Lessons from the IVF road

Photo by Ernesto Velázquez on Unsplash

She looked at me with a smile and ever so gently asked, How long have you been trying?

I paused for just a second and gave a little laugh like I tend to do when I get nervous. I told her, I mean, six months? I think? We started trying on our honeymoon, but we haven’t been, you know, tracking. I don’t even own an ovulation test kit.

She cocked her head, and looked at me with a smile again, and said, I would like you to make an appointment with a fertility specialist. …

Yes, even you.

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One of my nieces loves dirt. Yes, dirt. She loves to play in the garden, and dig her hands into the soil and feel a little bit of earth. She loves to make “potions” out of dirt and bits of grass and whatever flowers she can find — pouring them into cups and dishes and whatever she can take from her mother’s kitchen without getting in trouble.

I would be remiss in not mentioning that she has toys. She has toy dolls, and trucks, and stuffed animals, and crayons, and books, and blocks, and science sets, and whatever else is…

Gentle reminders for creative professionals

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There’s something about creative work that gets into your bloodstream. It’s as if it’s part of the very marrow of your bones, the infrastructure that makes you, you. When you are a professional creative, it’s hard to leave your work, as your work becomes a part of you. You see the world in stories and pictures. You’re curious about what you see and what’s left unsaid. You want to know the innermost thoughts of the people you adore, and you’re interested in the lives of the ones you briefly meet.

When you’re a professional creative, it’s easy to feel as…

Lessons from a lifetime of tallness

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There is a slight curve at the top of my spine that my general practitioner pointed out to me at my most recent physical. She told me that I need to practice better posture and that this slight curve resulted from me hunching over. She reminded me to stand up straight — and that I should be proud of my height.

I am five feet nine inches tall.

I recognize that I am taller than the average woman, although I am by no means the tallest woman I know.

I am five feet nine inches tall, and I have hated…

When people show up for one another in times of chaos.

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My mother is a retired public school teacher. When my brother and I were little, the district had a policy that let teachers take unlimited sick days — a tremendous benefit for those who had young kids, as flu season would strike. Ear infections and stomach bugs would inevitably happen, and with most households needing both parents working, this was practically like winning the lottery.

It’s a gift to be able to take care of your health, and your children’s health, without fear of losing your job or ruffling the feathers of your boss or coworkers.

When I was first…

Take a deep breath, friend.

Photo by Tetiana SHYSHKINA on Unsplash

When you’re in the thicket of IVF, it can be easy to be hard on yourself, and filter your own thoughts, and get frustrated with yourself for feeling whatever it is that you’re feeling — whether it be joy, or envy, or sadness, or despair, or something else entirely.

But the good news, mama — is that you are not alone in that. This road is something of a roller coaster, and the dips and peaks along the way are not for the faint of heart, so please cut yourself some slack.

Here are eight gentle reminders for when the…

Lessons from a wise friend

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We’re gathered in the kitchen, a group of girlfriends who are more like sisters, chatting about our bodies, fashion, and what was cool when we were younger. We talk about what it’s like to dress like a mom and as a wife, as a thirty-something woman trying to sit in the beauty of youth, yet trying to make sure we still seem as if we’re “acting our age.”

And then it happens — one of the sisters turns to the rest of the group and says, “I”m trying to live in my personal Renaissance. I’m trying to remember that one…

A poem

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When you’re waiting for your miracle,
time can feel as if it’s never-ending,
slow and steady,
like maple syrup falling from the bottle.

It’s as if the minutes and hours and days
stretch and blend into one,
making you forget the date or the day of the week.

It’s as if you cannot conjure a picture of tomorrow,
nor a memory of yesterday,
as if you cannot hear the joke that someone told you
just moments ago.

When you’re waiting for your miracle,
it’s as if you’re looking through the glass that
keeps the fish in their tanks at aquariums,
as if…

A poem

Photo by Rodrigo Pereira on Unsplash

Sometimes, it’s not laziness — it’s exhaustion.

It’s not that you don’t want to hang out,
and it’s not that you don’t want to go to the gym,
and it’s not that you don’t want to go to the party,
or the wedding,
or the family dinner on Sunday afternoon —
it’s just that you’re tired.

You’re tired because you’re waking up early,
and you’re going to bed late,
and you’re trying not to lose your mind in the process.

You’re tired because you’re trying to be everywhere,
trying to do everything for everyone,
as if you were a robot,
or an octopus,

A poem

Photo by Victória Kubiaki on Unsplash

When the world starts to feel overwhelming,
and the news breaks your heart,
and you begin to think that humans are inherently awful,
I hope you pay attention to the good ones.

I hope you pay attention to the teachers
who are pouring their hearts,
and time,
and expertise,
into helping students
become the best versions of themselves.

I hope you pay attention to the doctors and nurses
who are doing whatever they can to heal
the sick,
and soothe the weary,
so that they can return home to their families.

I hope you pay attention to the retail workers

Megan Minutillo

I write essays and poetry about life lessons, love, relationships, and self-awareness. More info: meganminutillo.com. Find me on Instagram: @meganminutillo.

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