Turns out, that was a bad idea. Let me paint a picture... I get to the very small and cramped conference room, and there are eight women present. The CARE coordinator, four nurses and techs, and three of us parents on the panel. Guess how many out of that group of eight were pregnant? It's still unbelievable to me...FOUR (that I knew of)!!! I mean, seriously?! One was the CARE coordinator, 2 were the other bereaved moms on the panel (because MOST bereaved moms get to go on and have healthy babies) and one was a nurse who had just experienced a loss recently and is perfectly pregnant again. Fabulous. Talk about your "position in life" as an infertile being thrown in your face!!!
So, I told my story (storIES, since I've had two losses), cried like a baby, and then went on to have a crappy day. I think part of the reason I was so emotional was because I was surrounded by fertiles, and I was totally and completely alone. How sad is it that even in a room of women who have lost babies, I still feel alone? My pain goes so much deeper, my loss so much more extensive. As I sat in that room, it hit me like a truck, right in the gut. All I could do was blubber, explain to them my unique position and how they could better support people like me in their hospital, and walk away feeling like a complete failure at being a woman. In a room full of women who CAN do what we are "made to do," I felt inadequate, damaged and just plain unnatural. It was the worst feeling I could have imagined. I still can't believe that it all happened...I'm still in shock at the intense pain that entered my heart today so unexpectedly.
And I've cried all day since. My head is throbbing, and I'm exhausted. But I do want to tell you two things that made this day survive-able:
1) I told them I was going to be an adoptive mom and pleaded to them that they also have empathy for adoptive parents when they are at the hospital. I explained that many of us adoptive parents have experienced loss, and are vulnerable, just like those amazing birth moms who are lying in the bed. Who knows? Maybe they will think of me the next time they get to witness the miracle of birth and adoption and will have more sensitivity to the unique situations of birth parents and adoptive parents. A girl can hope.... Once again, adoption protected my heart.
2) I went back to my office and decided to reach out to my best friend. I really needed a friend. There is a silent distance between us at times due to her pregnancy (and three other healthy children) and due to my infertility (and two dead babies). We love each other dearly, and we have resigned to prevail over this obstacle in our friendship, and we will. With that in mind, I asked for her support, and I got it. Isn't that beautiful? I was able to tell her how badly it hurt, how deeply this experience cut me, and she was able to hear it, and I mean really hear it. In those moments, were weren't an "infertile" and "fertile" talking, it was just us, the best friends we have been since ninth grade. And I needed that. I am thankful for this day in that it allowed us the opportunity to come together and support each other. Thank God for friends - some days would not be survive-able without them.
I'm not saying this day was great...it wasn't. It seems as soon as I get "cocky," thinking I am doing so well, being so brave...life throws me a curveball, and I am promptly put back into my place. What I am realizing, as I sit and write this is... I SURVIVED! A day that I swear could have done me in did not win! It sucked, and it hurt, and I'm not happy about it. But, I survived, and I am here to experience another day.
So, lift your glasses, ladies! "Here's to tomorrow being another day, and hopefully a day that holds more joy than pain. Cheers!"