Yesterday we went to a barbeque and house warming for good friends of ours who recently moved to the country. Their home is idyllic! They have 5 acres, with a pond, woods, and a gorgeous view of a mountain. Several other good friends were there, and we spent several hours just relaxing, talking, and eating.
It sounds so perfect on paper.
But of course, IF has to have its say...once again, per usual it seems, I was the only non-mom, non-pregnant lady among my peers. I knew that would probably be the case, so I tried to prepare in advance. I spent some time with the guys, playing Frisbee. I drank some beer. I politely excused myself from two pregnancy conversations. But I don't know whether I'm overly sensitive, or what, but even with all my "strategies," after a few hours, I was ready to leave. My heart was aching that we don't have a child to interact so cutely with our friends' kids. (The ache really feels physical sometimes.) And I just felt so left out. Not by anything anyone said or did - I can't tell you how blessed we are to have friends who are so sensitive to our situation, and thank God no one else said, "So when are you having kids?" But still - it's just so hard to be there, un-pregnant, non-mother, and see the exact thing I desire displayed in all its glory in front of me. Toddlers playing in the pool, women with adorable maternity dresses, babies in the sandbox, babies being fed, and so on. Everywhere I looked, it was like my daydreams being played out, except I wasn't in them. I was locked out, leaning against the wall as everyone else had a baby to feed or hold or grow in the womb.
(Sorry to sound so melodramatic.)
Anyway, events like that - which should be the most fun, relaxing events - are so hard right now. (Do they ever get easier?)
Hence my title: I was thinking on the drive home how helpful it is to know that there are other women out there who know exactly what I mean. Who have been there at the bbqs and the baby showers and have felt the heartache of being childless. Who know the crazy mixed emotions at hearing a pregnancy announcement. Who just know the pain of being childless when it seems to come so easy to so many people.
I just can't tell you how much that means. I started reading the "IF blogs" after my first Mother's day as a married woman, which was also about a year into TTC. The emotions I felt at the Mother's day mass blindsided me, and I literally googled something like "mother's day is really hard" and happened upon all of these blogs that got it! I felt like I had been thrown a life preserver.
I feel blessed to have met several of the bloggers in real life (and I'm going to meet a few more this afternoon at a blogger meet-up picnic!) but even the folks I never met, and maybe never even leave a comment, your words mean so much. You make me feel so much less alone. Like someone gets what this is like. (Of course I wish no one had to experience IF at all, ever. But since that doesn't seem the case, I'm so incredibly grateful for people who "get it" and who share about their experiences, because I've found it challenging to find such people in person.)
So thank you. Thank you for sharing your stories from the heart, for helping me put words to what is such an ongoing trial, for making me feel like I'm not the only crazy person on the planet who has all these racing emotions at such benign things like bbqs with friends. Please keep writing. I need you.