Guest Writer Wednesday: Caitlin's Unexplained Infertility Climb
Guest writer, Caitlin, shares how struggling with infertility the past 3 years has made her reconsider her life’s purpose. I got ALL the chills up and down my body when reading about the vivid dreams she had relating to her purpose. (I’m a sucker for a meaningful dream!) Caitlin is sincere and open in sharing her ascent up infertility’s challenging peak. Let’s welcome the wonderful Caitlin to the Unicorn Mission!
Purpose. When we think of that word, what do we think? In the dictionary, purpose is defined as “the reason for which something is done or created or for which something exists.” But there is so much more to that statement. For centuries, we as human race have always wondered what it all means. Why are we here? Is there a reason for our creation? It is something that has kept men and women awake at night wondering what it all could mean.
There are those people who have found their purpose. They know exactly what they want and what they were born to do. And of course, they do it without hesitation and without question.
I envy those people. I thought I had one, but then everything changed.
Since I was a young girl, I knew I wanted to be a mom.
I grew up with an amazing mom who gave up her career to take care of my younger brother and me. I always looked up to her, and still do. To me, she was just as important as any CEO of a company. It actually took me a long time to realize that she wasn’t getting paid for her efforts as a stay-at-home mom. I mean she was a manager, a babysitter, a chauffeur, a housekeeper, and a million other things. I thought at least she would get a paycheck at the end of it all! But nope. She did it all with hardly any gratitude. My mother was one of those people that found her purpose and stuck to it. Only now that my brother and I are grown up does she have a business of her own, but her purpose remains steady as an incredible mother.
I always thought that that would be my purpose one day. To be a mom. Of course, there were other things I enjoyed like theatre and music. They were and still are my passions. There was even a time in my life when I thought that I wanted to go to New York and get to Broadway. But one trip to the Big Apple, dealing with the people, the MTA, and the craziness of it all sealed the deal for me that this was DEFINITELY not for me. It was always funny to me that while thinking about moving to NYC, I always took into account, could I raise my kids here? Even then when I was thinking about my purpose, I was thinking about my life as a mom. More and more so, I kept coming back to the idea that my reason for being here was to be a mom. And it never crossed my mind that that might not be achievable. I had to totally reevaluate what my purpose in life could be.
I like to think of life as climbing a mountain. I’m sure I’m not the first person to think this, as the term “over the hill” makes a lot of sense to me. But I always view it as climbing a big mountain like Everest. You start at the base and climb with a clear goal in sight. To get to the top, your purpose in life. Sometimes you climb too fast missing so much as you run past trying to get to the top faster. Sometimes there is a bad storm or something that prevents you from climbing for a little while but you get up and keep climbing. Then suddenly, there is another climber with you. Supporting you, pushing you to keep climbing, and at times of great trial, carrying you. This person climbs with you a long way, hopefully the whole journey. Sometimes the climb is just that, a climb. The views are beautiful and you can’t beat the feeling of accomplishment. Some climb slower than others, but they are still climbing. The top is the goal. When you have reached your purpose and know what to do with the rest of your journey. Some reach the top quickly and camp out for a long time. While others are stuck on a rock, unsure of which way is up. I am stuck on a rock trying to find the right path.
When my husband and I got met, I knew he was the one. He was kind, funny, gentle, and wanted to be a dad. He grew up the oldest of 6 and was always surrounded by a big family. When we started trying for our big family, nothing happened. For 3 years, we were stuck on a rock in the middle of our climb. Suddenly everything changed.
The hard part of it all was, we had all the right equipment to keep climbing. Nothing is wrong with us physically which made it even more frustrating. Doctor after doctor kept saying “Nope, you two are perfectly healthy, there is no reason for this to be this hard.” That was almost harder to hear than anyone saying something was wrong with us, something we could fix.
After sitting on a rock for 3 years, watching other climbers zoom past us, sometimes not even with their own will, the feeling of hopelessness has become a burden.
It was like I could see my purpose but I just couldn’t reach it. It was right there! But for some reason my feet won’t move. My pack is too heavy. My partner is tired and can’t move either. Maybe after a long time being stuck on the rock my partner will get restless and will want to climb without me and leave me behind. Maybe this is it. Maybe I can’t climb anymore and maybe I shouldn’t.
But I have always been strong. This is the first time in my entire journey called life that I have ever been stuck. So why should I give up now? Maybe the climb, and my purpose are on a different path that any I had thought of before.
Recently, I remembered something that my mother told me when I was a little girl. When I was younger, she had this friend, a mentor of sorts. A very sweet, older lady that my mother believed could talk to angels and to God. One day she got a call that said that this lady had a dream about me. She had dreamed that I would go on to do powerful things and that my life would be extraordinary. My mother took this incredibly seriously and never let me live it down. My whole life I had to be better than average. No Bs and Cs for me in school. I was to go to the best school, have the best life, and be surrounded by the best things. I was to be extraordinary. As a kid, I never really believed that my life would be anything more than average and sometimes I thought an average life would be nice for a change. An average life would involve school, getting married, having a house, making lots of babies, and dying a happy and peaceful life. A no fuss climb; straight to the top. But now I understand that that is not in the cards for me. As my mother so fervently put it, “You are definitely NOT average young lady!”
My journey will not be a straight shot to the top. And once I get there, my purpose may be something totally different than anything I could imagine. In fact, taking the long way around may be the only way to get there for me and my fellow climber.
Over the past year, my husband and I have done research, gotten help from professionals, and have tried to find the right path. Sometimes we have thought that we have found the right path, but looking at it closer have seen that it is not the best one to take.
In this year, it has been more than just trying to start a family. It is trying to see what our mark is on this life. For me especially. I always thought that I could make my mark on this world by having children and raising them to make their own mark and make their own climb. But now, I think my purpose, and what I am fated to do, is very different. And perhaps, my purpose won’t involve having a family or kids at all. I always knew that I wanted to make a difference in the world and I want to do something that I can be proud of. When I wake up in the morning, and look in the mirror, what can I be proud of? Others are proud of me for certain things, but what am I proud of for myself?
I began searching and still am. My search has helped me take a few steps off of my rock but I haven’t actually moved very far yet. I knew I wanted to help people so I thought maybe being a wedding planner or a travel agent, but those have led me to a dead end. Then I thought well maybe a teacher, but I knew that that didn’t give me the passion and inspiration I needed to keep climbing. I was stuck again.
Until one night, I had a serious of very vivid dreams.
In the first one, my husband and I were at an airport, waiting very anxiously. A woman walked up to us and I knelt down. Behind her stood a very timid, scared, dark skinned little girl, about 6 years old. I held out my hand to her, she smiled and took it. I woke with a jolt and tears streaming down my face. That little girl was my daughter. I knew it and I was devasted that I couldn’t hold her again. Perhaps my purpose was to find that little girl and bring her home with me. Perhaps protecting her is what my life was intended for. Perhaps she was what I was climbing to.
After lying awake for hours thinking about her, I fell asleep and had another dream. I was running. I looked down and I was in combat boots and camo, running next to many others. I was a soldier and I had a purpose even though it seemed like I was just running. And I was damn proud of myself. I awoke from that one in a cold sweat as though I really had been running. It was so clear and vivid, I began to wonder what I ate for dinner to give me such vivid dreams. But this one was different. I had never dreamed this kind of dream before. After waking I thought about my little girl again. Perhaps my purpose was to protect her, in a different way. I still can’t get it out of my head.
What made these two dreams so important to me is the dream I had afterwards. I was climbing a mountain. And the sun was rising.
So perhaps my purpose is something I had never thought of before. My climb and journey of life is completely different than what I had thought. My life was never meant to be average, it was meant to be extraordinary. Perhaps God and his angels brought me these dreams to prove to me that I am indeed, and finally, on the right path.
Looking back, I wish I could have grabbed onto myself stuck on that rock said “Keep climbing and don’t look back. Others will climb faster than you and get there a lot faster, but when YOU reach the top, the view will be extraordinary.
“Keep climbing. Even if the journey is hard, you will make it. Stay strong.”
I will continue to climb. Even if the journey doesn’t take me directly to my purpose, I will still climb with a purpose. Wherever it may lead I will keep climbing. And one day I will look back and it will be an extraordinary journey. I have faith. I just know it.
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Bio: Caitlin Zigler is a native from Littleton, Colorado. She lives in Littleton still with her two dogs, Phoebe and Roxie and of course, her loving, goofy, nerdy husband John. She enjoys and participates in theatre and loves music. She is also a fan of knitting, painting, nature, and tai chi. She loves to be home and enjoys the simple things in life.
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