Tuesday, May 27, 2008

(in)fertility garden

Back when we were struggling to get pregnant, I turned to a support group for, well, support. (Duh.) It was the safest place in the world for me to be at that time, among women who knew what I was feeling and who didn't judge or preach or say things like, "Just relax!" or "When are you going to have a baby?" Our therapist, Maria, is to this day a dear friend, and I was lucky enough to have her for my pre-natal yoga instructor once we did conceive.

In our final support group meetings, she asked us to bring a small container and some personal items that symbolized what we were feeling, our hopes, our dreams, etc. She told us we were going to create our own little personal meditation gardens, that would allow us to generate calming, positive energy around all the harsh feelings associated with infertility. I'm normally not into all things Zen (it's a great idea, but part of me feels it's been beaten to death already), but when you're infertile and desperate for a child, you'll try anything.

So I brought some things, and Maria provided some things, and we created our tiny gardens. The last thing we did was place a candle in the center (we lit a lot of candles, my little group). After we brought them home, we were instructed to light our candles any time we were feeling sad, or blue (or had a case of the mean reds, as Holly Golightly would say), and meditate. Just to be safe, I also lit a boatload of candles around the Virgin Mary statue I inherited from my grandmother...it doesn't hurt to cover the bases, you know.

What I didn't know at that time, when I brought home my meditation garden and placed it carefully on my dresser, full of hopes and wishes, was that I was pregnant with Zoe.

My meditation garden has sat on my dresser for over three years now, and I dust it every week, and I'm finally ready to say good-bye to it. Now, it's simply a memory of the pain of infertility. My full-of-life little sprite is my daily reminder to cherish all the gifts I've been given.

I photographed my meditation garden not just to share with you, but also to have it for me, just in case I do want to look at it again some time. I lit the candle one last time, and adjusted the tripod just so, and focused and stopped down...and clicked. And just like that, I moved on.


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