It is now October. A month that, if you look at the main awarenesses that are highlighted is all about women’s health. Breast cancer awareness and infant and pregnancy loss awareness. The later of which has hit our family on more than one occasion. I have to say this year has been a little different when thinking about the topic of infertility and pregnancy loss and the impact it has had on my little family. For us there was so much heartache and emotional roller coasters through our journey that looking at where we are now, people who don’t know us or our story assume a lot about us, without even trying to understand the real story.
What people see…
At first glance our little family seems like any other “young” couple. A husband, a wife, an almost 3 year old and a 14 month old. One girl and one boy. They see the perfection. The ideal family model with the ideal situations and circumstances all lined up. They make assumptions on what was planned and what was not. People look from the outside and allow what they see to distort the actual reality. They ask me questions like “Why are you having your kids so close together?” Or make statements like “You are still so young, there was no rush to have the second one so soon.” These statements and questions tend to frustrate me, especially coming from people that don’t know the whole story. There is so much more to a person’s life and situations than what is seen on the outside. So much more than to a book than just the cover.
The reality of our story to growing our family is so much more than what was stated above. What was actually planned and what transpired through the years are polar opposites of one another. In reality…We have 4 wonderful children. 2 of which I never got to hold in my arms or see what they look like. I never got to watch them grow and learn. Never was able to hold them when they cry or cheer them on when they succeed. In reality…we are not as young as we look. I was 28 when we had our first and 30 when we had our second. The plan was to have our children so much younger. To not be in our 30s and still have infant and toddler aged kids. The reality…it took us 4 years of trying to have our first; 2 of those years were intense focused treatments at a specialist with 2 surgeries mixed in there. The reality…because it took us 4 years to have our first, we did not want to keep anything from us having our next one that we decided not to do any birth control of any kind. And then, 19 months later, we were blessed with our little guy.
The reality can be an eye opener.
The reality can be humbling.
The reality can be heartbreaking.
BUT, one thing I have learned over these years. Never be afraid or ashamed of your reality. Your reality. Your history. That is what makes you who you are today. That is what molded and shaped your character into your present reality. Use it to help others aware and understand the realities of others. Use it to uplift someone that is going through what it is that you have been through in the past.
If you are currently in the reality of not being able to conceive. If you are feeling so down and stressed because of it. Use that too. Find others in the same boat to encourage each other and cheer each other on. Find others that have been there in the past and find out how they were able to get through. What motivated them? What drove them to not give up hope? What scripture verse carried them through? Don’t give up.
Moral of the Story…
Not everything you see with the necked eye is what it really is on the inside. Everyone is always going through more than what they show. As much as we like to think that everything is sunflowers and rainbows, inside could be a lot of life happening that no one knows about.
Be the one that people feel they can call when they need an ear.
We all need those people. Our “tribe” so to speak. Be that person. Going through infertility and pregnancy loss is hard enough. Let’s not go it alone.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11 (NLT)