My heart for those that are childless…. but not childless by choice. I see you.
I’m sorry. Not for anything I’ve done (I hope!), but in general.
I’m sorry for the stupid advice you hear (“Just take a vacation and you’ll get pregnant! ‘Just’ adopt! Have you tried ___?”) As if you haven’t read every word, tried every surefire method, eaten every bizarre magical food.
I’m sorry for the horrendously insensitive comments about whether or not you’re “supposed” to be a parent. I know you’re probably wrestling enough with those kinds of words in your own voice – how dare anyone else begin to pass judgement of the sort.
I’m sorry you have those days – all of them, it seems sometimes? – where you question so much about your life and who you are. I can remind you that your identity isn’t in how large your family is every day and in a hundred different ways – but I know that doesn’t silence the questioning.
I’m not apologizing or taking back my stance on the need to be real. I think we need to be sensitive (in all issues) while being transparent, but that we can still do tremendous things by supporting one another with the truth about our lives and our struggles. But I also realize we can do tremendous damage by being insensitive.
I know for some of you it can be hard to hear from someone who has gotten to the other side of the road, so to speak… but please know that the pain, the struggles, the questions, the thoughts – so many of us remember them well. Not in an unhealthy way, I hope, but in a way to say, “You really, really aren’t alone.” Though on a day-to-day basis I may for a moment, I will *never* forget when I stood in shoes similar to yours.
The reason for this post? I’ll be honest. It’s perhaps mostly for the men who so desperately want to be fathers. To reach out and be the safe arms after, “1…2…3.. jump!”. To snuggle in for a bedtime story. I’m even more sorry that you have so few opportunities and places to express your pain, your fears, your desires. I want you to know that you are seen, too.
You’re all seen, and my heart breaks for you. I have nothing else to offer in posting this today, but please know I was thinking of you specifically this week, if you find yourself in this place.
Now is your chance to speak up. What are the ways that YOU feel most supported and loved, if you are struggling with infertility (whether primary or secondary)?