A few weeks ago one of my dear friends came to see me for a bit of “hairapy”. Being friends for nearly a decade I already knew that she had been facing one of the most challenging seasons of her life. Leading to her appointment I wasn’t sure that I would have the words in my vocabulary to help her through the loss of her pregnancy. Her and her husband had been patiently trying for another baby, their first pregnancy coming so quickly they were a little baffled by the amount of time it was taking to conceive and before they knew it, this sweet life had slipped from their fingers. It is a loss like this that baffles the soul. As I greeted her and hugged her tight I said the only thing that made any kind of sense.
“What the f***.”
It was a question and a statement rolled into one. It was the years of watching some of my girlfriends try like hell to have a baby, some for the first time and some struggling with growing their family. It was the pain of seeing a strong woman look so fragile. It was the mysterious agony that reaches out so far, the feelings of inadequacy, the anger, the loss, the guilt, shame and most tragically the isolation.
Hollywood and science would tell us all that we have all of the time in the world to fill our wombs with a bouncing baby. What a scything insult it is to young women desperately aching to have a child of their own to see a woman their mother’s age having a child using a medical procedure out of financial reach to most families. In my small circle of friends I know of three women on Clomid, a medicine designed to amp up ovulation, and many more trying both eastern and western medicine to help them become pregnant.
It is heartbreaking to hear each of them struggling within their marriages and within themselves with this burden. For many it is even a barrier between them and their own mothers, how could a woman that bore children ever understand the heartache they face? How could someone like myself that had never tried for a family ever relate? Unless you have heard the echoes of an empty womb from within you cannot imagine the sound. I don’t know if it is a sign of my age or a sign of the times but the number of women I know dealing with this issue is climbing and the results are heartbreaking. It is deeply saddening to hear their stories and that they all feel so very alone.
It is my mission, and my hope that these women and their families know that their grief is shared by those that love them. We don’t have the words so sometimes we fall silent. We don’t have the experience so sometimes we give misguided advice. We don’t have the resources to help the way we wish we all could but I am willing to bet that if you need a hug or someone to shout obscenities with we will be there, wine in hand.
This is a blog and a prayer for comfort for those I love dearly. There is no justification. There is no “get pregnant quick” pyramid scheme we could all buy into. There is no understanding. For now there is just love from those around you, and faith that someday this season will make some sort of sense.