Last year during National Infertility Awareness Week (#NIAW), I posted 5 Things I Want You to Know. This year, I'm revisiting those five things and also giving a bit of an update. I would love to hear from you, so make sure you blog back to me!
I'm not sure at what age or stage or time it became a thing for women to start sharing their birth stories, but it is, apparently. For those of us who are adoptive parents, waiting to adopt, waiting to get pregnant, or waiting to get pregnant again, this is H-A-R-D!
I'm extremely blessed to have had the opportunity to be present for Brighten's birth, but we didn't know that would even be something I could be a part of literally until the night before. We also know without a doubt that we won't be part of Judah's first few months of life, or even years, much less his birth. Is that okay with me? Heck NO! I wish I could be present for every part of my children's lives from the moment they entered the world in their birth mom's tummy. I wish I could have a say in what their birth moms eat, drink, what she does, where she goes, how she talks to her growing belly; I wish I could be there for ultrasounds, celebrations, pains, and everything in between. But that's not the reality of adoption.
Adoption can feel extremely isolating at times, and infertility can certainly feel isolating and extremely painful. Women having discussions about their birth stories is hard when you are walking through a struggle or if you didn't give birth to your child.
I'm not the police of the world, so I'm not saying that you should or shouldn't blog about it or talk about it at all. I have the option to not read your blog or that Instagram post, and you should totally have the freedom to talk about giving birth, and even struggles that you may have had as part of your birth story or stories. Everyone needs an outlet and their people to talk to, and I'm 100% a fan of that for sure. But here's my request: can we not talk about it on a girl's night with a group of women with varying stories and struggles?
I love the way God is forming our family, but this, probably more than anything, makes me feel like there's something I've missed out on with my baby girl. I didn't get to feel her move or kick. I didn't get to make the decision about natural or medicated or c-section. I didn't get to choose if we'd do skin to skin or if she'd be breast fed or on formula. Many of those decisions were not mine to make, or were not options for us. And for those of us who are struggling with infertility, these conversations likely bring us to a place where we are having to put aside a jealousy that we don't mean to have, and certainly don't want to have.
If I've said it once, I've said it one thousand times, but infertility and waiting for a child is extremely isolating. Part of what makes National Infertility Awareness Week so important is that is sheds light on a very dark, very lonely season in people's lives.
Along those lines, there's nothing like sitting around a table with other women and feeling like you literally have nothing to contribute to a conversation about some of the most intimate and precious moments of a person's life. When everyone is saying, "Oh that happened with me too," or, "For me it was like this..." it's hard not to feel left out.
Add the fact that when you're struggling with something like infertility and waiting for a child you feel this heightened sense isolation and like you don't belong. You feel like everyone knows and they can see right into your soul that your greatest desire seems to be so far out of your reach that it feels impossible.
It's hard. It's hard to feel alone. It's hard to feel like the only one. It's hard to feel like everyone else around you has what you want so desperately. It's hard to feel like everyone else's body works and yours fails you time and time again.
I think there's a time and a place for everything, and it's important to gauge a room before you start swapping birth stories. Are there women around who desire to be married but God has them living out a season of singleness? Are there women around who are adopting or fostering? Are there women around who have been trying to get pregnant (even if they already have a child or a few)? Are there women around who have experienced loss in pregnancy or adoption? Are there women around who you don't know well and could fit into any of these categories?
Choose sensitivity. Every time choose sensitivity.