As many of us have discovered and observed, one upside of IF is the sensitivity and compassion we all gain from our journeys. We learn that things are not always as they seem. We are less likely to pass judgement, make comments without thinking, or take things for granted. I have seen this in myself during my interactions with coworkers, with my family and with my friends.
Remember back in November when I was getting all hyped up about our friends S and J visiting right after Christmas? I knew they were trying to get preggo with number two, I knew we’d have their baby running around the apartment…and frankly, I was feeling just a little jealous and not exactly up to the task of hosting these fertile-mertile friends of ours. Anyway, the post where I talked about that is sickeningly prophetic, as you will see.
As I sat in the RE waiting room with hubs this morning, an email from S titled “Update” came into my inbox. I braced myself, expecting that it would be news that they were X weeks pregnant. And it was indeed an announcement of pregnancy. But then came the heartbreaking part. They lost the baby last week. She miscarried. Ugh ugh ugh. How my heart aches and breaks for her. Life freaking sucks sometimes.
S is emotionally distraught right now. It was so easy for her to conceive Baby A that she took it for granted it would 1) be anything less than a breeze to get preggo again, and 2) that a miscarriage could happen to her. She is dealing the best she can and I could feel her anguish through my iPhone.
Before I wrote her back, I visited Al’s most recent post (“There are those that understand…”) and re-read it. Even though I have this newfound sensitivity and compassion and feel like I can relate to S in a way a non-IFer cannot, I don’t know what her pain and suffering feel like. I wanted to say the right thing, the best thing. I actually pasted this text from Al’s post into my email back to her.
All they can say is “I’m sorry that this is so hard and I know you’re struggling. Please know that I care for you and I love you. I am here for you in whatever you need.”
I tweaked the words to make the them my own. I can’t tell her I know how it feels. I can’t tell S that I know she’ll feel better. I can’t tell her that next time it’ll work out like it’s supposed to. I can’t tell her not to worry/stress/etc. I can only tell her that I’m here for her, in whatever way she needs. I hope I helped her in some tiny way, or that I can in the future.
Today I stopped and thought and felt in a way I never have before, except in blog-land. It’s like you study and study (fertility treatments) for some exam (getting pregnant and having a baby), but then you find yourself using what you’ve learned in a real life situation. Does that make sense? Not that all of you amazing women aren’t real life!!! I just haven’t known you since I was 22 years old, like I have S. I don’t think I could be the friend that I will be for her without IF. I don’t know if she would’ve opened up to me without IF. She didn’t know about our IF struggles, so it’s not that…I feel like something is a little more open in me now. I’m a little softer. A little more approachable. More honest and raw.
This IF experience pretty much made me a better friend. Al’s post and all of your blogs make me a better person. And as much as IF 110% sucks, for that I am grateful. Thank you guys.