plane. I cannot stay with her in her room. I cannot do anything about it. And I love her and want to be by her side to help her.
Both/And—We are both feeling intensely, and we are getting through the day somehow.
Like infertility, this f*cking virus is one more thing that you have had to endure. It is time to embrace the idea of Both/And. This is one way to cope with things that are beyond our control and keep from losing your mind.
You can be sad and open.
You can be furious and worry for the safety of your medical staff.
You can be courageous and be terrified. (A big shout out to our medical professionals!!!!)
You can be mad as a hornet and sit with the reality of the situation.
You can be in despair about another pregnancy announcement and know that the other person did not do that you wreck your day.
How does Both/And feel so far?
Either/Or will be harmful to you. Either you get in to your clinic right now, or you’ve lost your chance to have a child. Not helpful at all. That thought backs you into a corner. Both/And says you will get in to your clinic when it opens and you will do your fertility treatment with your trusted doctor and staff.
I acknowledge that this will not happen as fast as you would like. I have empathy for how out of control this situation is.
We all need to find some perspective to get through this shitshow.
Look at this situation—the clinics being closed—from the microscopic perspective of the weeds. What do you see?
Now look at the situation from the perspective of a tall ladder. What do you see?
Now look at the situation from the perspective of an eagle flying over your town. What do you see?
It is likely that your perspective has changed in some way. You are absolutely welcome to any feelings that you have. They are yours and I respect them and you. Finding perspective widens your view and it may offer some new feelings.
Like relief that you don’t have to go in to the clinic and miss work.
Like getting a respite from so many blood draws.
Like taking a breather from the relentlessness of fertility treatment.
As my anxious friend, JJ, said, “I’ve just resigned myself to the fact that I can’t do anything about it and let things run its course.” Yes ma’am. We are all doing our best every day just to get through this difficult time. Do some practice with Both/And to find perspective. I am doing this every day as I wait until I can speak with my mother on the phone. Do your best and know that you are loved.