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Challenge: Pregnancy and Infant Loss

Surviving Infertility, The Other Side of Grief

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Sometimes I can forget.

How long I fought for him. How much grief I endured.

This morning I held my son against my chest and breathed in his blonde hair, as if trying to inhale him into my body. He's 17 months now, he's a toddler tottering around on beach paths and mouthing words, throwing fits and making Crayola messes. My days are full of parenting and food spills.

But this morning I remembered. This week on National Infertility Awareness Week I read through my infertility archives, words dripping black ink from my split-open heart.

Seven years of ache. Seven years of loss after loss.

Blood on the bathroom floor. Hospital rooms. Iodine and alcohol. Waiting for results. Surgeries. Trauma and shock. Shots upon shots.

I remember waking up every day with something I carried. A grief whose darkness threatened to swallow me up. So heavy a thing it took energy to move my muscles out of the tangled sheets of my bed.

The two souls before him, I never got to hold. Two I longed for desperately. Two it was hard to live after. I still think of them.

We would have three children.

What made it worse, it was a hidden thing. I went through my days and most people didn't know the pain I bore on the inside.

It's a rare thing to find space safe enough for the level of despair infertility brings.

Those intersections with grief pushed me away from God, then drew me deeper in.

I learned grief could be a gateway to joy.

The cracks in my soul made room for the gold to glitter.

My story was hard-won. And it isn't just about the fact that I got my miracle baby.

It's not that I still don't struggle. I'm not sure I'll be able to get pregnant again even though we want a sibling for my son. Secondary infertility is just as real a reality for some mothers. But I have hope.

It's about the fact that I found a way to thrive after loss.

When I was deep in my depression, self-care, self-love, and gratitude became a focal point of my life. I filled my photo feed with them. I wanted to love myself and my life even though I felt lacking. God helped me build an identity that knew my worth even when I stood apart from the crowd of mothers.

For those in the waiting what I want to say is....There is hope.

Hope you'll wake to a sunrise and breathe gratitude on the forehead of your sleeping child. Hope you can survive this nasty little word called infertility.

Hope you'll find the right doctors, or find the right path for you, whether it be IVF, fostering or adoption, or a life of chosen childless/fullness like my friend Justine.

Hope you'll find peace and gratitude along the way. You will live fully alive again. I know it doesn't feel that way now. But it's true.

Someday, like me, you'll wake up and realize somewhere along the way, you were mended.

Joy will come again.

Stay strong, sister. You're not alone.

For more, read through Sarita's infertility archives

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