watching through the plexiglass

March 2017

We’ve been struggling with infertility for two years, now, and I am relieved to say that it gets more normal with time. Not that we aren’t still trying, or that we aren’t disappointed, but some of the obsessive and desperate emotions that I felt earlier on (especially during months 6-18ish) have faded, and the misery that I couldn’t imagine continuing to live with has lessened. I am sure most grief is this way–time does allow for some of the high-strung thoughts and feelings to calm into a normalcy of simply missing what was lost.

These days, when someone announces their pregnancy, I don’t run to the bathroom to cry. I don’t tear up at the acquaintances on Facebook who post pictures of their growing bellies; I have learned to keep a guard up, especially when it comes to people with whom I would otherwise have no contact with if it weren’t for social media and its powers to connect me to the girls who visited our youth group for one summer in high school, or the people who lived down the hall my freshman year of college. These are not the people who typically have an influence in my life, and I don’t want to wield that power over to someone who is practically a complete stranger now.

When someone I love announces their pregnancy, I am genuinely happy for them. This happiness can mix with my own sorrow, but my sadness is in now way directed as frustration or bitterness toward the expectant mother. The best way I have found to describe this is like sitting on the other side of one of those plexiglass windows like you might find at a gymnastics club or racquetball court.  I can see my friends going through pregnancy, adjusting to life with a newborn, and feeding baby her first bites of avocado. I am happy for them, and I can see how happy they are, but there is this distance with my emotions as I think about myself being on the other side of the plexiglass.

I feel removed from the possibility of this being my life–not in a hopeless, dramatic way, but we made the decision so long ago to start “trying” to start a family that it’s hard to register that same excitement and possibility each month.

I am grateful for next steps in our fertility process. I am grateful for God’s sovereignty over everything; he could allow me to get pregnant despite endometriosis and despite confusing test results for my husband.

And, honestly, I am grateful to be on the other side of the plexiglass. In the beginning, it felt like I was in that room with all of the moms and babies, yet I was missing a baby, so I felt overwhelmed and left out, like I didn’t belong. While I do want to get pregnant and go back over there, it was hard living in an emotional state like that. I am grateful for the little bit of distance that the Lord has allowed me to develop as I trust him for where he has me right now, regardless of what he is doing in others’ lives. He is active and present in my life, no matter my circumstances, and those circumstances don’t have to line up with someone else’s.