No, it wasn't that at all. It was something quite different. My thoughts were more along the lines of, Woah, girl. This is some serious stuff you're dealing with. Emotionally, spiritually, physically. My head is spinning just thinking about it. I give you loads of credit. I don't think I have it in me.
Of course, funny thing, it was me. But I can't even imagine being that person now. And it's not because I'm a mom. Heck no. It's because she was strong and driven and motivated and tireless (even though I was tired all the time, at least according to my old posts).
|Cuddling with my baby, circa 2009|
Now I think I've got it bad if I haven't gotten out of the house in a few days or if I don't get to sit down by lunch time. Those things have got nothing on the feeling of your heart being crushed right inside of you as you mourn the loss of babies who have never existed, all while trying to keep straight your myriad medical problems as you recover from a surgery or two or three.
|My mom and I, venturing out for the first time after my third surgery, annoying abdominal-wrap-thing under my dress.|
Infertility is some serious business.
I thought it was fresh in my memory. I could have sworn it was never far off, that it was like a muscle memory my body will always know. It's been four years this month since I conceived Luke, so secondary infertility (and now pregnancy loss) has brought up similar, albeit much more muted, emotions.
But I was wrong. Yes, the pain is memorable - that feeling like I couldn't breathe, the jealousy that I could feel eating away at my insides, the despair that I wondered if anyone could ever pull me out of. That, I remember.
It's the day-to-day effort, the sheer strength that was required, that I have forgotten. What went into taking that next breath, driving to doctor appointment after doctor appointment, keeping track of all my medications and levels and what needs to be tested next, charting, temping, researching adoption agencies, avoiding baby showers, attending baby showers, crying in bed, attempting to make sense of it all every second of every day, begging God endlessly to have mercy on me and make my husband a father; that's the stuff that I don't find myself thinking about anymore.
Those parts of infertility are like the labor - painful and necessary to reach the desired end (whether it be children or health, or both) but so overwhelming that my mind neatly tucks it away in its far recesses, like old blog posts that are forgotten until you search for them.
|Some much-needed respite from the throes of infertility, with those who understood|
And that's why I must say this: Infertility is incredibly hard. To those who are in the thick of it right now, I'm not going to tell you it'll all be okay because you very well know that no one can tell you that. But I can tell you that you are courageous simply because you are hanging on and living and breathing through every single moment, whether it hurts or not. And some of you, unlike myself on most days back then, are even managing to be joyful and hopeful through it all. And living your lives to the fullest. But if you struggle to do that too, don't worry. You are doing the very best you can. You are fighting the good fight for your family, no matter how that family ends up looking. I have to believe you are pleasing God.
Maybe you won't even see this (I know I didn't read blogs filled with smiling toddlers when I was suffering through infertility). And maybe you don't care what this mom-of-three who has "crossed over" has to say about it in the first place. But I know you. I was you. And I know you could probably use a pick-me-up. So please accept this virtual hug and high-five. Keep carrying that cross and inspiring those around you (because you are, even though you probably have no idea). I'm praying for you always.