This is a cry out to all you women who are fortunate to not have to deal with the loss of an unborn child and for those who have never had to fight the battle of infertility. This is a not an attack. I am merely sharing some experiences I’ve had through my journey, so if you ever find yourself suddenly friends with someone walking in my shoes… maybe you will think twice before falling into some of these pitfalls and traps.
I’d like to start out by saying I dearly love all my friends, and nothing I am about write is intended to hurt anyone’s feelings. Over the last five years… I’ve experienced some situations with friends and even family who unknowingly hurt me terribly, majorly disappointmented me and ultimately led to me getting angry and resentful.
I have had several friends that I like to say “jumped ship” from being my friend the moment they became pregnant. I can appreciate why. These precious ladies are just trying to spare me from having to see their bellies. They are engulfed in pregnancy and have baby brain! Moms… we’ve all done it… we obsess on that growing life inside us, and that is all that we seem to be able to talk about. So in an effort to keep me from being hurt, these friends bring upon me a hurt that is far worse.
When you choose to not tell me about your joyful news… you assume that I cannot be grateful to God for blessing you. I am happy to celebrate your victories even in my darkest days. Ladies… I’d like to put it out there that I fully believe God will bring me another baby. I am not hiding out in my house pining away and brooding until that day comes. I fully embrace the life God has given me today. I trust that I will get my baby when God is ready. So I can be happy and thankful knowing my day is coming! And that also means that I can and will celebrate your news when you choose to share it with me.
I’ve had other friends who will be brave enough to tell me they are pregnant, but then they completely disappear on me for nine months. Friends, who deeply care for me, have alienated me because they feel I will be jealous. Oh how many times I have heard “I didn’t want to pour salt in your wounds.” I’ve also been told this too many times to count, “I felt bad for you knowing I was pregnant and you weren’t.” To this I say… give me a chance! Don’t feel bad for me… pray for me! Ask God to bless Scott and me as He has you and yours!
Friends… when you distance yourself from me… when you attach behaviors such as bitterness, anger and jealousy to my person… it feels like a slap in my face. I am a girl who would be happy for you! I am someone with a lot of integrity. I value my friends and can celebrate their successes even in my defeat. I don’t want to be left out, and I am quite certain your friend wouldn’t want to be left out either.
Ladies… I am infertile, but I am not fragile. I don’t need to be handled and undervalued. To these friends… I say you’ve robbed yourselves from prayers I would have and could have said for you. You’ve kept yourself from receiving hugs and friendly embrace. You’ve stopped our friendship and ceased any and all fellowship with me when you decide I am not capable of being a generous person. And I can promise you that this that I have just shared hurts more than your good news would have ever wounded me!
I know lots of new moms that have fallen victim to this next one! I’ve had friends shut me out when their babies were home from the hospital. They wouldn’t share with me any of the joys of motherhood. All of a sudden I am getting phone calls where friends are telling me all the horror stories of having an infant. Somehow they have rationalized this as making sense, and they leave out all the wonderful details about baby smells, baby feet, cuddly moments, how cute they are, etc. And all I get the honor of hearing is how lucky I am that I didn’t have a baby! Now that I have my daughter… I hear how much easier it is for me that I only have one. Oh how that stings with each and every word. Friends… those of us who have had secondary infertility or miscarriage desire what you are complaining about. All the crazy drama with having two little ones running around the house would make my day as it does yours! I truly wanted to have two babies close together, so there is nothing lucky about me having lost two more babies after my daughter was born. And it doesn’t feel good to hear comments like this from my friends.
The worst of all, I must say, is the times those who love me have chimed in with an insensitive word when I am expressing our sadness at another month with no conception. I have heard several times that maybe I should merely count the blessing I have been given in my daughter and give up trying. Honestly, comments like these make me feel small and like my dreams and desires don’t matter. To imply that God does not want me to have a baby or that I am playing with fire and could end up with an unhealthy baby really breaks my heart. These are the comments that fuel my fire to keep trying! I am a fighter! I have courage to face adversity and I trust that God delivers miracles! I’m worthy of a miracle! And so are your friends!
I would like to remind all of you that the Bible says in Proverbs 27:9 that “the heartfelt counsel of a friend is as sweet as perfume and incense.” Please know that as your friend… it is my sincere pleasure to rejoice in your victory. So my advice to you is that you talk to your infertile friend if you are wondering what to say and how much to share. Seek your friend’s heartfelt counsel… you’d probably be shocked to find out that she longs to be involved more than you’d ever imagined!