Thursday, March 12, 2015

I Know Your Pain

This is one of those gut wrenching, do I even dare publish this, posts. How can I express my thoughts, without hurting others? Can I bring myself to be honest about my feelings, without exposing too much about someone else?

But this thing haunts me and I'm ready to face my demons. My thoughts have focused on it daily for nearly a year now. I'm ready to make peace with it and move on. So here it goes, one of my deepest, darkest secrets.

I know someone suffering from secondary infertility and my thoughts have not always been kind towards them. Secondary infertility means that they have children already, but they have decided to have more, but now are having problems. I'm not going to specify if they have 1 child or 6, just that they are currently trying to have more.

But here is what gets me. At one point, they said they were done having children. They were happy and content with the children they had. They took steps and did procedures to make that decision final.

But then they changed their mind.

This is where the bitterness comes in. Josh and I were never given that option. Our infertility was something out of our control. We were never given the opportunity to undo the circumstances that were forced upon us. It blows my mind that some people can. I have had a hard time coming to terms with this fact. How someone can choose to turn their fertility off and then back on.

For months, I have dreaded the big announcement. I have shed a lot of tears trying to come to terms with it all. I've lost a lot of sleep wondering when it will happen. I have pleaded with God to give me peace. As much as I dislike pregnancy announcements, its the pregnancies that are hard. But that is another post for another day.

Over the last few months, I have fought a battle in my heart. It would seem that they are struggling to get pregnant. I know how heart breaking that is. I know how you randomly place your hand on your belly, hoping there is a baby in there. I know how you cry after each negative pregnancy test. I know what it is like to dry those tears and hope that next month will be different.

I won't lie. I have felt some satisfaction out of this. Finally, they can get a glimpse of what it was like for us. I've even noticed how they have gone through similar circumstances like we did having to deal with another family member having an unplanned pregnancy. On the outside, they handled it well. But I'm familiar to the ache that you try to hide in your heart. The voice that cries, "its not fair."

The topic never comes up. Maybe they are afraid I'll rub it in. I won't deny wanting to declare, "See, this is why I was the way I was! This is why I was bitter and unhappy all of the time. Now you can know just exactly what it was like."

But I can't, because I have been there. I know how much your heart hurts. I know what it is like to hope and pray that this month the test is positive. To have every thought, of every day, center around the hope that you might be pregnant. I know what it is like to have others talk about ultra sounds and wish it was you. I know how your arms ache to hold not just any baby, but YOUR baby. I know how hard it is to pretend that all is okay, even though you are dying inside.

I have spent a lot of time asking God to give me peace. Not just about a pregnancy that may happen, but also peace to help me help you. Honestly, I don't know what to do. I have gone back and forth a million times. Do I just ignore the circumstances? Do I offer an olive branch and tell you I feel your pain? Can I separate my pain so that it doesn't interfere with yours?

Every time I decide to just ignore it, I remember how much I hated that. I wanted someone to tell me they understood my pain. Or even if they didn't understand it, they still felt something for me. Even just a hug would have said a thousand words of comfort.

While we were trying to get pregnant, and later adopt, I hated the waiting most. But right below that, I hated feeling like no one cared about me. And I don't have it in me to do that to someone else. Not when I know how much it hurts.

I'm still working on saying the words out loud, but until then, they are in my heart. I know your pain. I feel your heartache. Please know that you are not alone.


  1. Something about this post really resonates with me. It's hard. The empathetic part of you wants to reach out to this person who is hurting so bad but the wounded part of you is struggling with it. It's also hard for me to wrap my head around secondary infertility, and in the moments I'm not so proud of I'm like "you got one or two or whatever and I got zero, I don't want to hear about your pain."

    Also, if it means anything, I have several draft posts in the "am I brave enough to actually post this" category.

  2. Your feelings are entirely natural - BentNotBroken described the conflicts perfectly. I'm glad you posted this. You've made others, who might be experiencing something similar, feel less alone. And if you do feel that you can talk to them, maybe it will help you too - maybe they will grow in understanding, having experienced a little touch of what you have been through.