Tuesday, May 31, 2016

It's difficult to determine what will break me


Last night, I was minding my own business, doing some work on my computer with the tv on a random channel. I was probably watching an episode of F.R.I.E.N.D.S. or something on the ID channel. Typically I keep the tv on for the background noise. While I don't pay careful attention to what's going on, I am vaguely aware of the noise in the background. Every so often, something happens or is said on screen that captures my attention and I look up from what I'm doing.

A commercial was playing for the "morning after" pill (see the link at the top). They didn't call it that in the commercial; they call it "Plan B," just in case.

Folks, for those of us who have suffered child loss and/or are dealing with infertility, this commercial just tears open an already unhealed and bleeding wound. I'm not talking about right or wrong, morality or immorality as I share my heart tonight. I'm talking about the desperation we feel in our inability to have the baby (babies) we so desperately want while there are women in the world who are doing everything in their power to keep from having one.

I am not trying to judge. It is difficult with such a sensitive subject not to come across as judging, but please, hear my heart.

I get that some women do not have a desire to have children. I don't think women should be having babies just because it's expected of them. I know a number of women (couples) who have made a very conscious decision NOT to have any children and they are doing everything possible to prevent that from happening. That is a choice that they have every right to make.

It is just as frustrating watching some women have one baby after another while saying how much she hates kids--other kids, but not her own.

Every time I see a woman who is pregnant or read a pregnancy announcement online, my heart falls down into my toes and I feel the depression descend as a comfortable, yet unwanted, blanket. I rejoice in the joy of others--of course I do, but the fact, the simple truth is that I want one, too. Yes, I have my son. He is truly the sunshine of my life.

But I want his 3 siblings, too.

We make a big deal out of women who don't want kids.

We make a big deal when a woman doesn't have any kids.

Almost as soon as a couple gets together, they hear, "So when are you two going to have a baby?"

Women who struggle with infertility have to hear this question--and it breaks their hearts, each and every time.

Women who have made a conscious choice not to have any children have to hear this question--and it breaks their hearts, each and every time.

Why is whether or not a woman has a baby anyone's business but that of the couple deciding to have a baby, or not?

Why is the general public so incredibly insensitive regarding the feelings of women?

I have been pregnant a total of 4 times but have only one living child. My body still has times when it reacts as if a pregnancy is imminent, in spite of the fact that pregnancy is an impossibility for me now. Like a phantom limb, sometimes I feel movement in my belly--as if a baby is growing there.

Many of us who have dealt with (are dealing with) child loss or infertility also struggle with depression, anxiety, and/or other emotional, physical, mental, and even spiritual issues. What seems insignificant to others or no big deal has HUGE significance for us and is a VERY big deal.

What you feel is harmless teasing actually sends many of us to our beds, curled up in our blankets, hiding from the world, unable to eat, bathe, or function in normal society. Your words or such commercials, I am sure, are NOT intended to hurt, but the honest-to-goodness truth is that WORDS (and such commercials) HURT--a lot--deep into our very souls.

We know, with our heads, that such words are not meant to hurt, but, like M'Lynn in Steel Magnolias, we wish someone would explain it to our hearts. We desperately attempt to cling to sanity, but we honestly never know what is going to rip open our wound or what is going to just give it a little tug. If we could control that, we
so would.

I say all this simply to say this: we never know what someone is going through, so be nice to each other. This isn't just a saying or a cliche; it's truth. 

What is it that kills your soul....?


  1. What kills my soul? Seeing other women my age with their mothers shopping, getting their nails done, cooking together, simply being together and talking to each other. It took me seven years and two hospitalizations to finally get to a place where I could live with grief as a part of my new life without my mother. My mother's first baby was miscarried at 6 months gestation and I myself had a very early miscarriage during my first year of marriage. But no loss in my life hurt me more than the loss of my mother. I still need her. I still want her in my life. I know she is in heaven and in a better place without pain and suffering but I still want her everyday. It never gets easier with time. You just have to find a place for grief. It becomes a part of Who You Are.
    Leslie Benson

  2. Leslie, loss of a loved one is loss. Period. You have my heart, many hugs, and prayers. I love and miss you, my friend.