deserving

andrea_whitetank.jpg
self, Canon Digital Rebel

So if you haven’t noticed lately, I’m on a bit of a self-empowerment kick. I have a little rock near my desk that says “faith” and I feel the weight of it in my hand every once in a while as I work. I stare at the word engraved in the stone and think about how simple it seems when it is written down that way. Faith. Just faith.

You will also find a stack of books on my nightstand that say things like “make your dreams come true!” and “9 steps to getting what you want” and sometimes I feel a bit shy about having them there and stack them underneath copies of the New Yorker and Wired. But they remind me that I have been searching for something. I am looking for a new way in. Things aren’t working well in my little brain these days.

I suppose this is because my faith has never been tested quite this way before. Trying to get pregnant is taking its toll. It’s effortless for some folks, excruciating for others and for people like myself, somewhere in the middle of total mind f*ckland. I grew up believing that if you worked hard enough for something you got it, if you put enough effort into something you achieved it, if you studied long enough, ran like the dickens, showed up on time, pushed yourself just a wee bit more than the rest, gave gave gave, it would pay off. More than that, you became a better person in the process and the heavens shined more favorably on you. The heavens love your wicked work ethic!

I also believed that if you were good, really really good {like being kind to everyone, not killing bugs or saying mean things} you would be lavishly rewarded in some wonderful cycle of karmic justice.

But I’m beginning to wonder about my theory. I’m beginning to think that my neat little equation doesn’t add up. Which isn’t to say that these qualities don’t have rewards in and of themselves, but they ain’t gonna get you pregnant, honey.

{insert shattering sound of entire worldview breaking down}

I realized I had this theory the other day when I was slumped over a friend’s shoulder crying my eyes out. I found myself sputtering, “All the mean people can do it! People who don’t even want kids can do it. People who hit their kids and yell and are mean mean meanies get pregnant all the time. It’s not fair…” and I realized then that I have been holding a strange belief about justice and how the world works: That the nicer you are, the better you are, the more good-hearted, things will work out for you. You will get what you want, people won’t get sick or lose their jobs, people will have families and live happily ever after. It was my way of feeling safe in the world and staying in control.

Turns out I can’t control the world.

Ha!

Life doesn’t follow the neat set of guidelines that I have concocted. It seems that having faith is a much deeper surrender than I ever imagined. It is surrendering to the mystery of all of it. It is relinquishing control and {for me} realizing that it’s not about deserving. I thought I could control my world by working hard and being good. But I can’t.

I went to a lecture recently and the speaker said, “Be willing to be undeserving of the miracles in your life. Be willing to be undeserving.” And I play this one over and over in my head, because really, it’s another way of whispering “let go…” let go…”

Follow on Facebook Follow on Instagram Follow on Twitter Follow on Pinterest

Hi, I’m Andrea

On this blog you’ll be learning with me how to use our voices, share our creative superpowers and live life in full color.

As an artist, photographer, life coach + mentor, I’m redefining what it means to be a SUPERHERO — ‘cause in my world, it’s got nothing to do with capes, spandex or sidekicks and everything to do with tenderness, intuition & baby steps of bravery.

LEARN MORE ABOUT ME >

46 Comments

  1. mr. andrea lewis

    i understand. one dots their i’s, looks both ways, and things still don’t add up desirably. my faith, the one hijacked by the government lately, supplies me with oodles of joy.
    i am poor, have no car, no girl, teeth missing. my joy must come from somewhere where the world can’t touch it.
    it must and does. i pray that your faith will lead you to people who have sources of joy like mine, in your area, who are like me.
    i am a muse.

  2. laura

    Hi Andrea,
    I’ve been reading your blog for a while. Since May 2003 when you posted that super picture of you and Matt in specs. the one just before your wedding. I hardly ever post comments. I’m not sure that I have before. But I felt compelled to today. Even though I feel like it’s an invasion.
    I really feel for you. I’m adopted and my mother has told me many stories of her struggle to get pregnant. It never happened for her. I have some insight into the disappointment it can cause from hearing those. But don’t give up. I know you managed once before. I read your post about the miscarriage. I am sure it will happen for you again. Perhaps your body just needs a little more time to heal itself.
    You are such a positive person and I love reading your posts. It makes me think what a whinger I am. Always seeing the negatives. But you, you always see everything in a positive way. If you can manage, try to hold onto that.
    We have a saying here in Ireland. Ti?cfaidh ?r l?. It means “our day will come.” Ti?cfaidh bhur l?. “your day will come”. I believe that for you.

  3. Maya Stein

    Andrea –
    I’ve been thinking about THIS EXACT THING for quite a while. Not the getting pregnant part, which isn’t in the cards just yet for me and that’s fine, but the dammit-when’s-it-gonna-be-my-turn part, when are things going to work FOR ME and this feeling of waiting ever-so-patiently, and it’s like sitting on the bench during your freshman year basketball team, something like that, waiting like that, this feeling of If I’m here long enough and am quiet enough while I wait, something good’s gonna happen.
    And then there’s that quote I always remember from Nelson Mandela, this incredible thing he wrote about how being small doesn’t serve us or the world, and that we don’t make anybody feel better when we make ourselves small. And in fact, what the world needs is for people to feel large about themselves, because when you feel large inside you give other permission to be large, too.
    I’m condensing and editorializing here, but the gist of it is, making quiet, unassuming gestures, and tiptoeing, and going about your way trying to disturb the waters, that sort of thing doesn’t get you very far. I think about how people who unintentionally begin whole art or music movements surrendered to their own creativity in spite of (and maybe because of) the things that were happening around them. They stuck to their own faith about what they needed to express. They stuck to their guts about that faith.
    My own quest seems to be about “making it work” and I mean marrying all the things in my life to make that life work. Emotionally, creatively, socially, financially, etc. That whole balance thing, I guess, and it’s hard when you’re an artist, I think, because we are driven by unseen forces. We are impassioned by a spirit that directs our art-making, and we can’t help but devote ourselves to the task of art-making. It is not a rational thing but a labor of love, of something intangible and often abstract.
    Maybe making a baby is like this. This being moved to create a life outside of yours, but to create it within you first. To have life begin in your own body, to be responsible for that – my God, I can’t think of a more profound act of creativity than that. And so the wait, the patience required, the timing, the exact biological state of rightness your body must be in – so rigorous, all of it. And so painful if all the work that you do to this end doesn’t reach fruition.
    I have this quote at my desk that I scrawled on an envelope a few years ago. I was peeing in someone’s bathroom when I saw it on the wall, on some poster. It makes me feel better always. It goes: “Take into account that great love and great achievement involve great risk.” I can’t think of a better invitation to live life as it’s meant to be lived – truth, courage, and conviction.
    Blessings to you.

  4. Heidi

    Sweetie, and I say this with immense love, I am a mama of two…….relish, relish the time you have to yourself, your freedom and spontanaity for the moment, it is sooo precious……once you have a child it is gone, if not forever for a good long while…I know this may come across as the utterely wrong thing you want to hear…..but those impromptu walks to the coffee shop, yoga classes, biking around with your camera, doing shows, flying to NY or Hawaii, Burnig Man, your whole buisness, time to paint, lovely dinners with Mat at home or out will all be gone…I always wanted children, but I swear I so long for days of just me…..going to the bathroom is a luxury! please take this with all the love it is intended, I am so sorry you feel this loss or lack, I truely admire your freedom and work and ‘joi de vivre’…. I found this site after my first boy, and thought ‘now there is one kick ass gal that I wish I had as a friend’, you are fabulous!
    love Heidi

  5. jennie

    andrea,
    thank you so much for your honesty…in a way i needed to hear i’m not the only one. no, i’m not trying to get pregnant, but like some of your other friends who have posted, i’m in waiting mode. wondering if that day will come when i meet ‘the one.’ 🙂 sometimes it is so easy–i feel carefree and light. and sometimes it is so difficult–i want it all to be over. i want to shout, ‘okay, God, i’ve learned my lesson! let’s move on now!’ i blurted my tiredness of waiting to my mom last weekend and she said much of life is waiting…waiting to be married…waiting for that right job…waiting to get pregnant…waiting for the baby to be born…waiting for it to grow up… for some reason, that philosophy didn’t help me much. i know it’s true but sometimes it is just nice to hear someone say (like you did), ‘this is hard. this is really hard.’ please know that you are surrounded by a community of people who love you! and please keep up your hope. we all love you so much!!! 🙂
    be at peace…

  6. penelope

    Crossing my fingers and sending prayers your way, miss Andrea. xo, p

  7. Sunny

    Andrea,
    We’re all different, of course, but I started out with a miscarriage and waited years until I was able to get pregnant with my daughter. I watched my best friends move on with this phase of their life and it was so very very hard. It helped me to know that I wasn’t alone — that others understood the profound sadness and frustration I felt.
    Sometimes you only understand in retrospect. My daughter’s 20 now, and my son is 18. I look back at my life and see how, and maybe why, things happened as they did. It doesn’t make the pain I went through any easier, but I do understand the meaning of “faith” much better now.
    You did a good thing by writing in here — for yourself and others. Sometimes the depth of the love you receive helps you to hang onto that faith.
    Sending you light and loving wishes,

  8. Dana

    Hi Andrea,
    I am constantly thinking about the justice in this world and what is “fair”. I guess I have come to the conclusion that life is not always fair, or just. Sometimes thinking this way can be hurtfull.
    I do, however, try to keep hope alive – and so should you.
    My boyfriend always tells me that good things come to those who wait – I know, cliche, but I think he may be right sometimes.
    I’m not sure what I’m trying to say other than don’t lose your faith.
    Good luck!

  9. Julia

    Would it help if I told you that I tried for years to become pregant and had at first, no success, or later a succession of miscarriages?? I felt lost, and angry at the universe. I am a really nice person. I always have done the “right” things and worked hard. So I just asssumed that good things would flow to me naturally, because that’s the way we’re all taught to believe it works, Right??….WRONG!! Then one day after ranting at God, and crying to my friends about how unfair it was that lowlife people who don’t even take care of their children can breed like rabbits…..I had a moment of clarity and realized that no matter how much I wanted it or planned for it, I had no control over this situation. All the medical intervention in the world was not going to give me a baby if my body was determined not to cooperate with the process. It was a very sad, but also a healing moment. I was then able to relax a bit and say “Fuck it…..” “I know I’m great mom material, but I just have to let go and see how this plays out.” Then guess what?? At the ripe old age of 37 I became preganant. Just like that. Without fertility monitors, and medications, and tests, and planning sex and all that bull-shit that kills romance and really takes all the fun out of sex, and taxes your relationship. I’m happy to say that I am the mom of a very healthy happy 6 year old daughter. It’s really the toughest gig I’ve ever had, but I wouldn’t trade even the worst day now for the best one back then. Sorry for my long winded story….but my wish for you is that it turns out like it did for me. Blessings and love to you and Matt, and take good care of you love and each other. 🙂

  10. Julia

    Would it help if I told you that I tried for years to become pregant and had at first, no success, or later a succession of miscarriages?? I felt lost, and angry at the universe. I am a really nice person. I always have done the “right” things and worked hard. So I just asssumed that good things would flow to me naturally, because that’s the way we’re all taught to believe it works, Right??….WRONG!! Then one day after ranting at God, and crying to my friends about how unfair it was that lowlife people who don’t even take care of their children can breed like rabbits…..I had a moment of clarity and realized that no matter how much I wanted it or planned for it, I had no control over this situation. All the medical intervention in the world was not going to give me a baby if my body was determined not to cooperate with the process. It was a very sad, but also a healing moment. I was then able to relax a bit and say “Fuck it…..” “I know I’m great mom material, but I just have to let go and see how this plays out.” Then guess what?? At the ripe old age of 37 I became preganant. Just like that. Without fertility monitors, and medications, and tests, and planning sex and all that bull-shit that kills romance and really takes all the fun out of sex, and taxes your relationship. I’m happy to say that I am the mom of a very healthy happy 6 year old daughter. It’s really the toughest gig I’ve ever had, but I wouldn’t trade even the worst day now for the best one back then. Sorry for my long winded story….but my wish for you is that it turns out like it did for me. Blessings and love to you and Matt, and take good care of your love and each other. 🙂

  11. Lisa

    When I get a chance to read your entries I am always pleasantly surprised at my familiarity of your situation. Thank you for sharing. You make me stop to think. Above all you make me stop to breathe and enjoy. Thanks.

  12. Andrea

    Dear, dear Andrea, I’m sorry that you have to go through this hardship. All I can do is share some wisdom that was given to me several years ago…”Never underestimate the importance of being where you are.” It wasn’t about getting pregnant, but about my boring saga of not knowing where I was going in my life, blah, blah, blah. But it was such incredible wisdom that I had one of those moments in which I thought, is this person really standing here saying this to me, or is this some wonderful angel that has stopped time and shared this otherworldly wisdom with me? It seems so simple, but is it?
    Anyway, it really got me thinking about how much I don’t understand what [insert God, higher power, creator, or whatever you believe in] has in store for me. And I will probably never really understand it fully, but when I look back, I see how really perfectly things unfolded, even “mistakes” that I made. It’s not to say that I don’t have free choice, because I think that we do. But I think that somehow, someway, obstacles and challenges are put in our path, for some reason or life lesson that most of the time I don’t f**king understand, but it often seems that understanding is irrelevant, because life keeps rolling on.
    And I really, really understand the f**ck-ups-get-to-have kids-so-why-can’t-I theory, because I lived it when we had a baby who died. But somehow you move through it all and realize what a crap shoot it is (which probably negates what I previously said, but I just don’t think that our little human brains can comprehend something so much bigger and greater than ourselves).
    So do try to make the most of this time in your life – I SOOOOOOO agree with Heidi. Let this time of hardship steel you for what will be the hardest job you’ll ever have – being a parent. It is so true, that no matter how much you longed for it, there are days when you wonder what kind of crazy karmic joke was played on you.
    Enjoy every day with your loving husband – I so admire the relationship you write about and that glistens in your photos. And you will eventually become a parent – one way or another – on whatever timeline is out there in the Universe.
    Sending you lots of love and hope!!!

  13. Evie

    Dear Andrea,
    I’m a girl from Amsterdam, Holland who’s been reading your journal on and off for some time now. The last few months on a daily basis. This started when my sister, also a fan of yours, pointed out your post on the miscarriage, two months after I had one myself. It gave me a profound feeling of being understood, something my friends hadn’t been able to give me. Thank you for that.
    I have never posted a comment, but since you’ve been a big source of comfort and inspiration to me lately, it feels almost unfair not to do so after reading ‘Deserving’.
    I too am a typical ‘good girl’, trying to be nice to people, work hard and do the right thing. I guess that is indeed a way of feeling in control. And like you wrote, my biggest lesson these past months has been that control over your life is something that has it’s limits. One way or another, we have to give in and trust that everything will be fine.
    In the week I had the miscarriage, two close friends of mine became parents and two friends told me they had had an abortion. One of them only had it done because she and her boyfriend didn’t want to be pregnant for another two months. As soon as they started trying ‘officially’ after that, she became pregnant again. Another couple got pregnant ‘by accident’ and the friend who once told me that she just wanted to have children because she didn’t want to be the only one of her girlfriends who didn’t, recently gave birth to a baby boy. All of these situations sounded terribly unfair to me, especially around the time I had the miscarriage and life felt sort of raw. It seemed that my boyfriend and I were the only couple that had truly thought about why we want kids so badly, about what kind of parents we want to be and – as we are approaching two years of trying – what our life would be like without children. Sometimes I feel all those people don’t realise what a great gift they have been given.
    But a lot of them do. Once I opened up about my frustrations, pain and worries, all these personal stories were told to me. It turns out that three friends of mine who are now parents, had been trying to get pregnant between two and a half and three years. Nobody talks about these things. Maybe because it doesn’t matter anymore once you do get pregnant. The friend who had the abortion and became pregnant again two months later, turned out to be the one who supported me the most througout this difficult time in my life. A friend of my sister became pregnant after four years of trying and visiting doctors – the natural way. And all the others, without exception, couldn’t be more in love with their babies.
    I now think that being focused on getting pregnant, gives you ‘baby glasses’. It makes you see a lot of unfair stuff while blinding you to the good stuff, and it’s hard to deal with that. Now that some time has passed, I have a clearer view. There probably are a lot of people who are less ‘deserving’ of a child, but that has nothing to do with me. Them not having children won’t make me feel any happier.
    I still find it hard sometimes to visit friends and their newborns. I have good days, filled with hope and faith, and very bad ones (usually right after my period starts – again!). I don’t think I will ever be able to completely let go – it just isn’t in the caracter of the control freak. But I have definitely learned to let go a little bit more. What else can you do?
    For the last couple of months, I’ve been both kind of numb and extremely sad. Now, like Heidi recommended, I try to take adventage of my current, childless lifestyle. I go dancing with friends, take my boyfriend out for an unexpected dinner, am taking a nightcourse in graphic design, decide one day ahead to go away for the weekend… What seems to work for me, is planning a positive activity each day. Something to look forward to, like swimming, reading a great book, have lunch with a friend, buying someone a present, learn a new DIY-skill… Ofcourse this doesn’t make you happy overnight, and in your mind it may not compare in the slightest to what you now think life with a baby would be like. But it’s a simple way to regain the feeling that you have at least some control over your life. I have a feeling you already do all these things, but on a bad day it never hurts to be reminded that they really work. I feel much more empowered now. As I take care of myself by eating right, allow myself to sleep in the afternoon when I feel the need to (one of the benefits of working at home), exercise regularly, undertake things that give me energy and think happy thoughts, I am slowly growing into this other self. A person who recognises that life isn’t fair and about deserving things. But also one who’s intensely greatfull for having the best boyfriend in the world, loving friends and family, a supersister, a great job and the strength to bounce back. With that, on a good day, comes the faith that everyting will be allright. No matter how things turn out. I truly hope that will be the case for you.

  14. Carey

    Hi Andrea,
    I have been reading your blog for a while now and finally have the courage to write to you. I just wanted to let you know that I completely understand where you are coming from. I have lived my entire life doing the “right”thing, trying to please people, trying to make all the smart decisions, trying to take the high road, trying to be nice, all in the hopes that I would be given some reward or that the gods and goddesses would smile down on me. But you are so right in saying that all of this does not guarantee you anything. I think a lot of life truly is a mystery and the luck of the draw. Just look at the families we are born into. What is it that determined that we would end up in the families we know and love? How was it decided that we would not be born as Aborigines or into an African tribe? There is so much about life that we can’t control and that WE AREN’T INTENDED TO. I have loved children all my life and have always looked forward to becoming a mother. However, when I was 11 my mother sat me down and told me that I had been born infertile. I can carry a child but do not produce eggs. I still struggle with this sometimes and I think I have said almost the exact same things you said to your friend. It has been hard to let go of the thought of having a child that is biologically mine. It makes me scared about someday having to tell a man that I can’t have children {what will his reaction be?}. Like you said, that is where faith comes in. I have to trust that I will find someone who will love me no matter what and will want to adopt. I have to trust that I can still make my dreams of being a mother come true. I have to trust that even if I’m never a mom, I will still have a good life. No one in church ever tells you just how hard having faith is. I think it is the challenge of a lifetime to just sit back, take a big breathe and think, “No matter what, things will be okay.”

  15. JC

    Phew~ what a good entry. I am constantly amazed with how easy it is to try to figure out what is wrong with “us” when we do not get what we want and then how often, I have to keep reminding myself that it is beyond my control.

  16. LU

    I think your message was a good one and well said. It is all about letting go, falling back and knowing that faith will catch you. It is all about trusting that everything is going to be alright. We don’t always get what we want when we want it, but we do get what we need and it is always on time. Continue to be faithful.

  17. David

    Andrea,
    I love that you keep your rock so close at hand… your faith is there for all to see. But sometimes faith means being a little fatalistic/passive about events in one’s life.
    When things don’t go according to our prayers we sometimes make the mistake of thinking our prayers haven’t been answered… when in fact they have.
    Sometimes the answer we get is, ‘No’. Other times the answer is ‘Not now… maybe later!’
    Those are answers too, though they don’t fit into our well organized lives where we all assume we control everything.
    You seem to have been blessed in your life with a staggering number of ‘Yesses’. I know you are aware of this on many levels because you talk about it on your journal.
    I don’t have any sage advice about your particular situation other than to tell you to listen for the real answer. It might be ‘No’… but it might just as easily be ‘Not now… maybe later’. The only way you’ll be able to find out is to go on living your life to the fullest and see if and when the answer changes.
    By the way, I’m not suggesting that you sit back and live your life according to a ‘Magic 8-Ball’! If you feel there might be a medical issue – go see a doctor. If you think there might be something else standing in the way… explore that too. Be as active and persistent an advocate for yourself as you feel is necessary and prudent… but always be aware that a higher power ultimately provides the answers, even the one’s we don’t like.

  18. samantha

    Oh the tears that came when I read, ‘try to be undeserving of your blessings…’ how beautiful.
    Andrea, I hope you find your way – and I truly believe that when you go searching, you find. I hope and pray that you’ll find peace in the midst of the struggle, even just a breathe of peace.

  19. Jillian

    Andrea
    I have lost 4 pregancies over the past 3 years. Two were in the 2nd trimester, one of which was a week after I felt her kick. It was a total nightmare so I understand the profound loss you’ve experienced and the anger as to the notion that “undeserving people get to be parents and I don’t.” My babies had severe chromosomal damage. I was told that my eggs are bad. Long story short, my husband and I have taken this year off to just breathe again and to heal. If we have children at this point we will probably adopt- which I believe is a very noble thing to do.
    But on to you. Its hard to hear “don’t get discouraged” because you will. But there are ways to empower yourself and feel as if you are doing everything possible to bring a healthy baby into the world.
    I HIGHLY RECOMMEND this book:
    Taking Charge of Your Fertility: The Definitive Guide to Natural Birth Control, Pregnancy Achievement, and Reproductive Health (Revised Edition) By Toni Weschler
    After charting my body temperature for 2 months, I conceived, even though my pregnancies had other issues.
    This book really gives you the control (and options) when you feel so out of control of your own destiny. There is also information on how to prevent miscarriages if you suspect that the reason is that your progesterone level is low- which you would know by charting your temps.
    All very fascinating stuff. If nothing else, go to amazon and just look at the book and read the reviews. I love this book so much that I have given it to every friend I know who has been having trouble conceiving. Some have been lucky, others are still trying.
    I hope this helps….
    But keep the FAITH!
    Jillian
    PS- I am an artist and your site is one of my all-time favs!

  20. lhoward

    Hi Andrea, I just wanted to let you know I understand exactly how you feel. I didn’t read the other comments and perhaps they are the same, but my husband and I went through 3 years of infertility treatments and I lost three babies, and yes I can tell you how old each would be if they had made it. I kept telling myself I am one step closer to getting pregnant and staying pregnant. I too looked around and saw the others who just throw away their children, people I too felt were undesrving of having the gift of children. Also during this time people kept telling me I was trying too hard to have a baby, I just needed to relax and then it would happen. Oh, how I wanted to throttle those people! It became an obsession for me, and there were babies and pregnant women every where I looked. And then when I would get pregnant, I felt like part of a secret club, I felt a sisterhood with other mothers, and pregnant women, like they knew by looking at me I was pregnant.
    Well, I finally gave up after the third miscarriage I decided I couldn’t do it anymore, I couldn’t go through the pain, physically, emotionally, spiritually. I was exhuasted. I just felt I was meant to be a “groovy” aunt, the one kids go to when they can’t talk to their parents. I surrendered to being childless, it was the hardest thing I have ever done.
    And of course those 3 months later, I found out I was pregnant, all by myself (well the hubby helped!) and then I started spotting, but I was able to get the medication I needed and my son was born on his due date Oct. 14. However there were complications and he was taken by helicopter to another city to have surgery. The doctor came in and said they are taking him in a half hour, I’ll arrange for you to hold your baby. I held him in my arms, and felt that was going to be the first and last time I would ever hold him while he was alive. I have never sobbed like that before and my heart was absolutely broken, even the miscarriages weren’t as bad as this. We got to the hospital where he was to have surgery, and three weeks later he did, and we celebrated his 5th birthday this year. He doesn’t remember any of the month we were in the hospital with him, sitting next to his bed with all the tubes and wires coming out of his body. He doesn’t remember the other babies we saw loose their fight for life, he only knows he has a scar. But I remember, and I always will.
    Then the following July I went in for surgery and discovered I was pregnant again. I now have a daughter, she and her brother are 16 months apart.
    Sometimes when you think you can’t go farther, you can’t endure any more, a mircle happens. It is so hard to really give up, I know because I tried that too, I said I’d given up, but I really hadn’t. Then when I truly did surrender, I realized the difference, it was astounding.
    I do truly wish you and your husband all the best, you will be in my thoughts and my prayers, because I know how important having a child can be, I hope you are blessed with as many as you desire. Much luck, Lea

  21. Loody

    I am currently in counselling to try to deal with my feelings of desperation about not being a mother (yet). I feel for you. My wise and wonderful Auntie says that it’s really important to deal with whatever’s on your plate right at this moment. Tough though, isn’t it.
    Best of luck and I send you lots of love. x

  22. Susan

    Andrea,
    I am not going to say I know how you feel, because I was one of those people who easily got pregnant. I always joke that all my husband and I had to do is look at each other and boom! We have two beautiful children and like the mother in “terms of endearment” I am obsessively in love with them. My favorite thing is to go upstairs at night to check on them and watch them sleep. There is nothing more gorgeous, nothing more incredible. (And yes sometimes I will put my face right next to theirs to make sure they are breathing!! And they are 10 and 8 years old! They will almost wake up and like Shirley MacClaine I will say “Good!”) Anyway, when I am looking at them like that, I get this mental picture of my heart just bursting, like the Grinch that stole Christmas. My love for them is gi-normous…and I tell you all this because I feel that your struggle will only lead you to this feeling. I know it. You are obviously on this earth for a purpose,as we all are. And as a customer of your jewelry and reader of your journal, I am aware that you have so much love to give. So much to share with the world. Maybe you have more to do with that first. I feel that you will have the child you want so much, and the love you will give that baby, it will be so grand and so powerful!! That child will be so full of love from the moment he/she is born!! Just believe. Patience. All of that that you will find in those bedside books. Try to stay in the moment. Of course you are entitled to your feelings of frustration, despair. But know that you are full of love.

  23. jenn

    andrea,
    you once told me to just show up. to be present. remember that. i don’t think you would have given me that advise if you yourself didn’t belive it. i know how frustrating this must be for you. try to stay in this moment. each time you feel let down, frustrated, or just pissed off, look around, touch that faith rock and remember how blessed you are. remember that sometimes we can’t understand what is happening in our lives and we just have to have the faith that things are working out, unfolding the way they are meant to be. that as someone else’s comment said, it just might mean not right now. this seems to work for me. as i have shared with you before we are trying to have kids. it’s just not working and it’s so frustrating because we can’t go about this in the traditional way. it cost a lot of money each time we try, and it’s just not working. i can’t seem to have a normal or regular peroid. some months i don’t have one at all. i get so frustrated. i too want more that anything to bring a child into this world. i know my partner would be a great parent. i want to be able to give that gift to her. each month my period doesn’t show up, or shows up half way, i feel like i take ten steps back in my personal growth. i start doubting everything in my life. i get angry and then want to quit. i tell myself maybe i am not supposed to have kids. it does help me to stop, be present, talk about the blessings in my life and then let go, trust when it’s meant to happen it will. it is something i have to work at. sometimes multiple times a day, but it does help. i have to remind myself daily i don’t have total control over everything the way i would like. but i am here each day showing up and that’s a start.
    my thoughts and prayers are with you and matt both. i wish for you some stillness during this time.
    happy thanksgiving.
    xoxo
    jenn

  24. jolene

    andrea –
    i understand what you mean about your life-theory crashing down around you. i too have felt heartache at having felt deserving of something and it not panning out in the end. i think people experience this sense of being “ripped off” everyday.
    even though there are empty spaces and wishes gone unfulfilled, i think faith does ask us to look beyond proof and evidence and see that something is stirring below the surface. something we cannot possibly know or comprehend ? the mystery, as you say.
    the mystery will eventually turn into something distinct. but, it?s funny that we are sometimes challenged to get to that point of surrender before we are granted something we want or are missing. maybe it?s the world?s way of clearing us out to make room for more blessings. i don?t know. it?s a mystery.
    thanks for sharing your insight. it came on the perfect day for me to question my own expectations. i have so many?

  25. celisa

    oh andrea, i love you dearly and will be thinking of you and matt. i will be wishing with all my heart that you get what you both want so badly. and what i know you will be fabulous at. hope you have a happy holiday. celisa
    have faith that things will work out, whatever the outcome.

  26. Lynn

    Hi Andrea,
    I’m afraid I’m not as good with words as all these wonderful people, so I have little to offer. . . . But I want to give you hugs, and hope along with you, and wonder if there’s any answer, or, as Rob Brezsny quoted in his latest newsletter, maybe it’s all in the questions. You have a beautiful strong spirit. Maybe it’s not about “let go, let go,” but about “hold on, hold on.”
    Much love and hugs,
    Lynn

  27. katherine

    . . . oh my, oh yes . . . nice people get the nice things, mean people get nada . . . I was just as shocked to pop out of this particular shiny delusion . . . but don’t you think that somewhere underneath this there is truth? The mean people don’t seem all that happy, and the nice people do get some nice stuff . . . but it does seem to rotate on genuine niceness, being okay with what Life brings and doesn’t bring, trusting that what is here is exactly what needs to be, trusting that what we yearn for will be brought in one way or another – maybe not the way we think it will show up – but show up it will. Is this preachy? I don’t mean it to be . . . I mean it more as a hug sent across the coast to you . . . 🙂

  28. chrissy

    andrea, i just want you to know that i am grateful for your words and photography this thanksgiving. your creative lens is beneficial to my life and it makes me happy. thanks for taking the time to share your feelings and takes on things!!! you could have kept it all bottled up inside of you, or buried in a journal or something. i am thankful for your spirit and energy on the planet and i want you to know that your superhero journal makes my life just a little bit nicer! thanks! love, chrissy in santa barbara, wearing your pyrex necklace and off for thanksgiving fun!

  29. jenlemen

    i am very sorry you’re sad.
    i can think of stories to tell you, but it doesn’t change how you feel today.
    please know i’m asking god (and the universe) to have mercy on you and make you very, very fertile.
    much love,
    jen

  30. Erika Bailey

    Andrea –
    I’m sad to see you feeling this way. I am praying to God that you be fertile, happy, and all of your dreams come true. You are deserving in my eyes.
    You are and have been one of the strong women I look up to when I go further in my creative journey. Seeing you pick up a camera (the one I STILL want) and make beautiful things lets me know I can. Basically, you inspire me.
    I wish you a Happy Thanksgiving and for strength to focus on things that you are thankful for. It will bring a smile to your face, guaranteed. 🙂

  31. Mia

    Dear Andrea
    There is no thirst like the thirst of the mother for a child. Nothing can quench that thirst, only the birth of a child for that mother.We spend so much time trying to make people feel better but words will change the pain of your situation.
    Can you really accept that you are in a hard place? Can you accept that life is not fair?
    This place may last for a little time or a long time. Given that you are in a hard place it is a time to accept this and act accordingly – extreme self care is the aim of the day. Hang onto every little thread of beauty in your life.
    I have a child, the beautiful and amazing Amelia. She was unplanned but I was in heaven! Then, two years ago, I discovered that she had been raped by my boyfriend at the age of three. Amelia and I then went through a year and a half of police investigations and trials. It was hell. I found it really hard to accept that it was hell – that I am a good protective mother and this still happened to me and my daughter!
    Then one day I just accepted it, sat down and cried for five weeks without much stopping. I accepted that life is really not fair and that this was beyond my control and it got a little easier, day by day.
    Two years later, I have a five year old who is so much better. She dances joyfully, she is very smart, she is happy, she sleeps, she tries to boss me around, she climbs all over me, she makes up the most beautiful amazing games.
    There will always be pain and it will never go away. Extreme pain is an initiation into a world where things mean so much more. Where you are keen to change the world and make a difference. Where the life of every child seems to be really special and important.
    Some days I still ask why me? but they are getting fewer and fewer. Most of the time I say ‘yes it was me’ but we survived and I still have a smile.
    May God Bless you with a beautiful, healthy child!
    Mia

  32. Jen in Ohio

    Hey Andrea,
    I’m not sure if I have any insight to lend that has not already been provided to you, but I did want to comment that:
    A. I’m sure you know how mysterious life can be…how it rewards those who seem undeserving, how it harms those who number amongst the best of us. There are no answers to these mysteries, but we learn to accept them and to realize that all we can really do is develop a sense of patience and understanding.
    B. Yes, sadly, many people who are parents should not be. Working as a tutor in impoverished areas, I can tell you that there are children who are treated as burdens rather than blessings. I try to understand why these children are subjected to such crap, and all I can think of is that they are destined for greater things. And I thank whoever sent me to tutor them, because I had the opportunity to interact with these kids and tell them, from my, “authoritarian” standpoint, that they are worth so much more than their parents believe.
    C. I have no doubt that you and Matt will be fantastic parents someday, and now matter how it happens or when it happens, a child will be so lucky to have you in its life.
    D. Not sure where I was going with all this, just wanted to lend you my support, my understanding, my “ear”, and any words of encouragement that I can. You are an amazing woman, and you will be an amazing mother. Try no to let the mysteries of life weigh you down. Be like a buoy, floating on the waves…maintain who you are and life will continue to bring you the blessings you deserve.
    Paz y amor

  33. Laura

    Andrea, I don’t know you beyond your journal but I am sending wishes to the universe that you and your husband are granted with a child. You give so much and I believe that it will come back to you. Wish I had an inspiring story to tell you. The only one I can think of is my co-worker and friend who with his wife tried to get pregnant over and again with no luck. Then they adopted a child. Then, they got pregnant. Seems to me that the universe wanted the adopted child to be with them first and then things all fell into place. That, and since they had stopped trying, they finally were relaxed, and poof it happened. So hang in there.

  34. Amy

    Hey Andrea –
    It seems that you and I are in eachother’s orbits these days after I read your latest entry. It seems that I too am searching for a different way of doing things. I have been hungry for clarification, affirmation, a new perspective — an excavation of my highest self – my personal power.
    The other day I was walking through the library and a book flew off the shelf at me. I have been memorized since I cracked back the cover. I think that it may be a book you would be interested in reading if you have not already. It is called The Artist’s Way…I can’t recall the author, but it is an Internationally recognized book so it should be easy to find. Another good one that brought me a lot of “exhaling and oooohhhhh’s” is God Winks : A book about coincidences in the Everyday. It is a mental rubbing of the “Faith” stone that sits on your desk — It is AFFIRMATION.
    I will send out positive vibes for you and Matt, that the gift of a child be part of your walking together. Take time everyday to see yourself and the family that will grow inside you. Say, “I am with child and all is okay.” Send these thoughts and visions out into the Mother Universe….
    xo. amy k.

  35. Karen

    Hang in there, li’l buckaroo. Though I haven’t ever tried to become pregnant, I’ve been in Waiting-to-Be-Matched-With-A-Birthmother Land, and waiting for the stick to turn blue (figuratively or literally) is never fun. But judging from my first-time-view of your journal, you’re meant to be a mom — so your stick is going to turn blue, my friend. One way or another.
    The very best of luck.
    K.

  36. beth

    I wish you peace and calm through this journey. I also suggest acupuncture (4 women in my area have had great success) . The beach at night under a blanket w/ hubby and beer just for the fun of it.
    Thanks for all the inspiration,
    Beth

  37. Karrie

    I just wanted to let you know, that I love you and I love the world you are tying to create, even though I don’t know you.
    Thanks for keeping me connected.
    -k

  38. Jodi

    Andrea,
    Thanks for your honesty. I remember, in the midst of my infertility (5 miscarriages and a doctor that told us it was never going to happen), going to the grocery store and seeing a VERY young girl who was very pregnant. I was so angry. It just didn’t make any sense to me. Why could a high school girl get pregnant when she didn’t want to be, and I couldn’t carry a child when I so desperately wanted to be a mother.
    I write this holding my two year old, a “miracle” (my word, and also the word of numerous doctors) as I wasn’t supposed to be able to carry a child, and she wasn’t supposed to live after being born with an undetected heart ailment that caused her to stop breathing at 8 days. She also has an older brother, currently sitting on his dad’s lap in front of a cozy fire, who arrived 10 months before her, through the miracle of adoption. We are truly blessed. And it feels like just yesterday that I had that ache you are experiencing…Time does move quickly…and someday, you will be where I am. (Ok, hopefully not with kids 10 months apart!) But, loving another human more than you thought possible, and praying for all of the free time you are currently resenting because you wish it was filled with a child. I will be praying for you…hang in there.
    I gave up on the “good things happen to good people” theory a LONG time ago. And honestly, the good people are usually the ones that have gone through hell and made it back. Their the ones that are strong, that have experiences that have given them strong faith and courage, and an outlook on life that doesn’t exist with a pain-free life. I’m thankful for my trials…they have made me who I am. And someday, you will be able to say these same words to another young woman struggling with infertility…while you are holding your own child.

  39. ani

    Like so many things it will come when the time is ready. So many of us go through life as you elequently stated believing if they do the right things than Karma will grant them with their wishes but Karma’s time or whoever controls the universe is not on our time. I had a young girlfriend go through the same thing and I symphatize with your pain. Good luck to you.

  40. Julie

    Andrea-
    I have never commented before, but reading this post, my heart goes out to you. Because I know how it feels…I went through this and many of my close friends did as well. And after it happened finally we all said the same thing: Once you quit trying so hard, feeling stressed about getting pregnant, quit focusing on it constantly, it happens. It did for every one of us. I don’t know what the science is in that…but when we did let go, that’s when it happened…Also, l believe God has something to do with it, and whether you believe in him or not, he has a plan for your life…and He knows when is the perfect time for you to conceive your child. If you trust him, and let go, chances are things will change…I can’t promise it, I am not God, but I can tell you that is what I had to finally do…and it worked.

  41. Darcie

    Andrea, I am praying for you.

  42. Jenny Vorwaller

    I am so sorry…to hear about your bravery waning makes me want to reach out in the computer and give you some kind of new hopes. some more volumes to hide under your newspapers. some magical thing to make it all better.
    i have been reading your journal for a while now but never felt ready to reply. i read about when you had your miscarraige…and i was astonished at your openess, that you wrote about it so candidly…i had just had the same thing happen to me. i was just in my second trimester, showing like a pregnancy should and then…rushed to the hospital after an ultrasound showed that the baby had not made it. it was so devastating that i havent been able to even think about trying again. i just could not take another tragedy like it. but reading about your yearning makes me see how very, very BRAVE you really are. and it gives me hope that maybe i will be at the place again. i have read all the replies to your words and don’t really feel like i can tell you that “it will happen” or that “when you aren’t stressed as much…” but i can say from my experience, and from one artist to another, that turning to my art has really been healing for me.

  43. monica lee

    wow! I think I got just as much out of the comments people worte to you asI did your journal entry. I went through a dark spot a couple years back, the situation I was in was beyond my control and I simply couldn’t figure out how or why I got there. I finally, in an act of desperation cried out for God’s mercy. Me, miss high and mighty needing mercy and grace from Mr. High and Mighty. I was at the funeral of a dear friend when someone sang a song she had picked out…” great is thy faithfulness, morning by morning new mercies I see…” With no faith, no where to get answers that is when you really experince mercy and grace.

  44. Chloe

    I came for the pictures and got caught up on the blog… I am so sorry that you are having trouble getting pregnant. My partner and I were very lucky but I always wondered what fate had in store for us and if I would be trying cycle after cycle like some. I hope that you are blessed very soon!

  45. Caroline

    My sweet girl… I’m just so sorry that you feel this pain and frustration. I know it well and I know you know this too. I too thought life worked the way you describe and I hate that I’ve learned that its not that way… and that bad things happen to good people. It doesn’t make any sense, its not fair, and you don’t deserve it! I still think it should be the way we thought it was and to be honest, naively or not, I choose to live the “good” life just in case!
    At this point, what I’ve also learned (besides life not being fair) and what I know is true for you too is that your time will come, exactly at the right time, and a child will be in your arms. I know trusting these words is easier said than done. You bought me a rock last year just like the one you hold on to now and it truly is a powerful tool, a powerful reminder for your heart to keep your mind in check. Hold it close and believe… keep believing.

  46. Jennifer Diamond

    thank you…it is reassuring to know you will raise amazing children one day…thank you for living and informed life and allowing us to witness your journey…I am so moved…you are restoring my hope.
    Love and Kindness,
    Jen Diamond

Ready for your next creative adventure?

Download the Mondo Beyondo dream generator!

Latest from the blog

Some of the best books I’ve read this year.

Some of the best books I’ve read this year.

  Some of the best books I've read this year The Language of Emotions: What Your Feelings Are Trying to Tell You by Karla McLaren This book travels through a whole vocabulary of emotions and truly celebrates them - showing you that each one (even the so-called...

read more
CSP #48: The Language of Emotions with Karla McLaren

CSP #48: The Language of Emotions with Karla McLaren

Karla McLaren, M.Ed. is an award-winning author, social science researcher, and empathy pioneer. Her lifelong work focuses on her grand unified theory of emotions, which revalues even the most “negative” emotions and opens startling new pathways into self-awareness,...

read more

Ready to add color to your life?
JOIN OVER 5,000 INSPIRED GRADUATES IN AN ECOURSE

Camp Wonder-Seeker

30 days of ease, joy and cultivating wonder

Creative prompts, stories and secret missions that will bring you help you wake up your creativity, invite you to see the world in an entirely different way + celebrate ordinary beauty and magic.

Capture the Magic

Rock your camera-phone - and discover that beauty and joy are everywhere.

The very best camera is the one that’s with you! I’ll show you how to get on your own path of joy and delight while learning photography skills along the way.

Brave Blogging

30-days of breathing life & inspiration into your blog

Blogging is still the best way to grow your audience and find your tribe, while connecting to your voice and your spirit!

VIEW MORE COURSES