You woke up this morning with joyful anticipation–hoping to see that little pink plus sign.
You’ve been trying to have a baby for what feels like your entire life. You’ve wondered if you’ll be buying little pink bows or tiny blue bow ties. After viewing the endless stream of proud parents litter your Facebook newsfeed for a few years, you’re ready to have a few pictures to post yourself. You look at each photograph with a mix of emotions; you don’t mean to feel the pang of jealousy twisting it’s sharp knife in the depths of your belly, but you do. You can’t help but barter with God:
“If you give me a baby, I will never…”
“If I see that plus sign, I promise I will always…”
Just fill in the blank. Your friends all ask you when you’re going to start your family or grow your family; and you’d like to know that answer yourself. All you want is to know when…and if…and why…
Maybe you saw that plus sign; maybe you were able to carry your little baby for a few precious weeks or months and now he or she is resting in the arms of the one whom you bartered with just a few months ago. Maybe you had to go through the pain of labor and were devastated not to hear your baby cry.
Maybe you have never seen that plus sign–or the word pregnant without the dreaded “not” in front of it. Each month is insanity; you keep trying over and over without any success. Maybe your friends are all getting pregnant, whether on purpose or accident, and you ache with an intense mixture of joy and sorrow. You don’t mean to feel it, but you do. You can’t help it.
Maybe you’ve lost all hope; maybe you have started to believe you will never hold your own little one in your arms.
Whatever your scenario, I want you to know with certainty that it is not your fault. You didn’t work out too much or move too little; it wasn’t the cheese dip you ate while trying to conceive your little one; it wasn’t the pre-natal vitamin you didn’t take that morning because the hormones from the invitro were making you nauseated. It wasn’t anything you did or didn’t do. Because the fact remains that it is not your fault.
You are beautiful and strong and you are still just as much of a woman as the mother who lives next door. There is nothing wrong with you. You are lovely and kind and you are enough.
You are enough for your husband; if he could carry your grief, he would. Irrationally, you believe that he will never mourn this loss like you have. Sometimes, you think he will never know the guilt that comes with female infertility. But he grieves with you; he isn’t mad at you; all he wants is to be your rock, even though, some days, he has to fake it. He wants to share the journey of parenthood with you more than anything…because he loves you; even more than the babies you haven’t had yet.
Give your (fertile) friends grace; they don’t know what to say, or what not to say. Sometimes we fumble with our words as we say them because we’re trying to be delicate and loving, but the words taste harsh and empty as we say them. We don’t understand, but we ache for your sorrow. You must know that we love you.
Until that time, remember that it is not your fault.