Seven pregnancies, four IVFs, two IUIs, and three natural conceptions have gone by before I could be honest about what I’ve been through.
For years, I have suffered from infertility and miscarriages in silence, until little by little I began to share my story. I couldn’t believe how many people responded with “me too”. I ached in return for their pain, but found comfort in knowing I was not alone in this isolating situation.
It’s been exhausting showing up to places with a masked broken heart. I’ve gone on live TV, more than once, moments after finding out I’m having a loss. I’ve given myself injections right before walking down the aisle in a friend’s wedding and hidden a cooler full of meds in an oversized purse at parties so I could remain in secrecy. I’ve had to put make-up on over my arms, which were needle-bruised from all the times they checked my hormone levels and it was like trying to get water from a stone. I’ve had handfuls of holidays tarnished by bad news–like our anniversary when we found out our procedure didn’t take, and had to start all over again. Or the Mother’s Days when I felt like I was being nationally mocked for what I couldn’t have.
I used to see frustrated moms with their kids having a tantrum in the grocery store and think to myself, “You’re so lucky.” I would’ve given anything to switch places with them and be in the position to have a child who could have a tantrum. (Now a days, I repeat to myself, “You’re so lucky, you’re so lucky” every time my daughter melts down in public, reminding myself someone may be watching me and wishing they could have it too.)
I’m done covering this up like it’s some shameful secret. I no longer want to feel as though I’m not a regular part of society because my body didn’t quite get the memo about how simple the birds-and-the-bees thing is supposed to be. Because as time goes on, I realize, it’s NOT just me who has to experience these tragedies.
After my most recent loss this summer at 20 weeks (halfway through), my 6th in total, I turned to what I’ve always known to be comfort: writing.
I write this for everyone who may be reading and thinking “me too”. I write this for everyone whose story hasn’t gone as planned, for every heartbreak, for every miracle, for every rainbow baby, for everyone still waiting on their unanswered prayers. I write this for those who aren’t affected by this topic, and may have never realized how much some people have struggled. This is for mommies and mommies in waiting everywhere. Daddies too.
I write this for my child(ren) who will read this one day, and know how I fought to have them with every fiber of my being. I write this so they will know even in my most imperfect parenting moments, when I lose my patience or even my temper, not a second goes by when I’m not incredibly grateful for their presence in my life, and being their mom will always be the best thing that ever happened to me.
I am the type of person who focuses on the positive. I use social media to share yummy food photos, silly things Emma said, fun times with friends, romantic nights out, memorable vacation pics and to promote That’s SO Jenn. And it’s all genuine. I AM truly blessed in so many ways. At times, I may even over-post about my joy as I intentionally live a life of gratitude and celebration. I don’t choose to gripe or vent, shame or spill about unpleasant happenings. It’s mostly surface stuff–and the really good parts. I like making people smile.
But because I would have been due with baby #2 this month, I feel it’s appropriate for me to show you another piece of my life. It’s not warm and fuzzy. It won’t make you giggle with happiness. But it’s very, very real.
I’m thankful to Motherwell for finding my story worth publishing. If you have a quiet moment, I invite you in. And if you want to say “me too”, I’m here.
Please read my piece through the link below, as originally published on Motherwell: