One of the greatest joys and heartbreaks of leading our group, The Hopefuls, is walking with these amazing ladies through their journeys. It’s wonderful to share in their successes and to see them supporting one another. But it’s devastating and heart-wrenching to walk through the losses and failures, the miracles taken too soon. This is what our little group experienced this last week – coming alongside a sister who had been granted her miracle baby only to find that he/she was gone. And it’s left me sitting here contemplating this part of the story… the trials… the pain… and the why’s of it all…
Why her and not me?
This is such a common thought that crosses our minds… When a friend, a coworker, a family member, a classmate falls pregnant. It’s so natural – when you see those who have something we so desperately want – to question and compare. To feel that you’ve done so much to prepare yourself for this little life… to feel that you are so much more prepared than someone else… and yet to still find that you remain childless. So the question arises… Why is it that she (whoever she is) can get pregnant with such ease while we struggle?
Why will I never know what it feels like to have a pregnancy without fear?
When you’ve been through months or years of hoping and treatments and expenses to try to bring this little life in the world. And suddenly, unexpectedly find that you are at long last pregnant – your miracle of all miracles. Shock… that’s what you feel at first. And then fear – fear to hope, fear to trust that you might actually have what you’ve always hoped for. You’ll question everything out of that fear.
And that is why when you’ve battled the challenge of infertility, it is almost impossible to have an utterly joyful pregnancy. I don’t care how much faith you have in God, there is always that little fear lingering… Because unlike those who fall pregnant with ease – we know the stakes. We know all the ways this can go wrong. We know the high percentage of miscarriage. We know how suddenly our world can be shaken. We’ve been poked and prodded and tested and informed of everything there is to worry about… It’s only natural that we would struggle to wholly rejoice in our pregnancy.
Why give me the miracle to take it away?
And this… this is the toughest question of all… why grant the miracle? Why would God, who I know loves me, give me my heart’s desire. Why, after all the heartache and pain, would He place this sweet, innocent, little babe in my womb – only to take him or her from me? It was one thing to be wanting… It was one thing to be yearning and empty… It is quite another to suddenly feel that warmth, that growing life in me… and then to have it RIPPED away… Why is this my road? WHY!?!?
And as I sit here and relive our miscarriage, as I think of the pain of my dear friend… I wish I had answers to these questions. I wish I understood what the bigger picture is or the purpose in our plight or had some amazing insight to offer to make it all better… but I don’t… I was so intensely hurt, so devastated for so long. I lost friends that month because I couldn’t bear to speak about what had happened and they didn’t understand my need to cope. Honestly – I’m okay with that. I can tell you that I will never forget that little life – though his or her existence was brief. I can tell you October will always be a hard month for me – the month our first child should have been born, the month the twins we were scammed about should have been in our arms. Those losses will leave a hole in my heart that will never go away. But I don’t think any of us ever really leave this world whole…
Truthfully, I believe that we all have to find our own way to peace and understanding in our story of grief and loss and pain. And as much as I would love to have an answer for everyone… I can only tell you the little truths I have found for me…
I didn’t always want to be a mother. As a young person, someone I was close to convinced me I’d be a terrible mother. And I believed this person. It took years of Ryan pointing little things out for me to realize that wasn’t true. But I still always had this lingering fear. When we started REALLY trying to have kids – that was when I first wanted to be a mother. And when it didn’t happen month after month – that desire stuck to me stronger and stronger. When we lost our baby… I knew that I had become a mother… I may not have had a child to hold but I loved that little life so fiercely and felt that loss so keenly it was as if a piece of me had literally been ripped away – straight from my heart.
I also believe that there is a purpose in all things and that there is a purpose for my life. I’ve come to believe that every experience I’ve had has been given to me so that I can understand other’s journeys. We’ve experienced infertility, failed treatments, painful procedures, and a miscarriage. We’ve lived through the adoption wait, multiple failed matches, adoption scams, the fear of whether the mother would terminate her rights, and all the road blocks along the way. Each one of these has helped me to better understand women I get to call my friends. Each has given me the ability to relate to someone else traveling a similar road. And while the journey may has been extremely painful – it wasn’t without purpose – even if I couldn’t see it at the time. That baby we lost, the twins who never were… the things I do now for others – I do for them and because of them. And while it doesn’t make it better… it does give me purpose and their brief lives meaning… at least for me.
If you’re heartbroken and hurting… there is nothing I can say to make it better. It’s going to hurt – a lot. You will always miss that child. There will be milestones that come and go that you will wonder who they would have been… what life they would have led. And that’s okay. It’s good to remember them and honor them. So for now – be kind to yourself. Allow yourself to grieve. Acknowledge the life that you lost. And please know you are not alone. There are so many of us beside you who know this pain and hate it too. We love you and we’re here for you.