To My Friend Who Is Trying to Get Pregnant
I see you, my sweet friend.
I see the pain you bear. I know the advice you’ve heard, “Have you tried, xyz?” “Don’t worry.” “Maybe it’s for a reason.” "Have you considered adoption?" "Just stop stressing and it will happen." I know the invalidation you haven’t been able to fend off. I know the responses that have angered you. I know the responses that have just plain hurt, despite their best intentions.
I know your deep, sometimes dark thoughts. “Did I do something to deserve this?” “Was it that thing I did?” “Surely, it’s that thing I did.”
I hear you joking about how tiring kids are and how moms just need a break, yet I see you desperately wishing to feel the exasperation of a child in your home. I see you desperately wishing and willing to do anything to hold a sweet baby inside of you and then meet that baby.
I’ve heard people give you other suggestions to assuage you and then seem put off when you stand by your desire to carry a child inside of you.
I’ve heard you wonder “Why can’t I get the same support I give?”
I’ve seen you look away from a child because you can’t bear to be in their presence at that moment because of your pain.
I’ve heard people tell you what you “should” be feeling, thinking or appreciative for.
I watched your face as people tell you “It happened for my friend. It will happen for you, too” while you wonder if it really will or what you would do if it “does" or “doesn't."
I’ve watched you research fertility, getting caught up on the latest research, only to think…”I just want a baby.”
I’ve heard medical professionals say that it starts in your body. I’ve heard them tell you, in so many ways, that it’s your body with the “issue” and that reproductive medicine starts with mom, then possibly dad. I’ve watched you try to advocate inside of a system that repeatedly tells you not to have hope, not to put all your faith in something and not to believe. I’ve seen your face when your medical team says “No promises. We can’t promise anything."
I saw you, as you decide to go down the road of IVF. "How will I afford this?" "I'll put myself through all of the pain and discomfort to hold a sweet baby, no brainer."
I’ve watched you experience all of this and fear “Would I even make a good mom? Is there a reason for this that I don’t see? If something is in my blindspot, I would do anything to fix it if it meant I could hold my sweet baby.”
I’m here to tell you have been surrounded by lies. The truth is: You are a mom. This journey is the beginning of your motherhood. Your body isn’t broken. You will find peace. You were meant for greatness, not a struggle. You are capable, despite the medical terminology in your chart. You are a mother and I run to you as a source of strength. You’re on a journey that gives you a richness. You have so much to offer the world in your journey of strength.
As your friend, I’m asking you to share with me your path. I promise not to be trite. I promise to let you just be with your emotions, thoughts and reactions, and not let my wanting to shield you from pain overtake your share. I promise to hear you with awe while finding inspiration in your language.
I’m you and you are me.