Wednesday, January 12, 2011

What Not To Say Part II...

Yes, it's true. This post is just begging for a Part II (at least!). To be completely honest, I am SO SO sad that these hurtful, yet well-intentioned comments resonate so deeply with so many of you. BUT, on the other hand, I must agree with commenter CholeClan (who is proudly and admittedly my Mom and best friend :-)) that I am also SO SO thankful to know so many other women who will risk their pain and sadness to share with others. I know from personal experience that it takes MAJOR guts to trust others' with a part of you that is so raw, and so awful, and painful, and dark. So many of us are or have been in this together... in this world of infertility that was never a part of our dreams when we were little girls.

Honestly, never once did I think, "I am going to grow up, meet my prince charming, have a beautiful wedding surrounded by my family and friends, take my temperature every morning, make breakfast, take a pill, go to work at a job I absolutely love, chart my CM, make love as much as we want but make sure that it also coincides with my 'eggwhite', stay up late talking about our dreams, teach my hubby how to give hormone injections even though never once did he think, "Hey, I have a future as a nurse!", get a PAP 6 times a year, add some surgery in the mix..." and all the while wonder if we're even SUPPOSED to conceive a child.

Regardless, here we are. Can I be honest with you?

I AM SO THANKFUL THAT WE CAN'T GET PREGNANT!!!

Nope, I'm not crazy! If we had gotten pregnant when we started trying 4 years ago, we wouldn't have Hannah! The thought of missing out on this perfect, amazing little girl makes me sick to my stomach. Wanna know something else?

I'M SO THANKFUL THAT WE CAN'T GET PREGNANT!!!!

Because there is NO WAY in this world that I want to miss out on the next precious, perfect baby or babies that God has picked for us! NO.WAY.IN.HELL!! (Excuse my language... it's just the truth) I get butterfly's in my stomach and lose my breath when I think of the next sweet miracles that will join our family! So as a follow up to my vent above... never once did I think,

"I am going to grow up, meet my Prince Charming, dream together about starting our family, try to start our family the conventional way, struggle for a while, finally realize God's true plan for our family, complete our home study, wait "patiently", meet an amazing couple who had a 10 day old baby girl, bring her home 13 hours later, realize 13 hours and 1 minute later that she's more perfect and incredible than anything Prince Charming and I could have ever possibly hoped to make together, thank God for the miraculous plan He had for us from day 1 (and thank Him also for the entire messy process of realizing His perfect plan), and be ready in 2 years to do it all over again."

But here we are :-)

I feel that it's necessary to speak to our friends and readers for whom pregnancy was part of their perfect plan. The majority of my friends have given birth to precious baby boys and girls.  To some, pregnancy has come easily, to others' it has come with a lot of heartache and struggle but still, it has come and there are others still who got pregnant once or twice with no problem and are now facing difficulty with a second or third pregnancy. I want to go on the record on behalf of every women who commented on Part I and speak to our friends who may not know what "infertility" feels like:

First of all, thank you for being there for us. Thank you for listening. We know you can't possibly understand the emotions and darkness that we have or are going through but your support means so much to us... SO MUCH!

Second, we are so thankful that you DON'T have to experience what we have. I firmly believe that every family is built in a very unique, perfect way; one that is hand chosen by God based on the way He created us... individually. Your children are precious and perfect. Your plan is perfect. So is ours :-)

Thirdly, and possibly most importantly.... WE REJOICE WITH YOU WHEN YOU'RE PREGNANT! I have so often been the last to hear the exciting news that a close friend is expecting because they are afraid of hurting my feelings or making me sad. This couldn't be further from the truth, friends! Your news is SO exciting to me! What hurts is NOT the news itself, it's that you didn't allow me to celebrate with you.

I'll follow this with a bit of ugly honesty; When a friend tells me that she's expecting, nine times out of ten, I will go home and be sad. I'll cry. I'll feel a little bit of jealousy that pregnancy was chosen for you. (The feelings are similar to those you experience when a friend announces her engagement and you're thrilled for her and pissed off for you :-)) BUT... this has nothing to do with you or your amazing news. It has to do with me, with my insecurities, and it has to do with me not understanding the plan for OUR family... yet. The plan will unfold. It WILL come. And we know without a doubt that you will be there to celebrate with us... so please let us celebrate with you!

Maybe you're not experiencing infertility, but do you know someone who is? Do you have a question that I (or other readers) can answer that will help you know how to support your friend?

I already know that so many of you are experiencing infertility; is there something else I can add to the list of things we want our friends to know?

Please share... let's continue to build a community where we can discuss, ask, and even vent. I'm loving it so far :-)

Reminder: Please use respectful language when referring to anyone; other women struggling with infertility, birthmoms, pregnant women in general, and yes, even family :-)

9 comments:

  1. I love these posts! I recently had someone email me about what to say to those dealing with infertility. And, if you don't mind, I am going to link these posts with my own! I can completely relate to how you described the thoughts and feelings around finding friends are pregnant.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks Jill! I love it when women are able to be transparent and share with each other and I wish so badly that someone had said these things when we were in the midst of the most difficult parts of our infertility. Link away :-)

    ReplyDelete
  3. Great points! I've had friends hesitant to tell me they're pregnant thinking they were going to hurt me, which could not be any further from the truth. I'm thrilled for them and always rejoice with them!

    ReplyDelete
  4. For me, I think it is hard to say congrats to anyone saying they are pregnant. I want to be happy for them, but I'm just not. It's hard to see people announce that they are pregnant or say that it is an whopsi and they don't have the financial resources and are already struggling. I know we don't have all the answers and it is in Gods hands. It is just so frustrating every time I turn around and someone else is announcing that they are expecting. It seems as if everyday obfind out someone new is pregnant.

    ReplyDelete
  5. This is a lovely blog... I really love to hear what you said about adoption.... I'm the anonymous that posted on your blog last time about how people always say, "I bet when you adopt, then you'll get pregnant...". I know God makes no mistakes and I know the baby that lands in my arms will be the exact baby He has hand chosen for me.. biological or adopted.

    It's definitely a struggle to put on the happy face for others when they get pregnant. I do great some days, and terrible for others. I had a huge smack in the face a few months ago... My hubby and I have been trying for a year and we're so excited in our hopes to conceive because it would be the first grandchild on both sides... Well, his 21 year old sister got pregnant from a drunken one night stand then did not tell any one, take vitamins, or go to the doctor until she was 20 weeks pregnant! THEN she finds out it is a boy and I have to hear her and my in-laws complain because they really wanted a girl.... ugh... BLESS HER HEART... She is pregnant with a perfectly healthy baby boy by the Grace of God... bless her heart... ugh! So that was really when I was at my lowest of lows... Now I have to put on happy face at holidays and baby showers while everyone talks about her baby and how excited they are... and she complains about how fat she is getting. Never once did any of my in-laws acknowledge how sad I must be or how it may be hard on me. They even asked if I would throw her a shower and they are FULLY aware of what I'm going through!! ICING on the cake... my sis - in- law originally wanted to give the baby up for adoption and my in-laws have TALKED HER OUT OF IT!... BRIBED her in so many ways... and said how there was no point in "someone else raising *their* baby" and how "selfish" it was to give up a baby..... ALL THE WHILE KNOWING WE WANTED TO ADOPT! It's really put some strain on the relatinship with the family...

    ReplyDelete
  6. Hi ladies! I'm so glad you are sharing... I know that you both represent another majority of women who feel the same way as you do. I felt that way once, too. I think things must have changed for me when we brought Hannah home but it's true that I haven't forgotten how tough it was sometimes to be happy for others'. I guess it's kind of like how things change when you are finally the one who's getting married :-)

    I also think it's important to point out that IT'S OK to be sad and even mad when a friend becomes a Mom when that's all you want for yourself. Actually, it's normal! Unfortunately, we end up feeling guilty, right? I still don't think it takes away from the happiness we have for THEM... it just adds to the sadness we have for US :-/

    I do want to make one thing perfectly clear ('S', you touched on it and I'll just expand)... I have had the honor of knowing many birthparents; our own daughter's, both of my brothers', birthmoms I've met through blogging, etc and every one of them is anything BUT selfish. In fact, they are so selfless that I am humbled to know them. They have taught me lessons that no one else could teach me... and every one of them has changed my life (and my families lives) forever.

    I am SO sorry for the strain that's been placed on your relationships... it's not fair. And in so many ways, failing to be sensitive all while knowing what you're going through is telling of their own selfishness.

    All that aside, this is when our calling to love other's with a love like God's is a high calling! I don't know you personally, but I don't have to... I will be praying for you; for restored relationships, for that sweet woman and her baby, and for the perfect baby that's in your future... I know for a FACT that, though you won't forget the pain and some relationships may not be the same, it will ALL be worth it... and SO MUCH MORE!

    Still... the process sucks. Plain and simple. I wish I had had a forum like this where I could share when I was in the middle of the most difficult days of my life... though I'm still amazed by the honesty you ladies have portrayed; it's taken me a long time to be as brave as you :-)

    Keep sharing!!

    ReplyDelete
  7. I stumbled upon your blog through A Love Worth Waiting For and I'm so glad I did. The things you shouldn't say are so true. I'm single, 28, and just had a full hysterectomy 12 weeks ago and still am somewhat I guess in the grieving process of the children I've lost or will never have biologically. Luckilly I've always wanted to pursue adoption so it's helped make this a little easier. I definitly look forward to reading your blog!

    ReplyDelete
  8. such wonderful things not to say!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Hi Lindsay!

    Here are my two cents. Take it for what it's worth! :)

    I feel like I am in a healthy place now, but I did go through a dark period. I'm a social worker for kiddos in foster care. It was beyond difficult to work with parents who were abusing/neglecting their precious children and were able to have them so easily whenever I would NEVER do that and am unable to get pregnant. It got even worse when one of my 16 year old clients told me she was pregnant and would not even consider adoption. I really wanted to punch a wall; here was a 16 yr old who couldn't even function enough to go to school, let alone be a parent...and I can't have a baby?

    Things are better now in that regard, though sometimes I do get caught off guard and feel like the wind has been knocked out of me a little bit. Recently, a colleague of mine told me she was pregnant. She had tried to hide it from me because she also has had issues with infertility. I am truly happy for her. I feel no sadness and I will be throwing her a baby shower.

    Our current struggle is dealing with my in-laws low view of adoption. We originally intended to go international, but when it didn't work due to my husband's medical history, his mom said, "Oh good. We've been praying for an American baby anyway." Now, we have learned that they are unhappy that we decided not to go forward with infertility treatments. I can't understand why they aren't thrilled about adoption!!!!!!

    ReplyDelete

We love to hear your thoughts, but if you leave one please own it and leave a name with your comment :-)