When I am sitting in a room full of pregnant women, with babies bouncing on laps, smiling, joyful coos and squeezes, wrapped in blissful arms, please don’t underestimate how hard I am trying to hold back tears. How hard I am trying to smile. To belong, to feel present. If you only knew how much it took for me to hold it in, then cry in my car on the way home. If you only knew, you wouldn’t second guess why I don’t attend anymore…
When I wake up and log into social media and see 7 pregnancy announcements and ultrasound pics, gender reveals and newborn baby pics. Please don’t underestimate how hard I am trying. I’m sorry I have to ‘unfollow’ you for a while. Please know it’s not personal. It’s just painful. I am truly happy for your joy, but can’t hold in my own feelings of jealousy. Please know I am trying, but I can only take so much. Please know how strong I have to be to talk myself out of the self loathing I feel for being such a ‘horrible’ person.
When I find out we were the only ones not invited to the weekend gathering, It makes me feel like we are invisible. Invisible within a world we are not a part of now because we don’t have kids. I pretend it doesn’t break my heart in a million pieces, that my best friends no longer include us – ‘because they didn’t think we’d want to come to a kids birthday’. Please don’t underestimate how hard it is to feel forgotten, but still have the courage to keep fighting, desperately searching for a place to belong. Stuck between worlds is a lonely place and a daily reminder of what we still don’t have.
When I can’t drink, or eat certain things or have to skip vacations and last minute family gatherings, it’s not because I am high maintenance or think I am better than anyone else or don’t care, it’s because I am trying. Please don’t underestimate my desperation daily. The one I hide through my smiles and silence. I am sorry for this silence about my truth, but It’s too hard to share. I don’t want to see pity in your eyes. Please don’t underestimate the length to which I have obsessively lived because I am doing my best. I am doing everything. Living in a cycle of grief and failure, desperately trying to be better, do better. Please don’t underestimate the energy this takes. If you only knew what I have survived, even this week, you’d be surprised I even got out of bed.
If you only knew why I sit quietly while everyone else is chatting about sippy cups, potting training and pregnancy symptoms. Please don’t underestimate how hard it is to sit there, feeling alone, praying no one notices or asks me how I am, or better yet, asks when I’m having kids. I sit in anxiety praying you don’t make any suggestions, or ask if we’ve tried ___, or tell me about your friend’s cousin who did this and then got pregnant with twins after 5 years. Please don’t underestimate how hard I am trying to rise above the anger I feel boil up inside me…
If you only knew everything we have sacrificed for this.
I am not asking for anything more than empathy and understanding. You have never had to be here where we are, so please don’t underestimate how hard I am trying every single day, in every single way.