This is a much more serious post than what I am used to writing about. Usually it's something uplifting about my kids or my husband or my vocation. Honestly, I'm not even sure why I am writing about it. About half of you will think this is too personal to share online, forty percent will not get it and think it's not "that bad", and then ten percent of you will cover me in prayer. That's why I writing. I need those "ten percent" prayers. And also, to be honest, I want to be honest. I think I'm just tired about writing around the thing consuming 75 percent of my thoughts. Writing is also healing for me, conquering my fears by putting them in words. And since many of you have asked if I am pregnant again yet...
As most of you know, I lost my first baby four years ago in an ectopic pregnancy. That I have shared before. And many of you have commented on my luck with fertility since then. It's true, to lose a tube and achieve two successful pregnancies essentially back to back is a miracle and I thank God for those miracles every day and then some. Through everything I have not lost sight of how blessed I am.
Still, the ectopic pregnancy has left me with some scars, both physical and emotional, that have been hard to recover from. It has become clear to me at this point that the large family I always dreamed of may not be within my grasp.
To those of you who know the pain of infertility on a much deeper level than myself, you have my deepest sympathy. So many of you carry a much heavier cross than I and I weep with you. I've been able to have two healthy daughters and I in no way take them for granted or believe that I can compare my situation to the pain of never being able to conceive. All I know is the struggle that I have faced in the past twelve months and will continue to face in the years ahead will constantly remind me to keep you in my prayers.
To those of you who take your fertility for granted, please remember that nothing is certain. You may complain about avoiding for now and tomorrow look back with regret. Maybe, maybe not. But please remember that there are people who would love to be in your shoes so please offer up your nausea and sleep deprivation for them.
Infertility if one of those things that people don't want to hear about. Sometimes I wonder if it's because it goes on for so long. In the beginning people just dismiss it and tell you that "everything will be alright" and by the time months and months have passed people are just tired of hearing about it. They think you "talk about it too much" and maybe even judge your faith. You hear "offer it up" and "look on the bright side". Talks of God's will and what else you can accomplish with those nine months it would take you to bear a child. It's not helpful. None of it is. Those of us who struggle generally know that God has a higher purpose and that if we do not understand it in this life, we will finally get it in the next. That doesn't make our heartbreak any less real or our faith any less strong. If anything, those I have witnessed suffer the most tend to be the holiest. Where else do you go when you are lost except to God? I can't pretend to speak for everyone, not even close, but I can speak for myself when I say is that what we need is for someone to say, "Yes. That sucks. I will pray for you." Someone to listen when we call and be with us when we weep.
I don't particularly think my situation is as serious as most, as evidenced by my two beautiful daughters, but after wanting to be pregnant again for almost a year now (a year doesn't that long until you go through it and then it feels like an eternity) and knowing that it has not happened and that I am only 26, I realize that it may also be a much more bumpy road ahead than I had originally thought.
And praise God, right? Because in my suffering I can be more united with him and with Our Lady. Still, it hurts. It hurts so badly that sometimes I can barely breathe. And there are some ladies I know of who have it so much harder than I do. For them I have no words.
If you are uncomfortable with what to say to someone struggling with infertility, I am sure we all know someone, please do not say the following:
"Well isn't pregnancy so hard?"
"Kids are really expensive anyway."
"It will happen. Just have faith."
"Wow it would be crazy if I got pregnant again before you."
"Maybe you should have more sex."
"At least you are able to be there for the kids you already have instead of dealing with another newborn."
"Look on the bright side..."
"I'm sure nothing is wrong."
"Just go have a drink and enjoy not being pregnant."
"Maybe it's a good thing because...."
"If you stop worrying it will just happen."
"At least you already have some kids."
And yes, those are all things that people, with probably the best of intentions, have said to me. And to someone who isn't hurting, most of those sound like legitimate responses. To me it feels more like salt on a wound rather than a band aid or stitches.
Also, please do not complain about your pregnancies or fertility to someone struggling. I know that personally I am always joyful for new life even if it takes me a second to get over my grief for myself. And I would love to hear about your babies and pray for your struggles. Just don't call me to complain.
Just try to be respectful of feelings and when in doubt, offer your prayers and sympathies. You can never go wrong with that. And listening helps too. I figure stuff out by talking it out. In fact, I'm pretty sure that listening to me blab in this blog entry has already shaved some time off of purgatory for you. Congrats. Thank me later. ;)
For all I know I could end up pregnant next month, or in a year, or never. Only God knows. I'm trying to take this all one day at a time and seek councel from a strong, Catholic doctor that understands fertility and respects my faith.
I am filled with joy at God's goodness to me. I have more than I ever dreamed or will ever deserve. I have more than many. But I'm still allowed to say, "Yes. My heart is broken." It's full and broken all at the same time. I'm going to strive to continue to exude joy no matter what happens in the future because God is still good. I hope you will understand my moments of weakness.
So do what you want with this post. I'm expecting the spectrum from eye rolling to sympathy. I just wanted to be honest. We all have our crosses, our struggles, this is mine. I cannot complain but instead want to share my struggle and in humility ask for prayer because I will be much stronger covered in prayer.