While we were on vacation we had the opportunity to visit some wonderful friends of ours that we went to college with. It was one of the highlights of our trip as we haven't seen them in years and they haven't even met Bean before. It was much too short of a visit but worth the long drive and we enjoyed every second.
We weren't there for very long when we learned that our dear friends were dealing with some of the same hurdles to starting their family that we had. I was heartbroken for them. This is something that I wouldn't wish on anyone, and to see such good people and dear friends going through it, it brought back a lot of feelings, especially those of how unfair all of this is. The night before we left we found ourselves sitting around a table with our friends, and friends of theirs who are also going through infertility. I had never been surrounded by so many couples who really understood. I can't even describe what that was like. I could try, but I just don't feel like I could do it justice. It changed me though.
It gave me perspective once again on where we've been, on how many other people out there are going through this, and how in certain ways we've come out the other side. I've always said that I will never be living after infertility, I will always be living with it, even after we're done growing our family, and that hasn't changed. But when you're sitting around a table with wonderful people talking about the heartache, financial difficulties, and generally crappiness that comes along with all this, it's hard feel a little like I shouldn't even open my mouth. Our beautiful baby girl was sleeping upstairs and these two incredible couples are still waiting for their miracle. Not only that, but we have our second growing inside me right now. What I wouldn't give for us all to have little ones sleeping upstairs, as many of them as we want.
But life isn't like that. And the reality of it all is that for some people, it just never happens. I've known that all along and when I was going through it the first time, I was so terrified that could be me. Now I see that in other people and all the worry that I'm putting into my current pregnancy, well, it makes me feel a little foolish. Yes, I will always be infertile, and I will always feel infertility, but part of that should be, no needs to be, that I can feel the joy of finally achieving my dream, for however long it lasts. That I can feel the fear but also be able to put it in a box. That I can control it instead of it controlling me. Because there was a time when I didn't know if I would ever have one baby and while I know that other people are in that same situation every day, seeing it on the faces of my friends, reminded me how that used to feel.
So I feel like to do my friends justice, to be in this with them, I need to start figuring out how to control the fear instead of letting it control me. Sitting at that table, that night, I was the lucky one. As crappy as all of our stories were, as hard as every single journey was and still is, I am the lucky one because I have Bean, this new little one, and people who can honestly sit at that table and support me. Tell me that I give them hope. I'm not sure I could have done that myself before Bean. In turn, they all gave me hope. Hope that someday we'll all have our families, however they come to be, and that the journey that got us there will be just a reminder of how much we should cherish it and not something to bring up sadness, fear, worry, and doubt. I'm hanging onto hope and boxing up the fear, for myself, my friends, and all of you out there still in the thick of it.