I remember what it felt like, to be a woman who wanted children and didn’t have them. That isn’t to say that I “know” what you are experiencing, or that I think we must feel the same. Instead, I hope that my own experience can help me be more sensitive, more compassionate, to those who are still walking this path.
Keep going. The only way is through this. I have no answers for what this journey holds for you - I simply know that standing still isn’t an option. Give yourself grace, and a healthy dose of self-care. Whether that be talk therapy, confiding in a friend, or a spa day - make it happen.
Your story is yours and yours alone. I cannot possibly know if you’d benefit from sharing it or from keeping it private. What I do know is that your story deserves to be honored, and that every individual story has purpose. Your voice matters. And if you’d rather not use it, that’s totally fine. But never let anyone make you feel that you should remain silent for their comfort.
Trigger Warning: Following is a fictional account inspired by real-life women who struggle with infertility. Please protect your heart and use your best judgment.
There’s a specific agony in that two week wait. It’s gut-wrenching, to feel so helpless. Knowing that you could be carrying life within you, and being forced to wait to confirm your suspicions. Every feeling, every twinge, every ache makes you take pause. Does this mean I am pregnant? Am I having a miscarriage or a chemical pregnancy? Could this be the one? And you wait. And you wait and you wait.
Sitting outside the pharmacy, you work up the nerve to buy yet another test. When the cashier recognizes you and wishes you luck, you cringe. It’s a violation of your privacy in a way that felt sincerely kind - and yet, it is a violation all the same. When you get home, you order a 50-pack of lab-grade urine tests on Amazon.
Stomach in knots, you pretend like there isn’t a pregnancy test screaming your name from the bathroom. You make dinner, you do the dishes, you watch some crappy reality TV. It’s bedtime and you know that rest will evade you even if your body sleeps. You wake up as if your skin is on fire and your stomach immediately drops. It’s time. Your thoughts race faster than your legs can carry you to the toilet. You pee. You dip. You wait. After two whole weeks, two minutes ought to be a cakewalk. It is anything but.
Staring at the test is tearing you apart so you distract yourself by making coffee, which of course, makes you wonder if you’ll be drinking coffee tomorrow morning or if you’ll give it up cold turkey in deference to the baby that may or may not be.
Hands shaking, you grasp the test. Close your eyes. Breathing in feels like you’re inhaling steel wool and you exhale shakily. “Quick!”, you think, “You have to read it within five minutes, remember?” Of course you remember. You’ve nearly memorized the instructions for this particular brand.
Reading your results is like leaping off of a cliff. Your stomach drops and your heart races, adrenalin making your ears pound with each beat. There’s no turning back now. Like ripping off a band-aid, you swiftly turn over the test and glance. You squint. You furrow your brow. Time stops and you can hear your own breathing.
It’s negative. It is always negative. It feels like it will always be negative.
Please help me understand how I can best support women who long to be mothers. Find me on Twitter @pi3sugarpi3.