After the Night of Hope 2023: Unexpected Wobbles…

by Brandi Lytle
Photo of one lit candle and one candle that has been blown out on "After the Night of Hope 2023: Unexpected Wobbles..." on Not So Mommy..., an infertility & childless blog
Wobble Warning:  In this post, I speak openly, honestly, brutally about HUGE unexpected wobbles I had after the Night of Hope.  As always, my goal is to leave you feeling empowered by the end.  But you might have a wobble along the way…  Please, only read if you are feeling strong enough.
*Note:  I link to some infertility & parenting after infertility sites in this blog.

I was on a high for days after the Night of Hope…  Sharing photos, receiving more compliments & congratulations, considering where I would display my award in our home, thinking about that magical evening and the spectacular people I got to meet…  I felt such joy, such happiness…  And then, massive unexpected wobbles hit.  I mean, I fell off the mountaintop hard.  CRASH!  BURN!

Initially, I remembered all good things from the Night of Hope—the beautiful feelings, the welcoming faces, the fabulous compliments…

I started thinking…

But then, I started thinking about the fact that when others said lovely things about Not So Mommy…, my mind was blank and all I could think to say was, “Thank you.”  I was unable to offer lovely words back about their work.

When I finally met Candace Wohl, of Our Misconception (the first infertility blogger I connected with when I started Not SoCandace Wohl and Brandi Lytle at the Night of Hope 2023 Mommy…), she threw her arms up and exclaimed, “Brandi!”  This memory still makes me smile!  Candace is exuberant and bubbly and just plain phenomenal!

My reaction was much more subdued.  I smiled and said, “Hello.”  I introduced Candace to Dane.  We talked and hugged and took a photo.  It was a perfectly lovely “so glad to finally meet you in person.”

I got worried…

But a week after the Night of Hope…  Well, to be honest, I got worried.

About what, Brandi?!

Unexpected Wobbles…

Well, I worried that the real-life, in-person Brandi was a let-down.  I worried that she didn’t measure up to the Not So Mommy… Brandi here on the blog or over on social media.  I worried she didn’t even measure up to the Brandi via email or private message.  What if Candace and the fabulous people at RESOLVE and the other honorees were disappointed with the real me?

And I started to question if Dane & I did enough on our infertility journey.  I mean, I had been surrounded by people who got what I wanted.  Should we have tried embryo adoption?  Have done IVF?   Adopted domestically or internationally?

My over-thinking, hyper-critical, highly-sensitive personality was in overdrive.  Honestly, I started to panic a little bit.  Becoming more and more anxious, I wondered if I should email every honoree and apologize for not complimenting their work.  Should I email Candace and reiterate that I really loved meeting her and my subdued reaction was not an indication of how happy I was to see her?  I started crafting emails in my mind…

But I didn’t send any emails.  Instead, I talked myself off the ledge, so to speak.  Because I didn’t want to “ruin” the absolutely magical evening Dane and I spent at the Night of Hope.  I wanted to remember the joy, to get back to the high, the contentment…  But how?

First, I stopped doubting…

Well, first of all, I forced myself to stop doubting that Dane and I did “enough” on our infertility journey.  I reminded myself that we made the best decisions we could with the knowledge we had at the time.  I reminded myself that our infertility journey took place from 2003 to 2013.  I’ve learned a lot over the past 10+ years.  I can’t fault 2013 Brandi & Dane for decisions that they made because they were at a different place with a different amount of knowledge than 2023 Brandi & Dane.  Plus, I’m quite certain my life has turned out as it should.  God has used my childlessness in magnificent ways.  But that’s a blog for another day…

Then, I realized…

Once I had that unexpected wobble under control, I started trying to calm myself about my other wobble–about others not viewing me as “enough” or seeing the real-life me as a “disappointment.”  I realized that I was completely and totally myself at the gala.  An introvert who was a bit overwhelmed and nervous about meeting new people and giving a speech in front of 600+ attendees.  I did my absolute best to make small talk, join the crowd, and not isolate myself from the group.  To be 100% honest, this took a bit of effort on my part.

And when I met Candace…  Well, she was completely herself—an outgoing extrovert with a BIG personality.  Oh, I smile when I think about her greeting!  There’s no way she expected me to be just like her.  Because I’m me.  In fact, one piece of advice she gave me when I started my blog…  “Keep your voice, Brandi.”  I mean, seriously?!  There’s no way this completely accepting woman thought I wasn’t enough!

I share this because…

I guess I share all of this to show you, fabulous ones, that we all have unexpected wobbles.  We all have moments where we second-guess ourselves.  I believe the key is to STOP comparing ourselves with others.  Yes, others got the little via egg donation.  But Dane and I decided—after much discussion—that this wasn’t the right path for us.  Yes, others got the little via IVF.  But Dane and I decided—after much discussion—that this wasn’t the right path for us.  Yes, others are more extroverted and exuberant and talkative than you, Brandi.  But that doesn’t mean your introverted, subdued, less talkative (at least at first) personality is less than.  And honestly, I doubt extroverts think that introverts are less.  Maybe they think they talk too much?  (Which they don’t, by the way.)

Oh my goodness…  I think I might be rambling.  As always, thanks for reading, fabulous ones.  And please know…

Some final thoughts…

Unexpected wobbles will happen.

Even when you find your balance, old insecurities can creep in…

You might question your worth.

You might question your path.

Just remember…

You are you.

Enough.  Worthy.  Fabulous.  Just the way you are.

Be boldly & authentically you.

Sending you so many hugs, fellow warrior.  So many hugs…

If anything I wrote resonates with you, please tell us about it in the comments.  (You can put your name as an initial if you’d like to remain anonymous.)
If you’d like to see photos from the Night of Hope 2023 Gala, just click here…
Do you appreciate the work I’m doing here at Not So Mommy…
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4 comments

Mali March 11, 2024 - 9:25 pm

Perfectly understandable. First, I think the wobble that you were surrounded by people who got what they wanted is the problem I and many others have with Resolve. The No Kidding/CNBC voice is sadly often missing, and has been for years. Which is why I’m glad you were there, were acknowledged, and had a voice! But I wish you hadn’t been the only one, because we all know that statistically you/we might outnumber all the others, Right? (PS. MY post this week that’s about to go up is about someone else speaking at an adoption function from the CNBC perspective. You might see yourself in it too.)

Second, it’s so great to see the evidence that you challenged those negative voices. We all have them – we don’t all learn to challenge them and negate them. It was a revelation to me when this happened. I write about this a lot on No Kidding in NZ. Yay, you!

And finally, I’m sure no-one was disappointed in you, but I completely understand being self-conscious about it. I’ve met a number of people I first got to know online, and almost invariably, their personalities from their blogs or messageboard posts or whatever are exactly their personalities in real life. I’m sure you’re fab, and hope – on our travels maybe (as we’re both part of a CNBC travel grp on social media) – that we get to meet, and I can be proven right! LOL

Reply
Brandi Lytle March 13, 2024 - 12:49 pm

Mali, thank you for reading this blog AND for your thoughtful comment. (I always love when I see your name pop up, having written a comment, as you have such wonderful insights and perspective…) I would like to say that I know there was at least one other CNBC person in attendance at the Night of Hope. I didn’t know it that evening, but she reached out after the event. I was honored to hear that my story resonated with her, that she found comfort knowing there was someone else in the infertility community like her. That’s a HUGE reason I continue to speak up within the TTC community.

I look forward to reading your latest blog. I’ll hop over to your site soon…

Also, THANK YOU for your kind words about my “challeng[ing] those negative voices,” as well as your affirmation that you are “sure no-one was disappointed in [me].” This means more than I can express in words…

I, too, hope we meet in person someday. You’ve always been such a support of me and my work at Not So Mommy… Would be lovely to give you an in-person hug as thanks! 🙂

Reply
Sherry March 11, 2024 - 2:03 pm

You fought back and are even more fabulous! ❤💚🧡💜💪

Reply
Brandi Lytle March 11, 2024 - 5:26 pm

Awwww! THANK YOU! 🙂

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