Making Lemonade

There is an old saying, when life hands you lemons make lemonade.

There is another version of the saying that says when life hands you lemons grab tequila and salt.

Either way, I despise these sayings.  Firstly, I am not a fan of lemonade and not a big fan of using alcohol to solve my problems.  But even more, I hate these sayings because when life sucks, I just don’t need to hear about how my life is like lemons and I should just buck up and move on.

When my life handed me lemons (ergo recurrent pregnancy loss), I actually tried living by the make lemonade motto.  The problem is, without the right ingredients I just felt forced to improvise.  And constantly improvising got tiring.

After a little while of mixing, and adding new ingredients you come to the realization that maybe just maybe trying to make make lemonade the old fashioned way was never going to work.  Simply, I started to realize that it is not as simple as add water, a dash of sugar, and some ice to my lemons.  The recipe to our family was never going to be that simple and to pretend it would be was just plain old stupid.

Instead, my lemonade required:

I don’t know the exact recipe for my lemonade, but it sure seems to be complicated and based on adding a dash of one thing and maybe removing a bit of something else.  It’s been a work in progress.  Some days it doesn’t taste great, other days it seems like we should start a new batch. And it has taken a tonne of effort and work to pull myself through those hard days.  And it’s taken a lot of effort to appreciate the good days when the good days aren’t what I ever expected of planned for.

Honestly, my lemonade recipe is a work in progress.  I am trying to write it all down.  It’s based in trial and error.  It’s not a traditional recipe. Others may never be able to follow it exactly. Infertility and baby loss just doesn’t work that way, it’s too personal to replicate.  But I hope by sharing, the good tasting moments and the bad ones, that someone else will be able to pull out tidbits that will help them create their own version of lemonade.

And whether or not we all discover our ideal recipe, at least we can sit together (even if only through the blogging world) and compare our ingredient lists.  And at the same time, share some tears and laughter and hope for one and other.

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31 Comments on “Making Lemonade

  1. Yes!! I also dislike when people try to dismiss the real issues at hand by telling people to suck it up and move on. Part of dealing with things in a healthy way is allowing yourself to process it, and everyone does this a bit differently. I think you’ve got the right idea, and through the years of shitty lemons being thrown at you, you and Mr. MPB are so equipped to deal with difficult things. I hope there are no more lemons, and that someone brings you the oranges you wanted 🙂


  2. Why do we say this crap to people? It basically negates any emotion that isn’t sheer joy at the fact life has just sucker punched you. Human beings are given a range of emotions for a reason, and happiness is just one.

    Life handed me lemons, and you know what I’m doing on them? I’m sucking on them until they don’t taste good anymore. I’ll move on when I’m good and ready.


    • I love your approach, because honestly, I think that’s what almost everyone does! We can only move on from something when we are ready, whenever that might be. Love to you my friend.


      • Clearly, this struck a chord with me. I so wish we allowed people to have genuine feelings, rather than only the ones that are “pretty” or “easy.”


      • I totally hear you on this one! To be fair, the designer didn’t tell us we had to smile, we actually made the decision a photo album of us would not be all that great if we weren’t smiling.


  3. I really enjoyed this post because I can relate it to it so much…..I don’t think people think about the words they use too much of the time. Lemonade & infinite amounts of alcohol is not going to dissolve that pain. I am glad you found support systems that are positive!


  4. I’ve never cared for either of those saying either. In fact, when some have said them to me, I’ve honestly been baffled. Like – how on earth could you use such a careless and stupid saying to try and comfort and/or remedy the issue? To me it doesn’t make sense. BUT, I like where you took this thought process. You made your own “lemonade” and went with the flow. Sure it certainly didn’t look like what you or anyone else thought it would, but you’re surviving the best way you can. I think that’s just called being a bad-ass… Not making lemonade 🙂


    • Thanks so much for relating, I think people, no matter what they have experienced in life (infertility or not) can relate in some way. Pain is pain, and to dismiss it so simplistically with sayings like these just doesn’t make sense to me.


  5. I agree with your sentiment. Just because you have lemons doesn’t mean you need to make lemonade. Everyone will make up their own original recipe with whatever ingredients they were dealt in life. Really good post. 🙂


  6. Ha! Yes…dislike those sayings too…our recipes are tough though right?? Like don’t even know how it’s going to turn out…but I’m throwing a bunch of shit in the blender and it’s going to be the best thing ever! That’s how I’m going to think about it now…the end result will be exactly what I wanted 🙂 xoxo


  7. Oh my god, I love the oranges meme. Hilarious. Yup, I don’t really like the “make lemonade” bit either, because it implies that a) you can fix things that may just be unfixable and b) that you should suck it up and make the best of a bad situation. Now making the best of a bad situation is necessary, because I know that I can’t stay in a dark hole of sadness forever. I have to pick myself up and keep going (and it sounds like you do, too). BUT, I don’t like being told what to do on that front. And yes yes yes to needing a boatload of ingredients to make that lemonade. I have sardonically enjoyed so much when people realize through my experience that “Just Adopting” is a big fat misconception. And that just being a really good person and really working hard and striving doesn’t always result in the oranges you want. Love this post!


    • You make such a good point about the fact that these simple saying imply that we can fix a situation that simply cannot be fixed, as if we have control over it. Or as if we can simply get over it when we cannot fix the situation.
      Also, I too have really enjoyed having people learn from us that “just adopt” is not that easy, and in fact its really challenging!


  8. I love this post. I’ve never really thought about “making lemonade” the way that you have, but it’s really opened my eyes. I hate when people say to basically suck it up, knowing full well if they were in the same position they probably wouldn’t be coping half as well as you are in that moment.


  9. I never really liked that saying either. And I don’t believe in basically telling people to suck it up and move on, instead of listening and trying to help. Love this post!


    • Thanks so much Amy!! Like you, telling someone to suck it up and move on is just not the right approach. Thoughtful compassion seems like such a better way to support each other. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  10. I love this post. Your pain is very real and lemonade is much easier to make than life is to live. You are doing great.


  11. ” Infertility and baby loss just doesn’t work that way, it’s too personal to replicate.”



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