And Just Like That, Shift Happens

Angela pregnant shift happensI have always been a very open person. Throughout my years as a yoga teacher, teacher trainer, and writer, I have openly shared the deepest and most personal parts of my life. I truly believe that we learn by connecting and sharing. But, for much of 2012 and 2013, I felt isolated, private, and in hiding. The experience of trying to conceive was different. I felt a different type of sadness and pain than ever before. And this story wasn’t just mine. It was something John and I experienced together, as a couple, and, until now, our story didn’t feel safe to share with the world.

2012 started off with lots of hope and excitement. John and I were settled in our new house, stable in our jobs, and ready to start our family. What an exciting time in life! But, things didn’t work out as planned. Each month brought a little more disappointment when we realized that our next step wasn’t happening as easily as we had hoped. In early 2013, we started the assisted fertility process.

2013 was filled with unending doctor and hospital visits. Some months I would go to the doctor for ten days in a row, constantly pricked and prodded by the best specialists in town. What was once a beautiful and natural process became an impersonal and scientific experiment, and I was the lab rat. Test after test, procedure after procedure, the doctors never found anything “wrong,” except for the obvious fact that I could not get pregnant. Everything seemed perfect, but no matter how perfect the circumstances, timing, or procedures, I could not get pregnant.

During these times, my yoga practice, close family and friends, and my focus on others helped me get through each day. But something dark haunted my soul. In my mind, I was a disappointment to my husband, my family, and myself. I wasn’t good enough to be a mom. It was my fault for building my career and waiting until the apparently ancient age of 35 to start having a family. People told me I was too stressed, trying too hard or, my personal favorite, that God only gives us what we can handle. Some days I cried my eyes out; other days I wanted to punch people in the face. All days, I didn’t feel like myself anymore. It was as if someone else had taken over my reactions and emotions. Intellectually, I knew that my feelings weren’t logical; but they were real, and I lived them as my truth.

After six months of physically, mentally, and financially painful fertility treatments, I was still not pregnant. Done with the daily injections, crazy-making hormones, painful surgeries, and endless doctor’s visits, I decided I couldn’t handle it anymore. I sat up, night after night, trying to decide if it was even worth it. I started to visualize a life without children. Would John and my parents ever forgive me? Would we be happy, fulfilled, joyful without kids? Regardless of the answers, I just knew that for 2013, I was done and over it.

We packaged up the remaining fertility meds, cleaned out our drawers of fertility and baby books, set up the “will be baby’s room” as Roxy’s dog room, and, as much as we could, moved on with our lives. I was in a deep depression, barely getting out of bed some days, but made a promise to myself and my husband to continue to teach my classes and teacher trainings and show up for others as much as humanly possible.

Then, shift happened, and I was suddenly two months pregnant. What? We didn’t believe the news. It wasn’t on our radar; we weren’t “trying,” and it was very unlikely to happen for us naturally, if at all. Yet, there it was, a positive home pregnancy test, followed by another positive home pregnancy test, two successful sonograms, a healthy heartbeat, and positive tests all around. As I write this blog post, I have a hard time believing that I am, in fact, 16 weeks pregnant with a beautiful, expanding belly.

After my last failed IVF cycle, I texted my mom because I couldn’t talk without crying hysterically. I wrote, “I have lost hope.” I will always remember her one word response. “Never.” She taught me that losing hope wasn’t a choice. Staying positive was a way of life, an attitude and a truth. Life continues to surprise us, just when we least expect it. I can’t explain why or how, and after all that we have been through, I don’t even care. Today, I simply enjoy the blessing that is our baby. And, for the first time in a very long time, I feel a freedom to share my feelings, my experiences, and my life with all of you. A very important part of me has returned. I thank you for listening and sharing in our incredibly joyful celebration of hope, life and love.

In love and light,

Angela, what amazes me is you were having some of your toughest times in life when I was having the most trying time of my life, but your words and classes were able to get me through my difficult time. This speaks to the phenomenal teacher, person, (and now mom) you are!!Thank you and congratulations!!

Meera Snyder
Thank you for sharing your raw, authentic, genuine story with us. I’m sooooo incredibly happy for you!

Angela what great news for you and John. It was nice sharing with all of us what you have been going thru. I wish you two the best and comfort as a family to come!!!!!!!

Peg Bolen
Congratulations Angela. Thank you so much for sharing this wonderful news with your yogi community. Even those of us who are far away keep a special place, and eye out, for you and the YS community. Enjoy the beginning of the trip of a lifetime! Namaste friend.

Neal Hacker
Way to go guys!!!

Thank you for sharing your journey – I have often used the life experiences that you have so willingly shared, to give advice/examples (sometimes unsolicited!) to my daughter, of how to persevere in life, how to go through love and loss and find love again, and how to go against the grain as a female business owner to follow your bliss as you have done. Although my infertility journey was nowhere near the depth of yours, I too experienced that initial shock of, “wait – this is the next step, this is my plan in life” but it didn’t happen that way! Your choosing to share your truth through that journey will inevitably give someone else hope that might not otherwise see any light anywhere. So incredibly happy for you and also happy to be able to observe the unfolding of this perfectly timed miracle occurring in yours and John’s lives.

Emily Threet
I’m glad you wrote all of that out. Thanks for sharing. Happy for you.

Angela! Just got a chance to read this! You’re such an eloquent writer… What a sweet unexpected blessing! I know this baby is already so loved. 🙂 Thank you for sharing your heart! Love to your growing family! – Kristee Walker

Bravo! I have been there and thank you for the words that will help others faced with a difficult and unexpected fertility journey. What a lucky child to get such great parents! Congratulations!!!

Congratulations, Angela! Your honest, open and heartfelt story brought tears to my eyes. I couldn’t be happier for you and John. You will be an amazing mother and you are deserving of every joy that life brings you. All my love, Amy.

Alice Riccardi
Great news Angela! It truly is a miracle in the making. Wishing you and your husband much love and joy!!!! Alice