"...suffering is one of the universal conditions of being alive. We all suffer. We have become terribly vulnerable, not because we suffer, but because we have separated ourselves from each other." -- Rachel Naoimi Remen

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Woven together

Longevity runs in my family.  My children have the privilege of having five living octa- and nonagenarian great grandparents.  

A few of my close friends have lost their parents too early in their life.  I am sad for them and have tried to empathize with them when learning of their loss.  I imagine how hard that must be, but I don't really know the weight of that burden, how hurtful that sort of loss really feels. 

Similarly, a few of my close friends have suffered from miscarriage and recurrent miscarriage.  I know their pain, and they know mine.  We empathize in an intimate way that only others who've also experienced our kind of suffering and loss can fully understand.  I have other friends with multiple successful pregnancies or those who haven't had chosen to have children who empathize, love and support me.  Through no fault of their own, however, they don't really know.

Through my struggle with secondary infertility and recurrent pregnancy loss, blogging, and becoming part of the adoption community, I've come to know many people outside my immediate circle who've also suffered from the pain that infertility, secondary infertility, miscarriage, pregnancy and infant loss bring.  Aside from the gift of my second son which I have through adoption, this - this family-like community of hugely empathic friends - is the greatest gift that miscarriage has given me.  I've been honored to know countless beautiful people whose faith and fortitude have inspired me along the way. 

I've cried hard for you a few times this week.  (... and here I go again...) 

When we share our life stories with one another, infertility binds us in a unique and intimate way.  We've been woven together over tragedy, and it is beautiful.  And let me say it again, it has been an honor being bound with you in that way.  I cherish this bond, and I love you for making me strong when I was weak; for giving me hope when I was full of doubt.  

I hope and I pray and I'm begging my lucky stars, that what I share this week doesn't break our bond.  I know it will change it, and that makes me really sad.  As happy as I am for myself and my family, I am so sorry if this separates us.  I do not mean to hurt you.   

A little more than three months ago, I became pregnant for the seventh time.  The baby in my womb seems to be thriving.  It's been scary, and it's been fun.  Certainly, one of the greatest privileges of my life. 

Among the people I've already told, a common sentiment has been that, "if anyone deserves this, you do."  I truly appreciate those kind, thoughtful, generous words.  But, what I know in my heart is, there are many many people in my circle of infertility who deserve this.   And deserving though they may be, they might not get this sort of happy ending.  Deserving doesn't have anything to do with it. 

My heart is with you - it always will be. 

Rachel Naomi Remen says, "...suffering is one of the universal conditions of being alive.  We all suffer.  We have become terrible vulnerable, not because we suffer, but because we have separated ourselves from each other."  I pray you and I are not separated by this... because I think we still need each other. 

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