After 3 and a half years of struggling with infertility, I find myself easily frustrated by ridiculous things that come out of fertiles mouths .... the condescension.... the trite remarks.... the obnoxious cliches... many of which I have commented on in previous blogs.
What I don't acknowledge enough, however, are the lovely and heartfelt comments and gestures that I have also encountered throughout this difficult journey.... the beautiful people. And so I share them with you today.... the beautiful people in my life.
1. My friend 'H' who is not someone I see often, but a very thoughtful soul. She struggled slightly with becoming pregnant with her first daughter. After attending our third or fourth baby shower together, she sent me a card in the mail... no fanfare... no condescension... it simply read, "I know that all of these baby showers must be difficult. I can't begin to imagine what you are going through. Please call if you ever want want to talk. And know that I am thinking of you." A beautiful person.
2. My colleague 'L' who has very significant health and auto-immune issues of her own for which she is receiving weekly treatments. Despite facing significant side effects from mulitple medications, she is eternally optimistic and has a constantly bright smile lighting up her face. She sent me an email on my birthday that read, "Wishing that all of your birthday wishes come true this year (clearly implying my infertility). When I blew out my own birthday candles this year, my wishes were for you." A beautiful person.
3. My mom who often doesn't know what to say, but tries so hard to help make me feel better. Ironically, she is one of the most fertile females in the universe. Apple... far from tree there. During her own mother's day celebration, she took me aside and handed me a jewelry box that contained a locket. She said, 'read the pamphlet inside.' The pamphlet said, 'this necklace is a native symbol of hope and fertility.' Although she didn't know how to express herself, she said, 'I wanted you to have it. For hope.' A beautiful person.
4. My in-laws (Yup. You read it correctly. The in-laws). Even though my DH and I are their only shot at having grandkids. Even though they are the quintessential grandparent-sort and desperately long for grandkids. Even though their faces lit up with uncontained excitement when DH and I announced our first pregnancy. Even though I'm sure that their hearts broke a little the day that we announced our first miscarriage. Despite all these things, they have never EVER made a negative or selfish comment. They have always put my health before their own undeniable longing for grandchildren. They have even encouraged me to consider not doing another IVF, making a long speech about how they are so proud to have me in their family and my health is more important to them than grandchildren. Beautiful people.
5. My sister-in-law 'T' and my oldest brother 'D'. A few months ago T called me and said, 'D and I had a long talk today. We don't think it is fair that we have been blessed with two beautiful daughters (my darling neices) and you haven't had the chance to experience parenthood. So D and I agreed that, if you ever need a surrogate, I would love to do that for you.' She said that, even if it meant that they couldn't have a third child of their own (they have always wanted to have three kids) because her body couldn't handle another c-section (her deliveries have been particularly difficult) she and my brother agreed that they would be okay with that. She spoke with such sincerity that it choked me up. My brother D is of the quiet sort and generally does not openly express concern or emotion. So it was particularly touching that he was the one who apparently initiated their conversation. Beautiful people.
There are many days when I dwell on people who do and say obnoxious things.
But today, I want to pay tribute to the people who do and say beautiful things
Instead of being trite, they are sincere.
Instead of being condescending, they are truly empathic.
Instead of giving useless advice, they listen. They are there when you need them.
They are truly beautiful people. Beautiful people that I feel blessed to have in my life.