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Infertility has taught me that sometimes you must let go of the life that you hoped for and trust in the life that is. It took me four years of the worst pain and heartache I have ever experienced in my life to learn this most valuable lesson. Once I was finally able to let go of the life I was so desperately trying to create with my husband, I began to find peace and love in the beautiful life that we were already creating.

My husband and I married when I was almost forty years old, so we began trying to start a family right away. For four years we tried everything we could afford and even some things we couldn’t. After the horrific physical and emotional trauma of losing our three little embryos in our one and only IVF procedure, I knew that I couldn’t put myself through that pain again.

I had never in my life felt so hopeless and so completely broken physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. Somewhere in all that darkness, though, I found the strength to finally get help and I began seeing a therapist. Seeing a therapist helped me to begin living again.

Last year, my husband and I began a new chapter in the story of us. We remodeled our home, we made travel plans, and we added two new furry family members to our family of two. However, the most powerful symbol of our new life together is the story of our wedding rebozo. You see, at our wedding four years ago, the Mayan shaman who married us had our mothers tie us together with a white wedding rebozo as a symbol of our unity.

After the ceremony, she told us we were to save it to bring home our future first born child. I saved our wedding rebozo for a long time. Then I struggled with what to do with it when we realized that life had a different plan for us. Although the pain is still there, and much like the loss of a loved one I don’t think it’s something that will ever go away completely, it’s become a smaller part of me.

So, with the help of my crafty youngest sister, we transformed our wedding rebozo into something new, a special pillow embroidered with the three little birds that have become my symbol of strength and a reminder of how far I’ve come.

Accepting infertility and the reality of not being a mother was not the end for me; it was only the beginning.

Karina A.