Joy & Pain and Inbetween

A few weekends ago I had the opportunity to chat on the phone with a friend I have not talked to in months.  We caught up on jobs and moves and the little things of life.  I could tell there was something she wanted to say to me, but she seemed to be holding back.  There was a long pause and she said "Well ... I have been following your blog and well..." My first thought was "someone reads my blog!?" And then it hit me, she must be expecting!  I jumped off my couch and started running through my apartment squealing something along the lines of "GAHHHHH YOU'RE KIDDING ME!!!!!  She went onto share with me about her pregnancy and how nervous she had been to share with me since reading about my "I may never have children" blog posts.

Truthfully it is painful for me to hear about other people's pregnancies.  Often I end up bursting into tears and refusing to leave my couch for hours.  But at the same time I am genuinely happy for these people.  Early on in my journey I came across this quote by Jo Anne Nelson that sums up my heart's desire perfectly:



And this is something that I am working out as I go.  Some days are better than others.  As I tried to put into words to share with my friend what I was feeling she said something along the lines of "I know it must be hard for you, but I also knew that you would want know."  She nailed it!

Every time I thought of her over the next few days I would jump up and down because I was so excited for her.  It made me pause because this is not how I have reacted to other pregnancy announcements.  I quickly realized that I was responding so well to this announcement as she made sure to acknowledge my pain.  Acknowledging that it was hard for me made me feel known (one of the deepest desired of my heart).  It may seem strange but that simple acknowledgment made me even more excited for her. 

If you are close to someone who struggles with infertility and want to be mindful of the pain they may feel when you announce a potential pregnancy the first thing to do (if you're comfortable and able) is to ask them in the event of a future pregnancy how they would like to be notified.

For me that's a phone call or quick message (text, not a picture or video).  I want to celebrate with you.  I am excited for you!  But I also need space and time to process my grief.  While I try to keep tears contained to my bed sometimes they may bubble out around you.  Please know that I can sad cry and be excited all at the same time.  

To close I will leave you with this awesome video a friend (Thanks JS!) sent me of women sharing their experience of "What It Feels Like To Be Told You Can’t Have Kids."