Monday, April 20, 2015

You are Not Alone

I've skipped church -- unable to enter the doors altogether, simply because I knew the flowers on blouses and the words from the pulpit and the "asking the moms" to stand would simply be more than I was emotionally able to bear.

I've laid in my bed and cried the hard cry -- the cry that comes from the very deepest part of you, and in truth, is not a cry of sadness as much as it is one of deep, gut-wrenching pain over our infertility journey that was entering yet another year.

I've attempted to go to a baby shower only to find myself in the bathroom, willing that lump in my throat to please go away as other ladies chatted and talked about things I could only dream about.

I've sung happy birthday to a one-year-old as he stuffed cupcake in his face, and stood there, mumbling prayers and pleadings -- begging for the chance, somehow, to be the Mommy of a little someone.

I've tried to turn my head from the television when a story of a woman abandoning their child popped up -- only to find myself glued to the screen as the story of an unwanted pregnancy, an unwanted child was shared.

I've sat in a doctor's office as the tiny waiting room filled with a seemingly unending sea of pregnant women, some half my age, all with huge bellies and expectant glows, yearning to have a chance at what seemed so easy for them.

I've flipped through brag albums as fast as possible.
I've sent my regrets for events I just couldn't attend.
I've walked out of church when a message on parenthood was announced.
I've mumbled my congratulations and then sobbed when alone.
I've watched everyone but me succeed.
I've caught my breath walking by a rack of onesies.
I've dreamed.
I've prayed.
I've begged.
I've hurt.
I've quit.
I've begun again.
I've given up.
I've picked myself up and decided to give it "one more try."

I've felt infertility.
And I never, ever, want another woman to feel what I have felt.

People who have not experienced this disease just cannot comprehend the pain involved with the loss of a dream -- with the loss of a child that never was.

But I can.
And so I will never stop sharing what I've felt.
I will never not remember that pain.
I will stand alongside any woman who wants me to hold their hand.
And I will remember.
And confirm.
And encourage.
And dream with them.
And understand.

I've fallen in love with a child I have never met and seen him in my dreams and attended his birthday party and planned for his future and kissed and hugged and wanted him with every facet of my being.

I've felt that.

And I'll never let another woman feel it without knowing that I've felt it too and that I understand and that I will be there for them in any way I can.

They are not alone.

To those women (you know who you are) who I have stood beside through infertility, adoption, success, and failures -- thank you for letting me remember.

And to those women who I am standing beside right now, please know that I will never forget.

For more information on infertility, please visit the links below:


denise said...

Beautifully written, Wendi. It's a part of your DNA now. I feel it too. I was shocked at how hard I felt it as I celebrated my first Mother's Day in church. All the emotions came back and I had to get out of there! I silently struggled until one precious couple took us out to dinner and said they saw our struggle because they had lived it also. Suddenly we weren't alone. Someone else got it! They are precious friends to this day even though we live many miles away. I would have loved to keep my story private. I'm that type of person. God has humor and blessed us with triplets. So now everyone and their brother asks if our children are "natural". It has allowed friends from the past and present to privately ask me about my struggle, because they are going through it. It has made me talk about it and pray for them and cry with them. It's a deep struggle! Thanks for writing this!

Anonymous said...

This has been one of the hardest things I've been going through, myself! The hardest part about it is others not knowing why you don't have kids and asking when, why I don't . This is something even my husband can't grasp, that I might not be able to conceive. Thank you for this nice post.

Anonymous said...

It is also tough when your "fertility issues" are simply because you and your spouse aren't exactly on the same page anymore about if and when to have children. I still feel all those losses and heartbreak that you mentioned (mumbled congratulations, broken dreams, jealousy, etc), and yet I don't deserve to associate myself with those experiencing infertility because I haven't experienced THAT kind of heartbreak. It doesn't even make it any easier to try and answer the questions "when" or "why" because there is no tangible reason why I don't have children (many people think you can just talk them into it, just like that), and no legitimate reason for feeling so heartbroken over it. And there is almost nothing I can do about it - except try to figure out how to be happy for others when the coming gift in their lives is the exact thing that I am so desperate to receive in mine - well, that, and hope that my spouse and I return to the same page before it's too late.

Even though our paths to these emotions are very different, I do understand, at least a little bit, how painful these feelings are. It is comforting to know that there are others feeling similarly - though I sincerely hope that one day they will experience joy equal to the pain they currently feel. Thank you for sharing.

constance said...

Thank you. I felt all of this once like a fresh open wound and then was at last blessed. Going through it for my daughter hurts the same as it did then and with the added pain that someone I love is suffering. Thank you for sharing, for putting the pain into words and for helping other folks find an end to the anguish.

Dr. Linda said...

Wendi, there are tears rolling down my face as I read this. So beautifully and eloquently written. Thank you for being so supportive of me and so many others. Love you.

anneli said...

This post gave me tears in my eyes although I am content with my life as it is now. Just knowing that someone "knows" how it feels and expresses it. There is a silent voice for those who experience this trial.
Thank you for this.