May 15, 2020
Guysssss this weeks infertility Friday post was SO HARD to write. I know deep in my heart it’s one I needed to write for a long time but it is such a sensitive topic and I am SO scared about hurting someone’s feelings! So hopefully my thoughts are clear and not too confusing as I share what it’s like being…
Happy for you + Sad for me.
I will never forget the night the first person in our intimate circle told us they were expecting after we had been secretly trying, and failing, for months to get pregnant. As soon as they told us I could picture it SO clearly… they were going to be the BEST parents! I could picture her belly round as they decorate the nursery together. Him beaming at their baby on Sunday! Suddenly my mind switched to something I had once pictured so clearly for my own marriage. Me, belly round, while Hudson massaged my sore pregnant feet. Witnessing him meeting our child for the first time in that hospital room. And in an instant fear crept into my heart and mind telling me that might never happen for me. We might never be able to share that same news someday. I might never be a mom. And Hudson might never be a dad. I cried right then and there. In front of two people we adored that were sharing some of the happiest news with us.
Want to know what I felt as soon as that first tear slid down my cheek? SHAME. I hated myself, the person I had become. Why couldn’t I be 100% happy for them PERIOD? Why did I have to be so selfish and think about our situation in that instant? Why couldn’t God make it stop? Why did I have to feel this way? I. was. so. embarrassed. of. myself.
Now don’t worry I down played it and told them it was tears of joy and maybe part of it was! But my sweet husband knew the heartache and longing behind them. And for months following I convinced myself I had to attend baby showers, gender reveals, newborn sessions, birth sessions, etc. because if I didn’t I was a bad friend. LET ME BE CLEAR to all of my infertile friends. Choosing to protect your heart will NEVER be equivalent to you being a terrible friend. As soon as I realized I could set healthy boundaries to protect my heart and mental health my joy grew and I experienced a lot more happiness. It is ok to not go to the baby shower if you know that it will lead to tears and painful emotions. It’s ok to mail an incredible gift and send your love in your absence. It’s ok to walk away from conversations of baby talk and hang out with the guys (PSA: guys rarely talk baby so if you’re at a gathering and need an exit from the topic of children run to the guys lol). You can still love and support those that mean so much to you without having to attend things that trigger very real and hard emotions. I have a much better relationship with pregnant or mama friends now and have less days of deep sorrow and fear.
So maybe you aren’t infertile but you know someone close to you that is! You are probably reading this thinking holy crap I’m never going to invite them or talk about it because I don’t want to hurt them. This isn’t the answer either. I think the best thing anyone can do is to always invite. I love getting the invites in the mail and knowing that I have the choice. If you feel comfortable to let them know you are thinking of them and know that if they can’t make it you totally understand. Giving GRACE to your infertile friends will never be a mistake. Showing love and understanding if they walk away from a conversation with friends or don’t attend something is powerful. Because I promise they are SO SCARED that they will offend you by not showing up in the ways the desperately wish they could.
We all need friendships and love. I am so grateful we have such amazing friends that check in, hang out, let me cry to, and laugh with us during the highs and lows of life. It is possible to be happy for them and sad for you. It is possible to be infertile and cultivate friendships with people that are on a different path than you. It is possible to set healthy boundaries and live a life full of happy days.