26 April, 2013

Aware

So you may already know that this week is National Infertility Awareness Week. Which is kind of funny because if infertility is part of your life, you are always very, very aware. Gosh, I hope that you aren't struggling with infertility. If you are, I'm so sorry.

This time of year is kind of interesting for me. Two years ago, I had just barely miscarried for the second time in a row and I was just heartbroken. Finding peace was a daily struggle and I had never felt more betrayed by anyone or anything, than I did by my own body at that time.

Fast-forward to a year later, and I was in the last couple of weeks of my pregnancy with Kjel. I couldn't understand why people looked at my enormous belly with pity and kept telling me to 'hang in there'. I was pregnant! With a healthy, living, beautiful baby! Every kick in my ribs, every ache in my back, every spine-splitting contraction that made me go a little woozy... yeah, it was hard, but it was a miracle! I saw pregnancy through new eyes.


Kjel is my second child. Gage came first, and I don't want to diminish my gestation with him or his birth, but the two experiences were very different. I spent the last few weeks of my pregnancy with Gage constantly complaining about the discomforts of late pregnancy. I didn't prepare at all for labor or delivery, relying on modern pain medicine to take the difficulty away. When he was born, I was shocked into motherhood. I loved it, but I felt like I had cheated on a test. Don't get me wrong; Gage is THE light of my life. He is my very best pal. But I didn't give him the gestation he deserved; I took my healthy pregnancy for granted.
The studliest stud that ever lived.
BUT. I learned from that and then I learned even more when I miscarried before Kjel.

I spent Kjel's pregnancy active and happy and healthy. I ate nutritiously and meditated and read every book I could find on pregnancy and birth. A little obsessive? Maybe. Did I go overboard? Maybe. But let me tell you - I did not take one second of that pregnancy for granted. Every moment was cherished.

Gage joined in and treated my belly with a sacredness I'd never seen him display before. He revered the infant in my womb and whispered and sang to her daily. Steven was on board from the moment we even began thinking of trying to conceive again, and did everything he could to make me comfortable and rested and nourished.


My point in all of this is NOT to say to you, who might be struggling with infertility, "hey, this is all for the best... AND you're probably infertile because you're taking things for granted." Please! No! I am saying this:

I am so grateful for the love and support that friends and family gave to me during my heartbreak. I'm grateful for the patience they showed me during my healthy pregnancy with Kjel, even when I was a total weirdo about organic foods and clean air and classical music. Infertility and pregnancy loss/miscarriage is a bitter, bitter pain. But if we can remember the love in our lives - in all its forms - the sweet is just enough to make the bitter bearable, and at some point, hopefully conquerable. 

And I'm also saying this: if there is someone in your life who is carrying the burden of infertility/miscarriage/pregnancy loss, just love them. That's all they need from you. Love.

Steven and I recently started talking about adding another child to our little family (at some point in the near or distant future). My heart literally skips a beat when I think about it - and not in an excited way. In a terrified way. Can I go through that again? Can I go through months of one lined pregnancy tests? Can I handle waking up each day, remembering what might happen to the life inside of me? 

But then I think about this. The strongest and bravest people I have ever met in my life have, at some time, struggled with infertility or pregnancy loss/miscarriage. If they are so strong and so brave, I have to believe that some of that strength and bravery has rubbed off on me too.

4 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Hey Heather! I thought of you this week. I hope everything is coming along well and that you get some wonderful news soon :)

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  2. Beautiful post...you have such a way with words!

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