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One of “us”

11/01/2012

Belle

This morning I checked Facebook and found a blog link from an acquaintance who leads the women’s running group in town. I briefly ran with this group  before my first pregnancy and subsequent loss. I have not run with them since because I’m ashamed, embarrassed and burdened. I eagerly clicked the link – I love finding new blogs, especially blogs by people I know. I love seeing how people use this virtual space to share, express themselves and, so often, heal.

I had suspected that this woman might be “one of us” after seeing her at the Tomorrow’s Children* 5k but I had no way of knowing for sure. As open as I am about my struggle, there really is no tactful way to delve into someone else’s. “Hey! So how many strange men have peered up your hoo-haw during treatment?” is not a great icebreaker. Instead I shyly smiled and said hello, taking a moment to let a small prayer pass that she be one of the “lucky” ones.

Her blog is a diary of daily photos for which she is thankful. I knew, instantly, why she started this. I don’t know how. Maybe it is because every step we take, every word we write and every photo we snap has some strange undercurrent that nothing else does? Maybe it was just random coincidence. Whatever it was, I clicked the “Why I’m thankful?” link and found these words:

“We had a miscarriage that left me broken and bitter and resentful. I finally got tired of feeling like that. I decided that if anything was going to change my attitude, it was going to be me. Who else?”

Big, hot tears ran down my cheeks as I read about her continuing journey to heal from loss several years ago. I felt such sadness for her and her husband. I felt such guilt for not saying more when I saw her at the 5k. I felt such anger towards whatever causes so much hurt in this community. It is just so fucking unfair.

This 3 minutes of my morning has left me so shaken. It is painful enough to connect with complete strangers who struggle through infertility. It can be excruciating to connect with people you know. Every time a friend or acquaintance comes froward with their story I feel like someone has punched me in the gut. Repeatedly.  Despite filling this space with thousands, perhaps millions, of words about my journey, I find myself so lost with others that all I can do is cry.

*Tomorrow’s Children is an infertility support group that I am a member of and donate my marketing services to. You can read more about this amazing organization and the work we do here.

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10 Comments

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  1. Aspgriswold #
    November 1, 2012

    My heart goes out to your friend. Infertility and loss is so crappy. You have such a sweet soul Belle!

  2. November 1, 2012

    Somehow finding out someone you know is also on this same journey brings forth the feelings we’ve dealt with during our own struggles. I was very sad to find out a friend of mine was also having fertility problems. Knowing what step they’re at and remember the feelings I went through makes it tough on all of us. But they know I’ve been there and if I can help ease some of the burden, I’m happy to do so.

  3. November 1, 2012

    Infertility sucks and no one should have to go through it, though I have to say that since we do, it’s at least easier to deal with because of the others we know who are in the trenches too.

  4. Lee #
    November 1, 2012

    I would love to read her blog in it’s entirety. Are you comfortable sharing her info? Thanks!

  5. whatrhymeswithinfertile #
    November 1, 2012

    So many people are so caught up in themselves (me included), it’s refreshing to read about the compassion you have for others. I recently tried to nonchalantly start a discussion with a facebook friend who I had an inkling of an idea that she may have had losses in the past, but she totally ignored me. Epic Fail!
    Also, coming from someone who has had three losses and one take-home baby, you never ever, ever get over that first loss. Or the second one. Or the third one (God forbid this happens to anyone out there). They will be with me forever…the losses hurt a little less every day, but are still there…and I know I will be terrified the next time (if – fingers crossed) I get pregnant.

  6. November 1, 2012

    It’s hard to find out that other people we know are also struggling. It’s such a difficult thing that and my heart can’t help but ache when I find out that infertility or loss is affecting people I know. It does, though. Unfortunately we are not alone.

    Also, I disagree, “Hey! So how many strange men have peered up your hoo-haw during treatment?” could be a great icebreaker, depending on the person.

  7. Juno #
    November 1, 2012

    Belle I swear you have the best gift for explaining an often unexplainable emotion. I often feel so sad for others in this situation that the hurt feels crushing. I try to shake it off and remind myself that I can’t take on everything. It’s impossible. Also I swear there’s a look in the eyes of one of “us” that just speaks volumes in an instant.

  8. michelle #
    November 1, 2012

    What a thoughtful post to write…she is lucky to babe a friend like you!

  9. November 1, 2012

    Infertility is not something I would wish upon anymore and when it hits a friend it is only worse.

  10. November 3, 2012

    It can be so crushing when you find another one of “us”, especially when it is someone you know in person. I have met or been told about a few people who are going through things. A lot of times it’s their family who heard what I have been through and ask me if they can give them my information if they would like someone to talk to. I happily give them my info and sometimes I hear from them.

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