If you’re reading this, thanks already.
But let’s first make sure you’re caught up on this story before you venture any further:
And if you’ve gotten this far, please know I am incredibly grateful for your support in joining me through my story of self expression.
And if you wish to listen to this current blog via audio instead of the written format below, you can do so by clicking HERE.
Now, let the journey continue…
Following my trip to Maui, I had made the expensive and personal choice to do something else that sat on my 5 year bucket list. Like I said previously, death teaches us these things: don’t wait, just do.
A trip to San Jose, California to complete my man Tony Robbin’s “Unleash The Power Within” 4 day conference had been a TO DO for me the last half of the decade. I was ready to walk on fire, fist pump and jump and shed some tears as I relived and processed the trauma of the month of November whilst simultaneously making some forward moving motion goals. I had decided to go alone. I needed to go alone.
My suitcase was packed with floppy hats, cute custom swimwear and big ass sunglasses and I left town the first week of March for my solo personal development adventure. Alluding to paragraphs prior, “you never know how fast things can change”.
Before I had even reached the Calgary airport I had been re-routed. Tony Robbins mass emails lit up my phone like bullets to the heart with notifications of a CANCELLED event. I was appalled. This group-gathering in the heart of San Jose (which was later coined as a COVID-19 hot spot) had be postponed until August 2020 due to the spread of some virus.
With 5 days booked free of clients and still craving the personal space and independent reflection time- I headed to the mountains without hesitation. My family cabin had always been a source of calming and inspiration: and my solo vacation would continue there. In the woods. In silence. Alone.
By day 4 of this privatized endeavour my husband began calling me with pandemic updates. This shit was for reals. My floppy hats and swim suits didn’t serve me well as the frost of March chilled the cabin and the heat from a self-created fire kept me warm. I stayed fully entertained with audiobooks, journaling, Netflix series and solid sleep.
The day I was meant to return to work, the nation declared a Canada-wide shut-down of all gyms and fitness facilities. My staff packed up their lab tops and personal home office spaces were constructed right away. My husband held down the fort and notified me that coming home truly wasn’t necessary. A solid wifi connection and my lab top now became my most important work companions: both of which I had at my disposal nestled deep in the mountains. So, I decided to stay.
For 17 days I stayed alone in that cabin: navigating the new normal of virtual coaching, body weight workouts and bountiful amounts of creative writing. I was working 12-14 hour days, 8 of which I spent on the crackling home phone with clients, the others I spent sipping Aperol Spritz while working on client programming, charcuterie board construction, body weight workout creations, new blog posts and Perfectfit4u social media content: oddly enough, NONE of which I spent sulking, stressing or worried over the state of my business.
This pandemic had placed us ALL at ground zero. We were all navigating this stress. The toughness of life was being felt universally: for once, I didn’t feel like I was the only one being shit on. The entire world was being shit on. I felt solace in knowing I had adequate experience with persevering through hard times, so my chin and head remained level.
Daily talks and “I miss yous” from my husband we’re enough connection for me. In fact, my family began worrying about how I was navigating the stillness and silence of the mountains without anyone around after weeks of working in the wilderness.
Truth is, I was thriving.
The silence of those 17 days provided me more clarity, level-headness, self care and solidarity than any 4 day conference could have given. This was the most at peace and confident I felt with my life in nearly 6 months: I was in no rush to head back to the hustle and bustle of COVID-invested life. I was my own best friend, and her and I were getting along quite well.
By day 17 of my solo adventure, the premium fertility coaching app I had invested in months prior notified me that my ovulation window was now open. This little jumping clock icon meant that my most fertile days of the month were now arriving- and for the first time since November, this news brought excitement and an open mind. The energy around receiving this news felt warm, not tense. I called my husband and ordered him to wrap up his duties at the office and make the trip to the mountains. Without hesitation, he “came”.
Robbie brought his own lab top, a duffle bag full of clothes for me that suited the winter-wonderland we were now living in, a truck-load full of firewood, a gamut of weighted dumbbells and enough cheese, crackers, salami, champagne and THC edibles to keep his wife happy for months. Nothing like sex, cheese, weights, weed and sweat pants to enhance my already perfected COVID getaway.
As the news of the COVID virus spread and fear-mongering propagated the universe, Robbie and I stayed nestled by the fire deep in our own couples retreat. We would work all day- then watch documentaries, play bountiful games of Rummy and Cribbage and cook exquisite dinners at night. We created home workout videos for clients, shared vast amounts of giggles, got beyond tipsy on the weekends and basked in the love of one another’s company. We celebrated Robbies 30th birthday with our own piñata and a party for two, walked through mounds of snow drifts daily while Louie played, both ended up fitter and leaner than most held hostage to their homes and managed to have free flowing thoughts and discussions about our business and life together. While the world fell apart, we came together.
For the entirety of 6 weeks we balanced a work:life flow without interruptions while picking up a new love for alcohol I had yet to experience since high school. My hours “on the clock” for Perfectfit4u skyrocketed but my mindset and peace with it all proved beyond manageable. My blogging and audio platform was booming, my client list grew exponentially, and through it all, my ability to manage my workload felt foolproof. Although the in-person aspect of my business fell through the cracks for obvious reasons, my staff and I’s ability to work more malleably but manage better kept our finances from small-business hell. I’m proud of myself and my team for the efforts that were executed to keep Perfectfit4u afloat from March-June 2020.
By the beginning of May it was time to say our fair wells to our oasis and make our way home for Mother’s Day. Mother’s Day 2020 felt dull and achy on my heart. This was my moms first Mother’s Day without Stu, and my first Mother’s Day since our loss the previous October. I attempted to push my own grief to the side and poured all of my energy into creating a special day for my mom. (You can listen to the slam poetry tribute I created for her HERE) I showed her the audio version of this poem I wrote her in private when I picked her up with coffee and a drive to the gym the morning of Sunday May 10th. We held hands as we sat parked outside Perfectfit4u and listened to my poetry spark tears for the both of us. Once again, those hand-holding silent moments with my mom confirmed our unspoken bond without needing words.
Oddly enough, Mother’s Day also happened to be Day 29 of my cycle. I had fantasized since my April period that I would be greeted with 2 pink lines on May 10th, 2020. This is the shit you do when you’re a data freak like me and you want a baby so badly. You know the days you’re ovulating, the days you can conceive, the number of days you are DPO (days pasts ovulation) meaning: the day you can take a test, and the date you will be able to tell the world when it comes out positive. You can know your due date and the date of your first ultrasound and the day you can have that Pinterest style Gender Reveal party. You can map the whole fantasy out so far in advance and sell your soul to the vision- and then one red dot can ruin it all.
I dreamed of experiencing Mother’s Day on the highest note: receiving notice of the conception of my third baby.
And after the festivities of the day concluded and all the mothers were shown their adoration and respects, I sat upright in my Lazy Boy chair situated in the corner of my living room, my eyes welling with tears as I scrolled Instagram viewing everyone’s babies and birth stories, and husbands posts about their amazing wives and kids. For some reason, it was always the men raving about their kids that hurt me the deepest. I wanted my husband to have that pride in his wife. I wanted to give him his dream of being a dad so badly the thoughts would consume me. He had done his job. I got pregnant. Twice. I just needed to do mine. I was going down a rabbit hole of self-pity and self-doubt and if there was ever a day to make me feel less-than-a-woman: it was this one.
From the kitchen my husband suspiciously noticed my abnormal behaviour but hadn’t quite connected the dots as to why Mother’s Day was such a shot-to-the-heart to me. Men, I tell ya.
When he genuinely stopped his dish-washing to show concern as to WHY I was so upset. I lost it.
I completely fucking lost it.
My welling tears turned to mascara-ridden streams of salt water as I hyperventilated through the explanation of my hurt.
“I’m… just… s-s-so jealous” I went on,
“I just w-w-w-want to be a mom so fucking badly” I explained.
“I want a crying baby to keep me up at night and I w-w-want shitty diapers to change, I want all that stuff”
And as I sat up to grab yet another Kleenex from the side table box, I felt it. The red dot. Back to ruin my life once again. That fantasy I dreamt up the last 4 weeks: it washed away instantaneously.
My period filled my panties just in time to send my maternal breakdown overboard.
Every ounce of water-works now spilled from my eyes. A Trevi Fountain of tears filled my living room. My husband, still standing 6 feet in front of me wide-eyed with “I love you but I don’t know what to do right now” written all over his face.
“Babe” he said with a slight smile while simultaneously kneeling next to his emotionally vulnerable wife.
“I just know it’s going to happen for us” his positivity attempted to enlighten me as the warmth of his palms graced my upper thigh.
“I know one day I’m going to look over at this rocking chair and you’ll be sitting here rocking our baby. I can see it. I just know it”
Parts of me needed him to sit in the darkness of despair with me in that moment, but his confidence in creating our one-day-family is just another reason I have had so much love for this man. He never doubted us. He never doubted me. Not for a second. Even in the darkness, he wouldn’t do it.
Anytime I would bring up thoughts of infertility, of adoption, of surrogates, of baby-making-alternatives, of “what-if-I-can’t” he wouldn’t engage in the conversation. He sloughed the thoughts infertility off like the pile of laundry he pushes to the floor next to his side of the bed. Nothing to worry about, and if he needed to worry about it, he’d worry about it then. For now, just let it sit there.
But as many wives know, that pile of laundry quickly becomes our business as just it’s presence haunts us much more than it seems to concern them. As we know now, the thoughts most certainly haunted me.
In part, his disassociation left me feeling that creating a baby naturally in my own uterus was the only way he wanted to go, but the other half of me knew this was his genuine sense of confidence in the process.
Still to this day I am unsure if he ever had speculations or doubts about our ability to create a family or if his unwillingness to consider alternatives was just his superhero one-day-Dad strength securing the sad space for me to occupy solo. Nonetheless, he never veered away from letting me know that no matter WHAT happened in our lives together, I would always be his person. Our life together was OUR family: children or not: the two of us, together: we are and always will be a family and we didn’t NEED children to solidify family values or family traditions.
Modern day families are different: they might have 2 moms or 2 dads, step-parents or blended siblings. Grandparents might live in the basement, or people might choose to create a family without a partner, or without a piece of paper stating marriage, or without sex at all for that matter. Whether created through passionate love or expensive science, through grit and tears and patience: or through a few too many beers and a “holy shit that happened”: they all make family.
At the end of the day: I was his family– before kids, after kids, without kids: I would always be his family.
And yet the best part of the worst Mother’s Day ever is that I will always remember that day: Sunday, May 10th.
Because that is the day I had my last period of 2020.
Because that is the day I share every prenatal doctors appointment when tracking my babies growth.
Because that is the day the ultrasound tech uses to confirm my babies due date.
Because that is the day that allowed me to roll out the extravagant fantasy of two pink lines and family sharing, and social media posts, and gender reveal parties and perfectly painted nurseries.
Because that is the last day I spent crying in the arms of my husband on that Lazy Boy rocking chair.
Because that is the last Mother’s Day I will spend with empty arms.
Please subscribe to the blog by leaving me your email so I can bring you along in the next one as I share the excitement of my first trimester in “The Red Dot That Ruined My Life: Part V”