Recently Michael and I were invited to our friend's house for dinner. All week long I was so excited! I couldn't wait to get through the week and hang out with our friends.
Then the day arrived and as each hour passed I grew more and more anxious. My mind was flooded with so many what-ifs. There was another couple invited as well and we are really good friends with both couples. The women are some of my very best friends! So why in the world was I so anxious?
I was in charge of dessert and I have a go-to recipe that I love bringing to gatherings because it's always a hit. But I realized that my two friends have both had it before when I brought it to a girls' night and I began to fret that maybe the last time I brought it and they sang its praises that they were just being nice. So I decided to make two desserts-- which is crazy for six people!
But the anxiety about the dessert was just a side effect. The underlying thought that was bringing me so much anxiety was that maybe one of my two friends were pregnant. I told myself that I'm close enough with both of them that I think they'd tell me privately before announcing as a courtesy to my heartbreak. But then I thought, "What if she just found out this morning and isn't planning on telling anyone but is so excited she can't keep it in and tells us all and blindsides me with the news tonight?"
My mind could not let go of this thought and by the time Michael picked me up on his way home from work to head over to the cookout I felt totally overwhelmed. I sprayed a blend of essential oils for anxiety relief all over myself on the way over and watched this little video to help regulate my breathing.
I calmed down very soon after arriving, but I wanted to write a post to try to explain what it's like after two miscarriages and desiring so desperately to get pregnant.
In NO way at all do I claim to have infertility. But sometimes it feels that way. We've been trying to get pregnant now for two years. Of course we have been blessed with two sweet little babies, but we've lost both of them. I haven't been getting negative tests for two years straight, but it kind of feels that way because my arms are still empty. I don't want to take away from women who have faced 2+ years of infertility because I can't imagine that heartache. If that is you, I am so sorry.
And even though I'm not infertile, I know how it feels to see dozens of women pass you by as they all proudly boast positive pregnancy tests, cute announcements, and ultrasounds on social media. I know how much that hurts. I know the feeling you get each time you see a pregnancy announcement. It's gut wrenching.
I know how hard it is when someone brings up pregnancy casually in conversation. I know how you cringe when someone else's pregnancy is brought up. I know how hard it is to tell a friend congratulations when she announces her pregnancy or gives birth. I know how nervous you get when you know a pregnant woman will be at an event you plan to attend. Will she be the center of attention? Will you be seated right next to her?
I know how heartbreaking it is to be asked if you have any children. If you've had miscarriages do you bring up the babies you've lost and make the person feel incredibly uncomfortable for asking or do you say "not yet" and then feel guilty the rest of the day for pretending that your babies didn't exist.
I know how hot the tears feel on your cheeks as they fall when you open an invitation to a baby shower or birth announcement. I know the intense anger and jealousy you feel each time a couple announces they're pregnant. You wish you could just be happy for them but your emotions are everywhere. I know how it feels to cry out, "Why me?" Or, "When will it be my turn?" And only hear silence.
All of these fears can contribute to so much anxiety. If I'm going to be in a larger group of people, chances are someone doesn't know what I've been through and may ask me if I have children. If I'm watching TV with people, the episode might be all about pregnancy. If I'm going to a party I always wonder if it's secretly to announce a pregnancy. When your deepest desire is to get pregnant, it seems as if pregnancy and babies are everywhere.
If I just described your life, I am so sorry. I know how heartbreaking it is.
People who haven't experienced loss or what it feels like to get negative test after negative test probably have no clue how we feel. Or if they do acknowledge that it's hard, it's hard for them to understand the depth. The depth of anxiety over every social event. The depth of grief with every loss. The depth of depression with each passing month. The depth of jealousy with each new announcement. The depth of guilt for getting so jealous. The depth of anger out of the sheer unfairness of it all.
The depth of heartbreak after heartbreak.
And I wish I had a concrete answer for you. I wish that I could guarantee you'd get pregnant and give birth to a healthy baby. But I can't.
Suffering seems to put a magnifying glass on the curse of mankind. When things are going well you don't long for a place where things are always perfect quite as fervently. Of course you eventually want to make it to heaven, but you're in no rush because you love your life now. But the weight of burdens in this life put a longing in your heart for heaven. And that is the bittersweet blessing of heartache.
I can't promise you that every weight will be lifted when you turn to Jesus, but I can promise that it will get
l i g h t e r.
Jesus' presence brings peace in the midst of grief, doubt, depression, anxiety, jealousy, confusion, and anger. His presence goes deeper than any heartbreak on this earth. He binds the wounds of the brokenhearted!
I began writing this post with no intention to end it in the way that I did. I wanted to simply write about the heartbreak and highlight the anxiety I feel and that I'm sure many others do as well. But I would truly be remiss if I didn't tell you how I get through all of these hard feelings.
If it wasn't for the Lord I would be in a deep dark pit full of despair. But because of Him my moments of despair are fleeting and my hope runs deeper than any pit of darkness.