To my friend battling infertility issues, infertility and miscarriage
You tried to hide your emotions the other day, but I noticed. Our friends were talking about pregnancies and new babies; you subtly became quiet and I saw your face drop. I know what you’re going through, and I care.
I was you…for years.
For years, we tried unsuccessfully to add to our family. Soon the joy of seeing two pink lines on that darn stick became “Here we go again”, not feeling any joy because I knew the baby developing inside me would stop growing. Instead of being excited about life within me, I’d be saddened by death in my womb.
For years, I would go to a sonogram and hold my breath, waiting to hear my baby’s heartbeat. If I could will it to beat, I would have – but I couldn’t. A baby whose heart just couldn’t keep beating beyond eight weeks. And the tears would fall. And my heart would break. Again.
For years, I could not go to baby showers. I wanted so badly to be happy for my friends, but I couldn’t. The unfairness of it all was unbearable, and I couldn’t put on a happy face. My friends would come to work during maternity leave to share their new bundles of joy. I would see them down the hall and abruptly turn around, going in the opposite direction to find something to do that would keep me off the visiting path. How could I hold their Little One knowing I was robbed of mine? It just wasn’t fair. Nor was it fair for my sadness to cast a shadow on their joy. So I opted to be invisible. It was win-win for both of us, or so I believed.
For years, I heard the words “I’m sorry” at the OB’s office. I became numb to the whole experience. Loss was my norm. How pathetic is that? My husband would ask, “How many times are you going to go through this?” And, honestly, I didn’t know. I just knew that there was a longing in my heart to birth another baby and bring life into this world.
And then, I was blessed to get pregnant (again) and the baby grew into the second semester. I breathed a small sigh of relief when I made it past twenty weeks, but the losses were still too fresh and the hurt too raw, that I waited each day for that life inside me to be snatched away. While I saw friends relishing in the joy of pregnancy, sharing progressive baby bump pictures from 5 to 40 weeks – well, I was too scared to say anything believing a loss was just around the corner and resisted any urge to share my secret with the world.
I don’t know how long you’ve been walking that path, but I just want you to know that you’re not alone.
Maybe you don’t need a confidant or a friend in your corner, but I know I did. I needed that friend who understood what I was going through (because she too walked this path), who would let me call to say “It happened again,” and who would not ask a single question but simply sit in silence while I sobbed. People who haven’t experienced infertility and loss just can’t grasp the frustration, the disappointment,and the anger. It’s a depressing connection to have with a friend, but I am honestly glad I had someone to share the moment with.
I prayed for you last night. I hope you felt strength from that. I also hope you know I am here, in whatever capacity you need a friend.
If you want to hear what options we took (and which ones we opted not to use) to try to facilitate a successful pregnancy, I’m here.
If you want to yell and scream about the unfairness of infertility, I’m here.
If you want someone to hug you and sit in silence, because there are no words for sadness on our hearts at a time like this, I’m here.
If you want to talk about your emotions, without being judged and without being analyzed, I’m here.
If you want to hear stories to see how similar (or different) our paths are, I’m here.
When I ask you, “How are you doing?” – know I truly care. When you answer, “I’m fine”, I will translate that into, “When I’m ready to talk and need you, I know you’re there.
Sweet friend, you may feel lost on your path, alone and empty. But know you are not alone. Even if we don’t talk about it, I am praying for you and I am hoping for you and if I could take away all your hurt, I would.