There are shoes everywhere. There are squeezed out puree pouches, drippy paintings, stickers, snotty tissues. There are germs—an endless parade of colds, coughs, and stomach flus. There are multiple meals cooked every night, forms to fill out, and schedules to memorize. There are missing toys, shouts and tears, stamped feet and red faces. There are tiny heartbreaks. There are deep breaths and big fears. There is exhaustion, and failure, and a constant hum of worry.
It’s so easy to forget that I never thought I’d have this.
So easy to forget that I cried for years with wanting, too afraid to try after losing my brother to suicide. So easy to forget that I tried for years, that I did hundred of injections, that I traveled across the country to find the clinic that would give me the best chance, that I was so, so close to quitting.
So easy to forget that the cycle that finally worked was going to be my last.
I must admit that in the hardest, most chaotic moments of parenting, I never remember how close my children came to not being.
But when they smile,
when they laugh,
when they wrap their arms around me,
when they dance,
when they sing,
when they plant a kiss right on my lips,
when the house is quiet with contentment,
or loud with joy,
my body shivers—
and a shot of leftover fear
that will probably always linger.
It’s National Infertility Awareness Week. I know first hand how uncomfortable, isolating, and devastating infertility can be. I kept it to myself for years. Eventually I sought out a support group and I learned a life-changing lesson—I was not alone. One in eight couples will have trouble conceiving or sustaining a pregnancy. It may not sound like much, but that’s MILLIONS of people. Forging friendships with a group of women going through the same thing didn’t erase the pain, but it gave me the strength to keep going.
If you are there right now, trying, struggling, hurting, know that YOU ARE NOT ALONE. There are resources, options, and friendly people who will help you through. Reach out to us. We are here for you.