I see you sweet friend. Although most of your tears fall behind closed doors in the sacred moments with just yourself, I know you still have them. I know that you are aching an awful ache that no woman deserves. The ache of secondary infertility. The ache of no more chances. The ache of it being physically impossible for you to try for more biological children.
You have worked so hard for your family, to conceive a child and bring life into this world. I know you must feel robbed. Robbed of the positive pregnancy test, robbed of the baby announcement photos and robbed of the big beautiful bump that screams to the world “I did it! I am pregnant!” I know that you probably drift off into wonder as you pass by the maternity clothes in the stores. I can envision you trying so hard not to look knowing it could break you dead in your footsteps that day. I know that growing families can be difficult to witness and that the moments that seem unemotional to others bring forth that big painful knot in your throat. I know that when you see the photos of little ones meeting their new baby siblings in the hospital you feel like you have been jipped. Jipped of that moment that they will have and that your family won’t get to experience.
The world sees that you have a baby in your arms. They think your journey is over and the pain is gone. They may have forgotten about the endless tests, procedures, drained bank accounts and negative pregnancy tests that ultimately led to your ultimate physical defeat, your hysterectomy. The final no. The last straw that led to the collapse of your heart and hope for carrying your own child. They are in awe by your story of surrogacy bringing your sweet baby girl into your arms. They didn’t see the tears during those 9 months. The tears behind closed doors. They didn’t feel the sucker punch you felt as you picked out maternity clothes for another woman carrying your child. They didn’t feel the loss as you sat next to her during ultrasounds watching your baby dance around in her belly. They didn’t feel the fear you felt that your baby would feel more bonded to her than you at birth. They didn’t help hold the legs of the woman as she birthed your baby. Your baby.
Oh friend, I remember.
And the pain of these moments does not take away an ounce of the gratitude or joy you felt as well. It does not make you ungrateful to the woman who so graciously carried your baby. I know that you love her beyond words and that you would give her anything you have to repay her for this gift she provided your family with. I know there was so much joy as well. I know that the joy that came from the sight of your little one kicking around on that screen trumped the pain. But the pain was there. The pain is there. The pain is real. And that’s okay. I am here to tell you that I see your pain and you don’t have to hide it. Not from me.
Sweet friend, please know I think of you and these moments. Although this is your pain, you don’t have to carry it alone.
As your infertile sister, I need you to know this. Each month when I get my negative pregnancy test and I feel like the ground was pulled from under my feet, I think of you. I remember that I have the gift of more chances. I remember that there are so many women out there who would give anything for just one more chance, women who would take the pain of that negative test all over again if it meant that there was still hope for the next month to follow. It is you my friend that keeps me standing tall when I want to throw in the towel and say no more.
Then I remember the power behind that. I remember that I am so blessed to have that power to decide for myself when enough is enough. So I keep going with women like you in mind. Women with no more chances. Women who carry this ache around everyday so gracefully. Women like you.
I see you sweet friend. I absolutely see you.