Baby Brave

Family39713FE4-4E12-4D2E-AB06-847CB7F78A41 Baby brave. Baby, what!?! 

When you are a woman with endometriosis and PCOS, you are well aware of your fertility limitations. When you are pushing 34 and despite multiple treatments and surgeries for said conditions you have yet to conceive and carry a pregnancy, you are very aware of your risk of infertility.

I’ve been able to successfully place a shield between myself and my fertility reality for many years with the hope of “someday”, but as time goes on, and with the recent roaring return of my symptoms, my shield is less and less effective. I know that my window is closing and that my options are more and more limited. The reality of a hysterectomy {which was first presented to me almost 7 years ago} is at the forefront. I fear my body will never experience pregnancy and instead I’ll be back on the operating table … again. But this time it won’t be to preserve fertility, it will have taken it away. I’m not sure if I’m brave enough to face this yet.

On Saturday I had an opportunity to go see my best friend’s beautiful new baby. All week I was feeling nervous – the last thing I want is to show anyone that holding another person’s baby can feel like my heart is being ripped out of my chest. I have to almost puff myself up before I go to baby showers or children’s parties so that my shield is strong – in order for no one to see how weak I actually am.

On Friday my period came early – which is another reminder that I’m not well again. Beyond this, my emotions are raw during this time. By the evening, I was thinking of a way to cancel without being an asshole. I spent an hour crying and feeling sorry for myself – like ugly crying. I went to bed feeling dejected – like who is 1) afraid to go see a beautiful baby and 2) how can I be so selfish as to not want to go celebrate with my friend? I decided to pray about it and let it marinate in my soul for a while. Feeling anything related to infertility is not something I do, so this is new and scary. But I wanted to be brave.

On Saturday I woke up still feeling sad, but knowing that I needed to be brave. It’s hard to explain how I can both be simultaneously over-the-moon happy for someone who has just had a child while also feeling profound emptiness. But at the end of the day, I refused to let my sadness taint my happiness for my friend and her family. I refused to not show up for someone who has always shown up for me. So I made the choice to be brave.

I held that beautiful baby for darn near an hour. I couldn’t look at my husband much during that time, because I knew that would make things more emotional for me. I enjoyed the visit and celebrated with our friends. My heart fell full for my friend with a small pocket of emptiness – so instead of burying my feelings I acknowledged them and let them be. I looked at my husband and stepson and felt grateful for the family I do have. 

While I can’t predict what my future holds, I’m going to allow myself to feel my pain and be brave enough to acknowledge and own it. This isn’t easy. Life isn’t easy. But it is in trusting my journey and having a brave heart that I can survive and thrive each step of the way.

So this weekend I’m proud to say I was baby brave. I let my shield down and allowed myself to feel … to feel happy, sad,  jealous, alone, supported, and loved all at once. Being brave doesn’t mean you have to be perfect, it just means you show up, for both your loved ones and yourself. Bravery is vulnerability and courage is strength in weakness. Breaking down my shield has been scary and healing at the same time. I know it won’t be easy, but I’m going to continue on this path and trust I’ll figure how to navigate my way each and every day. Here’s to being brave!

 

 

4 thoughts on “Baby Brave

  1. In showing up, you have already won. I don’t presume to know your struggle, but I can tell you that I’ve been living mine in avoidance & NOT showing up, and it does not feel good either. thank you for sharing your thoughts.

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  2. I just had a notion to come visit this beautiful blog of yours again after you first mentioned it to me. I know who you visited here. 💗 I’m so proud of your bravery, so proud of you! I’m so proud of your acknowledged feelings even though they cause such pain. I’m so proud of your perseverance and your ability to see love in the darkest of spaces. You are loved and adored beyond measure.

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