I know we have all written the post. You know which post I am talking about. The post about the terrible things people say to those who are suffering through infertility or loss. There are particular phrases or sayings that cut us all to the quick, and many times we are left wondering how anyone could think that was a helpful, kind, or even acceptable thing to say to someone who is going through what we are enduring. But there is one that really upsets me and makes me angry, although I never really understood why it affects me the way it does.
Oftentimes, well-meaning people will tell me about their friend, mother, grandmother, sister, cousin, etc. who has had a miscarriage, but now they have healthy children. Sometimes the person is speaking about her own story, telling me about how she was able to get pregnant and carry to term after a loss. You would think that I would find this encouraging, and I would receive hope about how I could potentially be telling the same story down the road. But I think I finally understand why this bothers me so much. Almost every time I tell someone about my losses, I am not looking for hope that I will give birth to a child or encouragement that I will one day be a mother.
I’m already a mother.
When I talk about my miscarriages, I am looking for someone to acknowledge my grief and what I have lost. I want someone to understand that I am not solely mourning the fact that we can’t seem to have children right now. It isn’t only about my fertility issues and whether or not I will carry to term and give birth one day. It is about my children. All three of them. It feels like the whole world wants me to just write them off and try again. Like they don’t count. I don’t care how far along I was–you become a parent the moment that second line appears. I have loved them, prayed for them, talked to them, imagined their futures, made plans. I didn’t get to hold them in my my arms, but I sure as hell held them in my heart. I want people to understand that. How do I make them understand that?