This past Sunday I was talking with a friend… one of those good friends who “gets it.” We were talking about some of the realities of infertility… the moments that will never be… the experiences we will never have… the things we’ll never know… I shared with her a truth I’ve been feeling yet again as I see baby birth announcements posted on facebook… And I’m going to be real and raw and honest and just share it with you… so please be kind…
Because Ryan and I will never be able to conceive. Because I’ll never carry a child and give birth. I will never get to have that experience of him seeing me in a different light – the way only a husband who has watched his wife give birth to their child can. I will never know what it’s like to have him be that kind of proud of me. I’ll never have posts on facebook about how in awe he is of my strength or how he didn’t know he could love me more.
And this wonderful amazing friend of mine looked me in the eyes and said, “You’re right. You’ll never have that. And I’m going to be real honest with you – there is something that changes when you go through that together. Something shifts and your husband does look at you differently.”
Now before you get mad – you need to hear the rest.
She then proceeded to say… “BUT we’ll never know what it’s like to go through the highs and lows of adoption like you. The experiences you specifically had we’ll never know either. And those things shifted the way Ryan looks at you and the way you look at him. And there are women who’ve gotten pregnant easily and had easy pregnancies and I’ll never know what that’s like either. We all have different experiences. So you may feel like you’re missing out on one aspect of motherhood, but somebody’s missing out on your perspective of motherhood too.”
And this is why I am grateful for my infertility. I am not a surface dweller. If you have been here for any length of time you’ve heard me say that before. I’m not one to talk about the weather or superficial things, I want to talk about real, deep, tangible things. Things that matter. Through this experience of infertility and the journey of being guided to share about it, I have had the awesome opportunity of meeting many other women traveling a similar road. I have found that you cannot have these deep, life altering, life shaping journeys and not become a deeper, very real person.
I cherish my friends who “get it” because we can talk about these things and know there’s no judgment. We can talk and know that there will be a level of understanding that those who have not been there simply cannot understand. I could look at my friend and tell her something that part of me feels guilty for feeling and know that she wouldn’t judge me harshly for it or misinterpret my feelings. And she knew she could be honest and say the truth. She didn’t try to sugarcoat things for me. She was honest and real. And she didn’t belittle how I felt by brushing aside the truth that husbands do look at their wives differently after going through the birth experience.
So today I’m grateful… I’m grateful for finding friends with depth, honesty, compassion, and understanding. I’m grateful for my friends who “get it.” And because of that I find myself grateful of the journey that led me to them.