I remember it like it was yesterday, although I only think about it this time of year. We were sitting at a restaurant and a family–three generations–was seated nearby. They were passing around a new baby like a hot potato. I was fine, actually feeling joy for them, until someone held up the baby Lion King-style. That’s when I lost it. I felt the heat rise in my cheeks and the tears fill my eyes. I tried to get it under control but after we paid our bill we took a little walk where I really let loose.
We were a couple days away from Lent, and around Easter I was scheduled to have another procedure (likely my last, regardless of outcome) to try and conceive. It’s really hard to describe the emotions, and yet I can feel it in my chest and throat the minute I go back there mentally.
We had been on this journey for about 5 years, and even though I was by no means weary of the procedures, there’s only so many times you can try. This felt like a turning point one way or another: if we got pregnant and delivered a healthy baby, great; if we didn’t, what was next? Neither of us felt like we fit in suburbia without kids, and Levi pastored a church full of young families.
I had been so good about pulling on genuinely happy emotions for the dozens and dozens of friends who added to their families during these years, yet I was beginning to grow tired of baby showers and meal deliveries to new moms.
I was weary of the questions and unsolicited opinions from friends, family and strangers, I’m sure with good intentions. I’d heard my share of advice on how to have sex, how to truly relax, how to let go of wanting a biological child and adopt, and how their neighbor’s sister’s niece got pregnant after all these years, and all she did was go to Hawaii!
Dealing with infertility is a very lonely experience. I cannot imagine walking through it without the support of Levi and you. You were the one I called when I learned how to give myself shots, you were the one I vented to when I was on a hormone-induced rant.
In the weeks to come I’d like to tell some of those old stories here. I hope you’ll relive them with me and take a fresh look at how much we’ve learned.
What is crazy I remember you telling me this story like it was yesterday but it has to be at least three years ago! I can feel the pit in my stomach as you shared watching those people hold their baby. I remember not knowing what to say because even though I, too, had my share of visits to the fertility doctor, my daughter was conceived in the first round of “tries.” What words of comfort can you give to someone when you really have no way of seeing the future?
I also remember feeling relieved that you were admitting how much you wanted a child. You were so good at being genuinely happy for others that I felt it was unfair that you weren’t always able to express your desire for a baby.
You and I have been praying for our friends who are waiting for their children. I’d love for us to be able to tell others about the feelings we had and how to walk alongside friends who are going through the same. We have discussed wanting to eventually have a place where we can lift up those who are waiting for their children and soon this will be the place.
I’m looking forward to remembering with you, and maybe even learning something new, about your journey towards your beautiful children.