Finding Strength In Infertility (Yes, I Do Know it Sounds Ridiculous)

So this week I thought it would be nice for you to read some posts from someone other than me. Possibly someone who's been educated and trained and has years of experience in helping people with infertility. As opposed to me who just talks out of my... (pick a body part, any body part). If you'd like to hear more of my nonsense, please click that fab ebook cover to the right to read all the reviews (more of 'em on Amazon) and a bit about my ebook. Each day this week, I'll have an excerpt from Helen Adrienne's book. She's a licensed social worker (check out her profile here on my "Health Experts" page Sorry that her photo somehow slipped off the page into cyber abyss. I promise you I'm not ashamed to have her picture up there. She's a good looking woman and has written a highly acclaimed book: On Fertile Ground: Healing Infertility.

The piece you'll be reading today is about putting hair on your chest...Okay, settle down, get your hand off the mouse, it' s just an expression. It's not something that's going to happen to you from the hormone injections. (I do have plenty of facial hair, although I'm pretty sure it's unrelated.) No, what I think Helen's talking about here is how the tough things in our life---certainly infertility included---can be looked at as obstacles or as opportunities to learn, grow and strengthen from. Remember: What doesn't kill ya makes you stronger. (Hey, look at me! I'm Kelly Clarkson!)

So sit back and read on:

Excerpt from On Fertile Ground: Healing Infertility

by Helen Adrienne, LCSW, BCD

Chapter 10

Gain from the Pain:

Would You Believe There's an Upside?

So what do you stand to gain by suffering through the delay in getting your baby? Your cheerleaders, who are on the other side of the infertility battleground, are eager for you to know what the experience meant to them so you can hang in there. This book has been, among other things, an invitation for you to ponder how this experience could turn out to have been surprisingly beneficial. Read these stories. Which resonate?

Growth from adversity always involves coming to terms with something that you would never have chosen. Looking for what is to be gained from any adversity is not what concerns you at first and may even annoy you. But it is a way to assign meaning to your life and avoid living with bitterness.

Not Just Strength but Inner Strength

When I was a little girl my grandmother used to use an expression that I did not connect with at first. She would say, "You should do such and such - it will put hair on your chest." Hair on my chest? I was preoccupied with the not-so-hidden message that she thought it was better to be a man. Eventually I understood that she was saying more than that. She apparently thought that men had a corner on the strength market. On another level, 'such and such will make you strong' was the communication I was supposed to derive from her words. There are other less judgmental expressions of the "what doesn't kill you will make you strong" ilk.

The issue is not just about getting strong. It is about feeling strong, owning the strength that can build in the face of challenge. The life force, the Popeye Effect, whatever you want to call it, is a hard-wired aspect of our nature. It is just there, but some of us are more purposeful about developing it than others. Developing inner strength can be both a conscious and an unconscious byproduct of adversity.

Melissa, an artist, put it this way: "If it had not been for this amazing challenge in my life, I would still be afraid of the great unknown and would wonder if I had the balls - I mean ovaries - to get through it. I now know that I can and will get through anything."

Please tune in again this week to read more from Helen Adrienne's Chapter 10 from On Fertile Ground: Healing Infertility. Next up: Getting to the Heart of the Matter. Finding your inner strengths and authentic self in the midst of (and because of) these difficult times.

Also find out: "Does Melissa grow balls from the hormones? Will her husband leave her for someone without chest hair? Do her ovaries help her get through the hard times? Will Dave and Miranda find out that Clarissa is their love child?"...