A deeper level of compassion

I realize it’s been half of a year since I’ve written. I am perhaps the most sporadic blogger ever. Life continues to keep us guessing and we have been busy trying to find the balance between letting go and forging ahead.

I’m writing today because I saw on Facebook that it’s National Infertility Awareness Week and I feel this is such an important topic that I’ve decided to share my story. Clearly as the mother of two boys that I often write and post about, I have not had fertility problems….however, due to a recent event in our life, I feel that I have such a deeper understanding and compassion for the families going through fertility problems.

About 7 weeks ago I realized that my period was late. I took a pregnancy test and despite our attempts to prevent pregnancy, sure enough it was positive. I found myself in tears with a tornado of emotions. This wasn’t the plan. Chris was scheduled for a vasectomy the following week. I was nervous and worried if we could handle another baby. I also felt joy at the thought of another member of our loud but loving family. I immediately told my mother-in-law because I was freaking out and because Chris was out of town for work and I wasn’t sure I should bother him. My mother-in-law cried too and told me that she saw joy in my eyes. In the days that followed, I found myself acutely aware of my body changing. My sense of smell once again became heightened. I felt bloated and swear I could feel this little bean inside of me growing. Chris and I told our parents, and a few other people. We began to become excited and developed a whole story around it. Six days later I started spotting and I knew. The next day I miscarried and was reminded of that for the next 7 days. I cried. Chris and I shared a few nights with a bottle of wine and a box of tissues. We talked, grieved, and started to heal. Sure, it was only 6 days and it was in the first trimester. I knew it was a possibility but experiencing it was different.

The next day my mother-in-law came over and told me to go take some time for myself. I went to yoga. There were two pregnant girls in the class of about 10 of us. The teacher was talking to them, asking them questions about their pregnancies, and then she proceeded to ask each one of us if we were mothers. In that moment, I not only felt pain but I felt so much compassion for all of the women who have miscarried and didn’t have children. I know that if I didn’t have two healthy boys at home then I would have left that yoga class in tears. The teacher of course didn’t mean any harm by the conversation. It probably didn’t even cross her mind that it is a sensitive subject. Of the 10 women in the class there was only 1 without children. I don’t know her story but I pray that is a choice.

We live in a time when so many of us face fertility problems. I have worked with a few women in my nutrition program and I look back and hope that I never said anything that was hurtful. While I have always had compassion, I didn’t fully understand the depth of pain until I experienced it.

If that tiny little bean that took residence in me for 6 short days was for nothing else, then it was to teach me a lesson of compassion. For this, I am thankful.

I realize that I’m very blessed. I know that this story is nothing compared to the struggles many of you have faced. I have not walked in your shoes. I do not know the depths of your pain and I am certainly not here to compare. If anything, I hope to shed some light on how painful this can be with the hope that we will all be a little more compassionate.

May God bless you.