You never knew this, but there was a short period of time a few years ago that I hated you. I literally told no one and silently struggled with your happy smile and undeniable joy.
Back then, your name alone could trigger me like nothing else. Especially pictures of your growing belly – those were the most painful. I even stopped going on social media for a little while because of your posts.
At the time, you were the only one I felt this way towards. There were several women in my life starting their families, and they could have easily been the focus of my anguish. But unfortunately for you…you were the first.
I remember when you told me you were pregnant. It felt like a stab to the heart. You hurt me without even knowing it. Your happiness caused me pain, and I knew even then that this was unfair to you.
Yet my loss was too raw to feel anything but bitterness towards your situation. You would get to hold your baby, and you were not going to have to feel how deep this hurt was. You got the story I wanted.
Honestly, I was surprised by these emotions. I had never been a jealous person, so when my heart ached from your pregnancy, I was taken aback. I knew right from that start, that I had no right to feel this way.
Yet I know now that my feelings had nothing to do with you, and everything to do with me. Grief is a process, and it was my first time venturing down a road like this.
Your happiness exemplified something I simply couldn’t see for myself. I wasn’t able dig deep and realize that your joy actually did not affect my pain. The aching for what was no longer with me would have been there no matter if you were pregnant or not.
So although you never knew I felt this way, I still want to apologize. I think I owe that to you, but more importantly I think I also owe that to myself.
I thought that my infertility had something to with what I did wrong, and your fertility had something to do with what you did right. At the time, I just didn’t understand that this happens to some and not to others. I weirdly blamed my pain on both of our situations, which neither of us had any control over.
I am thankful this resentment didn’t last long. I grew quickly to see your joy as a source of inspiration for me. Your break into motherhood was something that was so beautiful to witness, and in many ways, it was a motivator to keep going.
Infertility can be ugly, but there is also beauty. When my grieving began to clear, I found a better understanding in how my happiness was dependent on me…not you or anyone else.
My road to motherhood was mine. It was bumpy and sometimes incredibly difficult, but I am where I am today because of it. I ran the marathon, and you did more of a sprint. But luckily both paths got us to the same place and to the same happiness.
Without even knowing it, you taught me so much. I am actually happy that at one point I thought I hated you. For that incredibly strong emotion was nothing more than a piece of me searching for answers – a piece of my heart that needed healing.
And when I finally realized that my pain didn’t belong to anyone else but me, I found the actual peace I needed to move on.
This post comes from the TODAY Parenting Team community, where all members are welcome to post and discuss parenting solutions. Learn more and join us! Because we're all in this together.