Last week was National Infertility Awareness Week, which brings awareness and attention to this medical diagnosis that affects 1 in 8 couples. Ryan and I are the 1 in 8.
Recently I have felt extremely hypocritical in finding comfort in hearing other couples’ stories of infertility, yet I’ve never shared ours. So here I am sharing to let you or someone you know who’s experiencing this heartbreak that they’re not alone, I’m here for you & for them, and I’ll listen.
This picture was taken while we were experiencing our second of three consecutive miscarriages in 2016-2017. In it I’m laying on the bed just days after finding out that our second little baby’s heart had stopped beating at 9 weeks. While Lou and I lay there watching Cary Grant and Grace Kelly in To Catch a Thief, Ryan was downstairs making dinner that he brought up & ate with us in bed. (Because he’s awesome) Neither he or Lou left my side – each time we all grieved together. We know were blessed to have three babies come into our lives & show us what it meant to fiercely love someone you’ve never seen…but then they all quietly left. The empty space they left will always be there. Our fierce love turned to pain and grief, and our arms still ache to hold our children.
I’m sharing our story not because we want or need sympathy, but because we want others enduring miscarriage & infertility to know that they’re not alone. I also want to encourage those who have never experienced this loss to be a loving shoulder to their friend or family member dealing with infertility. It has taken me over 2 years to be able to talk openly about our losses because of the isolation and depression I fell into each and every time. The hurt, sadness, hopelessness, and emptiness compounds. It’s stifling. It takes everything out of your self worth and steals all your hope. So often this suffering happens in silence because of the stigma surrounding miscarriage. We are taught to keep it quiet and grieve in private. I’ve learned now that that silence just adds to the pain.
I now believe that talking about it helps. What finally brought me back to life was an amazing therapist and the tribe of compassionate women she introduced me to who knew my pain and simply understood. We all deal with infertility on some level, and we all lift each other up through listening & supporting one another. We are in a shitty club that none of us wants any part of, but we do our best to make it better for each other!
Infertility sucks. Going through it with others who understand can lighten the heavy, cumbersome load. Opening up to your friends and family can open them up to share their own stories of loss and/or infertility struggles. I’m certainly here for you or your friend or anyone you know who’s going through it! We have to stick together down this unexpected, painful, and confusing path 💜💚