To the woman struggling with infertility
I hope you know that despite the total isolation you often feel, you’re not alone. I hope you know just how valid and real your feelings are. I hope you make space in your life to feel them. I hope you extend grace to yourself as you endure this difficult battle.
I know how your period has turned from something that once seemed to be just another part of life, to a painful monthly loss. The start of each one crushing every hope and dream you spent the last few weeks clinging to. I know you probably already knew what your due date would have been if you hadn’t gotten your period, and I know it’s so hard to let it go. I know how you walk out of the bathroom each time, and instantly begin to look to the next month. I commend your courage.
I know the struggle of a new year, and not the one we celebrate on January 1st. The one where you realize that since you didn’t get pregnant that month, you won’t be having a baby before this year ends. All hopes that “this year will be our year” wash away, and you set your sights on yet another year. I know this probably isn’t the first time you’ve had to do this. I know it doesn’t ever get any easier.
I know you grapple with your emotions every time you recoil when you see a pregnant woman or a baby. I know you often wonder if this makes you’re a terrible person. I know you keep reminding yourself that babies are a blessing, even if they aren’t yours. But still, your heart stings. I hope you know that you’re allowed to feel this way. I hope you know you’re not a bad friend, sister, aunt, or person. You’re human.
I know it feels like infertility will never end. As the months go by, it seems like all life has left for you is heartache. I wish I could tell you when your baby will come. Wouldn’t it be so much easier if we could just get confirmation that yes, your infertility WILL end at some point? It’s so hard to live with zero guarantees. But I hope you stay in the fight. I hope you wake up each day holding your own light, so it really doesn’t matter if you can see one at the end of the tunnel.
I hope you know that despite your difficulty in bearing children, you are still fruitful. You bring so much to this world. You are more than your ability to conceive. You are not defined by infertility. I hope you don’t lose sight of yourself in all of this.
If you’re like me, you’ve had losses along the way. I hope you don’t let anyone minimize the devastation in them. Whether your baby was large enough to wear a newborn onesie, or as small as a poppy seed, it was a life much loved. A life much wanted. There’s no such thing as a small loss. I hope you give yourself permission to grieve however you need.
I know it’s so hard to stand in front of this world and share the struggles you’ve been facing. I know it’s even harder when you’re often on the receiving end of comments like, “why don’t you just adopt?” Or “Maybe if you stop worrying about it so much it will happen.” I hope you know that for every hurtful comment you receive, there are countless more of us around the world, holding your heart in sisterly solidarity. I hope you can reach out and let us wrap our arms around you.
Another infertility warrior.
Support for Infertility:
•RESOLVE | www.resolve.org - Find a local support group, counselors, doctors, and online resources.
•Infertility Helpline (866.NOT.ALONE)
•In Due Time | www.in-due-time.com - Faith based support on Instagram, a private Facebook group, local groups in several cities nationwide, and a national conference.
•PALS | https://pregnancyafterlosssupport.com/pals-private-groups/ - Private online support groups for TTC after infertility and loss, and pregnancy after loss.
There are also so many of us on social media, sharing our stories as we walk through fertility treatments, loss and more. Please connect with us by searching through hashtags such as: #infertility #ivf #miscarriage #babyloss