I Think About You When:
Updated: Jul 4, 2018
The first post on my news feed is an excited couple holding an ultrasound picture with 227 thumbs up and 57 comments about how becoming a parent is “the best!”
I’m sitting in Sunday school and I can count seven round bellies in the front two rows.
The conversation inevitably turns to chats about birth plans and breast feeding woes during one of our typical lady’s nights, but you sit quietly, unsure how to contribute.
I spot the off-brand pregnancy tests among the assorted feminine hygiene products while snaking my way through the overcrowded aisles of Walmart.
I think about you when I see a pink swaddle blanket, a young mom pushing her jogging stroller around the park, the maternity section at Target.
I think about you during every story of failed InVitro, adoption success, miscarriage and loss, insulting doctors, ignorant comments, and years without results. I think about you when I feel my baby kick... and when I sit down in the waiting room at the doctor and for once, like the other two girls that arrived before me, I have a round belly, too.
I know that for you, the heartbreak doesn’t come once a month. Or even once a day. It’s a constant ache that fills you up, like helium testing the limits of a balloon. You’re sure that one day you’ll burst open, exposing your heavy burden to anyone that looks your way. But somehow you manage to take it all in stride, you expand instead of break. You're made of stronger stuff than you thought you were.
I guess I just don’t want you to think that I’ve forgotten you, or what it’s like to be standing in front of a one-lined pregnancy test. As much as I hoped for a day when I would have the obvious pregnant belly and hold Michael’s hand while an ultrasound technician pointed out our baby’s various body parts, I could never really picture it happening for me. All that time of hoping and not receiving allowed me to really marvel at what a miracle pregnancy is. The odds being so low, the timing having to be so perfect---it just seemed so unreachable. This experience is by far the most surreal thing that has ever happened to me. I stop every single time I pass a mirror to look at my belly. I lift up my shirt, poke my protruding belly button, and think “Is this freaking for real?!” Every morning I wake up and I grab at my stomach, expecting it to be flat again, scared that it went away while I slept. Because how often did I dream it only to be crushed by reality when my alarm woke me up? But dare I say, I’m glad I went through the infertility battle---I would marvel at this experience so much less without it.
I want you to know that even though I’m documenting my growing waistline and posting pictures of my 3D ultrasounds via social media, I have not forgotten you. I haven’t forgotten the support, love, and prayers you offered me during the hard days. Even though I’m on this side of the pregnancy test and you are still waiting, I want you to know that I pray for you, I feel for you (although I won’t pretend to know how much you are hurting or what it feels like. Everyone hurts in their own ways.), and I’m always, always, hoping for the day when it’s your turn.