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God has blessed me tremendously with an amazing husband, Doug, and two gorgeous little boys, Gavin and Joey. It has always been a dream of mine to have a large family but God may have other plans. I had a series of 6 consecutive early miscarriages when trying for baby #2. We are currently trying for baby #3 after our 7th miscarriage. I am faithful that God's plan is perfect, even when I am not happy about it. I love comments and meeting new followers so please don't be shy!

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Sunday, April 10, 2011

The Pregnant Side of Infertility

When I was pregnant with Gavin I kept the pregnancy a secret for all of about 3 weeks. Then the news started trickling out to some of my work friends, then family, then some extended family. I figured that anyone that I hadn't told would find out from word of mouth since one of the perks of a loud Italian family is that word travels fast! Apparently everyone knew the good news except for one person. No one bothered to share the news with a cousin of mine. She was never able to have children of her own and, understandably, struggled with pregnancy news or baby talk. So, none of her immediate family members chose to offer up the heartbreaking news about the "baby cousin" (me) being pregnant. While that made life easier for her family temporarily, it didn't make life any easier for either of us.

It was an October bonfire and impromptu family get-together. I greeted family with waves and hugs as always and then I saw Tracy. She looked at me, down at my belly, then back at me. She uttered what I am sure were the only words she could think to say as she was unexpectedly dealing with the Miscarriage and Infertility Phenomenon. She said, "Well, I see you didn't wait long." with obvious disdain in her voice. "How did I not know this?" I was pretty irritated with her sisters and parents for not sharing the news with her in a private way. We were both blind-sided.

I was trying my best to keep the conversation short and sweet so that we could put it behind us and go on to enjoy the get together. "Well, I am not getting any younger so..." As soon as the words came out of my mouth, I wanted to crawl into a hole. I probably couldn't have chosen worse words to explain my pregnancy to a woman 10 years my senior. Turning away from me she made a pained comment about her age, and that was the end of the conversation. While I was so sorry for the situation, I didn't know the pain that she was feeling until after my losses. It was like a light switch was turned on. "OH! So THAT is why my pregnancy bothered her so much!" If only life had a do over button.

Luckily for me, I had an opportunity to redeem myself. When I was pregnant with Joey, and had confirmed the heartbeat at 6 weeks. This was a major milestone I had not passed since Gavin. I decided to send Tracy an e-mail. I shared with her my history of losses and apologized for how things went between us during my pregnancy with Gavin. I told her that I knew that news of pregnancy isn't always happy news to everyone and that I wanted her to have time to process my news before the rest of the world knew. She was the only person outside of my immediate family that had the news and it would stay that way until the end of the first trimester.

We exchanged a few e-mails where we talked about our very different, yet very painful roads. A couple of weeks later she sent me a St. Girard medal along with a booklet of prayers. I wore the medal through my pregnancy and felt like Tracy and I had really bonded though the following months. We asked her and her husband to be Joseph's God parents as I knew that if I wanted anyone to help me raise my child to know God, it would be her and her husband. I think that anyone who can stay faithful to Him during the emotional, and quite honestly brutal, road of infertility then they mush have unshakable faith.

So, if you have news of pregnancy to break to someone dealing with infertility, please do it gently. Don't expect hugs and happiness to ensue. Don't think that they should be "over" the fact that they can't or haven't yet had children. Give them time to process and grieve their un-pregnant situation. Chances are that they will eventually thank you for your thoughtfulness, and you just might form a very unique and strong relationship as Tracy and I have.



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