You are not glass. When you shatter, you will heal and be whole again.

I’ve been struggling the last few days. In the span of two days, we found out that three couples who are close to us are expecting a baby. That’s not counting the half dozen people who have made announcements in my social media network.

There once was a time when pregnancy announcements would bring on a complete break down. I would retreat into a dark room and sob. I would spend the duration of their pregnancy shifting between profound jealousy and overwhelming guilt for feeling jealous. I would politely decline invitations to baby showers because it hurt too much to be there. When the baby finally came and I took my turn to hold that beautiful angel, my heart would ache with a force that surpassed emotional pain. It was raw and ugly grief.

Over the years, the grief has eased and I can celebrate alongside my friends and family the way I used to. There is a quiet moment where I process the pain and let it go, but I stay out of the darkness. Last night after getting the news about the third baby from a friend, whom I love dearly, my stronghold started to crumble. I didn’t fall apart, but I did crumble a bit.

It’s HARD. It’s so hard to have a desire so strong that it is infused into every fiber of your being, but out of your reach. Especially when it seems impossible for you, yet so easy for others.

As hard as it is to endure that pain, I also know I don’t deserve to be a mom.

It’s not that I’ve done something wrong or that I’ve disqualified myself somehow. I didn’t mess up. I’m not being punished.

Being a mother isn’t something you earn. It’s a gift. A precious, beautiful, amazing gift. Many women of all backgrounds and circumstances are given that gift and some women, also of every background and circumstance, aren’t. It’s not a matter of deserving it.

In the same way that a baby isn’t a punishment, it also isn’t a reward.

I can’t earn it. I can’t will a child into being mine. I just can’t. I don’t have that control. I can choose to fight that reality and become frustrated, angry, and bitter or I can accept it and do my best to live a life I love and am proud of.

I choose to live. If someday the gift of motherhood is given to me, there will be never-ending, absolutely beautiful gratitude because I know so well that I could just as easily never be a mom.

But something in me knows that I was meant to be a mom. I know it because in my heart there exists a love that belongs to a child. Our child. My child.

Taking a deep breath and moving forward,

Christy

Many times I’ve been asked, “What should I say to my infertile friends? What helped you? What hurt you? How can I be there for them?” To be honest, there was very little I could think of as a response. “Love them.” “Listen to them.” That was the best I could do.

I ran across a post entitled Infertility Etiquette on a blog called Dreaming of Dimples last night and every word rang true. We have grieved, as she describes, for the loss of that desire and eventually moved on to new hope through adoption. The last bit really hits home, especially now when a few people have asked if we’re sure we want to leave trying to conceive behind us.

Once the couple has made the decision to stop treatments, support their decision. Don’t encourage them to try again, and don’t discourage them from adopting, if that is their choice. Once the couple has reached resolution (whether to live without children, adopt a child, or become foster parents), they can finally put that chapter of their lives behind them.

I hope it’s helpful for my friends who have wondered, “What do I say?” Thank you for being there for me and Daniel. Thank you for supporting us now as we pray for a miracle through the blessing of adoption. I am so grateful for the hope that adoption has given us.

-Christy