I was a little nervous when I posted my “Dear Baby” letter on Tuesday. I wasn’t sure what responses I would get as a result of stripping back the laughter for a minute and being vulnerable and honest. However, life isn’t always fun or happy, and I’m glad that it seems that post has been used to share comfort and empathy with others.
Infertility is never something that I thought I’d go through and certainly not something that I thought that I would share with the internet. But you don’t know what experiences life will throw at you, or how they will shape you once you begin walking through them.
Today is the last day of National Infertility Awareness Week, which was themed, “You Are Not Alone.” And while it certainly feels lonely and dark sometimes (maybe all the time), I encourage you to find someone – a friend, family member or a counselor – to confide in. While it will not eliminate your pain, you may find it a little more bearable. Even though our significant others are going through the same situation, I’ve found that my husband and I experience this in our own way and feel certain emotions at different times. It’s nice to have someone else to confide in when the frustration mounts and you need support from someone outside your situation to offer unbiased perspective.
If you’re not already familiar with RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association, I encourage you to use their website as an initial resource for yourself, your partner, or family and friends who don’t understand. Right now, they are also accepting submissions about infertility through the 2015 Bloggers Unite Program. You can read them here.
I’d also recommend that if you’re going through this to read and save “A Letter for Friends and Family…” that clearly articulates the struggle of couples going through infertility. Whether or not you actually share it with your circle, it’s full of great talking points when you receive the inevitable questions or unsolicited advice.
Finally, CNN had their readers submit personal stories about infertility, and it’s been reminder to myself that I’m not alone. You can find them here.
I understand that it’s hard to be hopeful the longer that you’ve been walking this journey. For some of us, it will not end the way we envisioned. But my wish for all of us is that we can find a place of peace and cling to the love we already have in our lives.
Speaking of that love, can I share a quick story about my amazing husband?
Today is almost three years to the date of our first miscarriage. When Pete sat next to me in the pre-op room waiting for me to be taken to the OR for the D&C, he tried his best to comfort me in all the ways he knew how. He stroked my face, kissed my forehead, held my hand, and smiled his most reassuring smile. (I swear his blue eyes could calm the whole ocean.) As we sat there in silence, we read each other’s faces and squeezed each other’s hands in silent response.
It was in that moment that Pete proved that he knew me better than anyone else. He sensed my fears, silently pulled out his iPhone and played… “I Don’t Feel Like Dancin’” by the Scissor Sisters. If you are at all familiar with that song, you know that the song makes you want to do the exact opposite – jump up and dance immediately.
It was so irreverent in the situation. So preposterously offensive to anyone else. But so completely perfect for me. As soon as it began playing, we both smiled and wiggled around on the hospital bed, laughing at the irony of the entire scene. It was exactly what I needed. Levity from the needles; sad looks and apologies from the caregivers; and the impending surgery.
We shared a last hug and kiss before I was wheeled away. All I could think then and all I know now is that I love this man more than anything or anyone in the world. He is perfect for me. His love cuts through my sadness. No matter what the future holds, I am blessed to have him by my side.
Embrace the love, my friends.