I think a lot of times we are fearful of our emotions. They’re so out of our control. We can’t control when we feel them, how long we feel them or their intensity.
Infertility is a head-on collision of emotions. Everyday life is a trigger. Each piece of our marriages and relationships are touched by infertility. Wondering if your husband noticed the little boy wearing a matching football jersey to his father’s and if his heart strings tugged a bit. Anticipating pregnancy announcements on social media sites and wondering whether or not your happiness for your friends will outweigh your sadness. There isn’t a single thing I can think of that doesn’t somehow remind me of the thing we long to have.
I have found great solace in feeling. Feeling reminds me how bad I want it. It reminds me to not take my husband for granted because I am reminded everyday how badly I want to live with and love him forever. I am reminded how happy I am to have my sister close because I want her to teach my child all kinds of crunchy granola things (except the love of patchouli- please universe, let her leave this part out). I am reminded how desperately I wish to get back to my Midwestern roots because I had a childhood so great that I can’t imagine not sharing all those things with a child. I am reminded that my parents won’t be here forever and that I want more than anything for them to feel the love of their grandchild and to spoil that child rotten, much like they’ve done to their granddog and grandcats. And I am so often reminded of all the amazing aunts and uncles our child will have because my friends are so amazing they are like family to us and will always be honored as such.
I remember a few years ago, before our journey into the world of family creation, I read the blog of a woman who was pregnant with a child with a genetic condition that would not allow the baby to survive outside of her womb. And she wrote so beautifully of how, on the day of her induction, the day her baby was going to die, that she was awoken by the movings of her child inside of her. The kicks, the pokes, the stretches. She wanted sleep. She didn’t want to wake up for that day. She wasn’t ready to say goodbye. But she sat. And she felt.
She felt each one of those kicks, she welcomed more of those pokes, and she rubbed each part of her belly as her baby stretched. It was going to be over but she was going to remember how her baby felt. And she sat in those emotions–sour and bittersweet, but she felt them.
The infertility community is forced to feel. Even in the inopportune moments of real life. When we don’t want to. When we can’t shut our minds off. When we force a smile through a situation that makes us want to pull the covers over our heads.
I will not tell my infertile friends to ever think positive- for that is much harder than you can imagine. I will not tell my infertile friends that modern medicine will fix things- it might not. I will not tell my beautiful friends that they will find a rainbow- not every one is allowed a happy ending. I will not tell them to be patient. They are justified in feelings those things.
What I will tell them is that sometimes a cry feels good. I will tell them that in the tears there is relief. I will tell them that luck does not belong to us but that there is grace in our journey. That we will love harder than most. And that feeling grounds you. It helps you remember each crack in the sidewalk, each helping hand, every moment that meant something.
You will feel loved by those who supported you and those who continued to support you even if they got a rainbow–especially the ones who remembered what advice and happy stories felt like on the darker side of that rainbow. Those are the ones worth spending feelings on. Feel love. Feel sadness. Feel dispair. It’s yours to feel. You are right to feel them and it is okay to stall over them– it is okay. Remember to let someone else help you feel them if their weight is too much for you. They are there. We are here.