…from me (your infertile friend).
This is kind of awkward, isn’t it? This position that we’re in. There seems to be an elephant in the room when we talk. And I want to take a moment to clear the air. To get on the same level. So grab a cup of coffee and get comfy. Let’s make this as painless as possible. There are a few things that I want you to know:
- I want you to know that I don’t hate you. I’m genuinely happy that you’re pregnant, have babies, are growing your family. Don’t hide that part of your life from me. Don’t feel guilty for telling me about what’s going on in your world. I’m truly excited for you. While I appreciate you being considerate of my feelings, I’m not going to pull away from you because of this dichotomy. And if other women have rejected you or pulled away from you while dealing with their own fertility issues, I’m really sorry. That sucks. But I’m not doing that. I want to come to your baby shower, I want to celebrate at your gender reveal, I want to hold your little one, even if it makes me a little sad. And if I do get sad for a moment, if I cry or have to leave the room for a bit, it’s not because of you. Please don’t take it personally. As much as I strive to choose joy everyday, and view my struggles and hardships through the lens of eternity, I still have hard days. I still want things that I don’t have. I still struggle with fear, I still get jealous and I still have a lot of hurt. But that has nothing to do with you. I do not hate you.
- I want you to know how unbelievably blessed you are. I want you to remember that even when there are hard days or when you’re overwhelmed, you are more blessed than you could ever imagine. When you’ve been throwing up for two months straight, when you’re deciding to have a water birth or a c-section, when you’re nursing at 2 am, when you don’t know if you should stay home or go back to work, when you haven’t showered for days, when there’s a poop explosion during church, when you think your stretch marks will never go away, I pray that you will take a breath, say a prayer and remind yourself of all the women who are dying to be in your shoes right now. Some women (including yours truly) are praying for morning sickness, longing for 2 am feedings, jealous of your “mommy body.” Don’t take these hard days for granted, you are so blessed.
- I want you to ask me how I’m doing… for real. If I mention to you that I’m struggling, that I’m dealing with this stressful situation, please be my friend and keep the conversation going. If I really don’t want to talk about it, I’ll let you know. But chances are that if I opened up to you about this, I’m looking for support. For a shoulder to lean on and cry on. Don’t just ignore the elephant in the room. Endure the awkwardness and be my friend. I’m not looking for a “just relax and it will happen” response. I want someone to listen. I want someone to pray for me. I want someone to do battle with me. I want someone to encourage me when I feel like my world is crashing down and everything that I’ve wanted and hoped for seems so far from my grasp. I want someone to say “I’m sorry this is happening to you. That really sucks. But God is still good and He’s still holding you.” And know that I’ll do the same for you. When your child is sick, when your husband loses his job, when you feel like you’ve been forgotten and now you’re “just a mom.” Being a woman isn’t easy, we’ve got to carry each other sometimes.
So that’s what I’ve got, and I feel better already. So now I open up the floor. What do you need to say to clear the air? Let’s grab another cup of coffee and maybe later we could make speculations about the Gilmore Girls Netflix revival? Because Luke and Lorelai for life.