I wanted to share a little bit about some needs that I, and other couples struggling with infertility may have. These are not inclusive and may not be for each couple. I realize that I may struggle differently than some other couples. It can vary depending on their situation and how far along on the path they are. What I am about to write is what has helped me in the healing/coping process. I say that because I am not sure you can consider infertility ever "healed". We just learn what works best for us to move forward in life.
I need you to try to understand. Try to understand that I may bow out of a conversation if it turns to pregnancy symptoms, birthing plans, or who the baby looks like. It will depend on how I am doing that day. Sometimes it won't bother me, but please don't feel bad when you look up and notice I am gone. I get it. I will try to leave silently and gracefully to not draw attention to myself. Try to understand that I may decline a baby shower. Try to understand when I invite you over and the kids are not invited. I just need to feel like I fit in somewhere. I need to not feel like the odd couple out.
I need encouragement. I need to hear you say that you are praying for us. That you know it must be hard for us, but that God knows our hurt and He has the perfect child for us. Encourage us to keep our chin up and that you support us.
I need friends that make an effort to include us in their life. Satan is really good at making us feel so alone. He makes it seem as if everyone else is too busy for us. And their lives are passing us by as we are standing still. I am thankful that I do have friends that do this and it means so much.
I need randomness. I need random texts from friends, parents, brothers, sisters. I need to know that they are randomly praying for me. Not only when we have a transfer or blood test coming up. Because we struggle daily. Not just when there is a step being taken.
I need you to remember us on Mother's Day. I have already struggled with this holiday for many years, but I know I have a bit more anxiety about it this year because of our miscarriage. Sunday's are already one of the toughest days to get through and this just adds on top of it. The sermon focuses on Mother's (as it should- it's just hard to sit and hear while you try to put on your brave face.) Mother's out there reading this, we do not begrudge you of the blessings you have. There should be a day dedicated to you and we are thankful for our own Mother's. Please don't take this wrong. We just hurt for us. That we haven't heard those words "Happy Mother's Day, Mom! I love you!" That we haven't had the chance to get a hand made construction paper card with flowers and hearts all over it made by our super proud children.
I need support. There are so many different ways to support us. Cards, phone calls, texts. But the most important way is by prayer. Prayer is so powerful and we can certainly feel it. God has been so good to us and we are thankful for each one that has shown us support in many different ways.
We need you to want to learn more. Learn about our adoption process. Learn about how you can support a friend during this process. Google is a great place to go if you are not comfortable just flat out asking your friend. There are many articles that you can read to help you gain understanding. I know far more than I ever thought I wanted to about the reproductive system, IVF, HCG, FSH, home studies, and background checks, and where you really should store your cleaning products, and what temperature your hot water should be set at. I always encourage my friends and family to ask me questions or educate themselves.
I need you to tell me about your pregnancy. Please. Before it shows up on social media, or before I'm standing in the middle of a group at church. I have several close friends that have sent me a text, card, or called to tell me they were expecting, but knew how hard it was for us and that they were praying for us. It means so much than you probably can imagine. I need time to process my sadness for myself so that I can focus on my happiness for them. All I need is a little time to make the shift :) I understand that it is very hard to tell me something like that. I honestly try to make it as painless as possible! :)
It is kind of like a grave that keeps following you around day after day as it swallows your hope and buries more of your dreams.
-Waiting For Baby Bird (blog)
It is loving your child you have never met.
It is mourning your child that you have never had.
It is the phone call that says, "I'm sorry, but your numbers are dropping and is not a viable for sustaining a pregnancy. You will miscarry soon."
It is a constant battle between your head and your heart. A daily challenge in putting ALL at Jesus' feet.
But what it will not do is:
Cripple my marriage
Shatter my hope
Destroy my peace
Kill my friendships
Silence my courage
Invade my soul
Conquer my spirit
Steal my dreams
It will not overcome me.
Because while I might bend, I won't break.
While I might fall down, I will get back up.
While I might lose my way for a bit, I'll find it again.
And while my wave of emotions might sometimes overwhelm me and take me under, I'll always kick back up to the surface.
Everything that infertility is... which is heartbreaking, dream shattering, and soul crushing... has made me fight for what it is not. And it is not going to win.
Again, these are my personal feelings and not meant to say that everyone that struggles with infertility feels the same. Please chime in if I have forgotten anything or if you have more topics you want me to cover about infertility. After re-reading this I hope I don't come across as "too needy", but wanted to share some ways you can support your friends walking this path in life. Blessings, friends. xoxo