A Letter To The Infertility Community
First, I want to say, this is a topic that is so near to my heart. Having been through this heart-wrenching trial, I have gained a perspective that many others have not. I am choosing to share this part of our life soon, but want to first speak with my friends I know - or perhaps I don't realize - are going through this right now. If this is a topic you think you know about, but have not experienced for yourself, I encourage you not to turn a blind eye, because I cannot tell you the shock I first experienced when I realized how many beautiful couples this affects. You know someone who is infertile. You may not ACTUALLY know they are infertile, but they are there, and they are hurting so deeply. God gave us peace in our struggle, and I hope my letter offers validation, hope, and love for those still in the midst.
Also, I realize this is not perhaps the most joyous way to announce my pregnancy on my blog (I’ve announced it on social media thus far), but truly, it is the way I feel most compelled to. Because I will never forget - and will perhaps revisit again - the raw emotion and foggy pain that infertility washed over us. I feel a great need to honor the beautiful, strong people I know who are facing this.
A Letter To My Infertility Community,
We’ve been trying to start our family for two years. It’s been a road filled with heartbreak, waiting (oh the pain in waiting), jealousy, devastation, hope and then hopelessness, sadness, and unmitigated aching.
Now, we are miraculously expecting. We are overjoyed and shocked, as any person who has struggled through infertility can imagine. For days, it was just plain disbelief. It happened to us! It’s the hope I know you cling to, that maybe it’ll happen to you too… by some miracle.
Yet you’re still there. Reading this. Waiting. Hoping. Feeling jealous, angry, and yet happy for us in some small way that we made it out of our suffering.
I want you to know, I think of you every day. The pain of infertility is fresh in my mind. Which is why I’m writing to you today. It’s why I’m writing this before I write a pregnancy announcement on my blog and plaster yet another thing where your hurting heart may see.
I see you. I validate you. And I know that you see our “two years" and perhaps scoff at our minuscule waiting period in comparison to yours or soooo many others. But try to remember. Remember how a few months in the very beginning felt like an eternity when you had no reason to think you’d struggle to conceive. How finding out your diagnosis (or lack thereof) was devastating whether it came at one year or five years into the journey. Remember that in no time at all, others began to “lap” you in their family planning endeavors and it hurt regardless of when it was in your struggle.
Know that even though we’re on the other side, I’ll always have one foot in the door of the infertility community. Cheering on those women who just want to be mommas. Who have miscarried over and over, and somehow find the strength to try again. To spend another fortune for just one more glimmer of a chance. Know that the silent sting of infertility and assumptive remarks of others have been burned into my heart, and I will promise to hold tight to the distinct perspective that comes with infertility. I will remember to check my sensitivity and always offer my ear and understanding to those going through this heart-wrenching battle so they never feel alone. Because oh how we know how lonely the infertility road can feel.
I need you to know that I pray for you. I’ve seen your moments of hope, drop to devastation in a matter of days, and it has broken me apart. Not as much as it has surely broken you, but it has nonetheless. I have cried with you, even if only on the other side of a screen. Infertility is torturous and unfair and dark. And yet, just knowing there is a listening ear when you’ve had to muddle through a day filled with pregnancy announcements and baby showers, is enough to refill your heart and remind you that someone understands. They know you’ll probably cry yourself to sleep (again) and begrudgingly drink a lot of wine, even though you’d give anything to not be allowed to consume it if it meant you’d have a baby soon in your arms.
I am a person of faith. I believe in Jesus Christ as my Savior and whether you do or not, He is my comfort and offers me the only true peace that cannot be found even in the arms of my husband. I pray that you find this peace as well. Whether in heartbreak or in joy, that you know there is peace that surpasses all understanding. That comes only from Christ and He is who I credit this miracle to.
Finally, thank you. Thank you for comfort, your prayers, your words of encouragement and understanding, your empathy while I vented, and for your unselfish joy when I shared our shocking news all those weeks ago. You were there that day, and knew before anyone else, and I’m so glad for it. You know the fear that comes with pregnancy after infertility - or can at least understand it - and yet, you were the first ones to say to me “You’re pregnant, girl, don’t doubt it - just enjoy!” Thank you for your loving “welcome” (does anyone really want to be welcomed to this?! haha) to the never-easy path of infertility. Your stories, vulnerability, and strength are beyond anything I’ve seen among humanity, and have given me a perspective I never thought I’d face, and yet in a way, I’m grateful to have learned compassion for those who face it.
I admire you all more than words can say, and I am privileged to know your journeys and continue to lift you up as you go, the way you did for me. I love you and I am here. Because infertility doesn’t just affect you and leave you once you have a baby. It’s with you always in some way or another, so I won’t be a stranger. In fact, we'll likely face it again.
Lastly, if you are reading this while experiencing infertility, and have no support or anyone to talk to, please don’t hesitate to message me. You are not at all alone (seriously, go to a fertility clinic waiting room and you’ll see!) and I want our story to be one of hope and compassion and respite for aching hearts. I am here. Infertility is lonely, but you don’t have to be alone. (Contact Me)
With all my love,