I was overwhelmed by the support I received from all of you; your comments, your encouragement, your stories of struggle. So many of you have been where I am now and I am grateful for your willingness to share that part of yourself with me.
But, with the kind and encouraging comments, came the questionable ones. The ones that were left anonymously (and not so anonymously). The ones that weren’t so understanding; the ones that said I was offensive to others who had struggled with “diagnosed” infertility (meaning that they are medically considered infertile because of the length of unsuccessful attempts at conception). Messages and comments that very clearly stated that maybe I didn’t have the right to be complaining. After all, I have one child already, right? So why complain? It’s not like I don’t have any.
Those comments hurt.
In fact, I think I cried over one of them.
All of sudden, the pain and the hurt that I was feeling, wasn’t good enough.
In their eyes, I haven’t suffered enough.
Waited long enough.
It felt like I was being told that until I had suffered as long as some of the others, until my pain had reached a more elevated level, I needed to just sit and suffer in silence.
When did having children become a competition?
Wait…let me rephrase that…
When did trying to have a child become a competition?
We’ve just started on our seventh month in this journey to add to our family. It isn’t an eternity, and certainly not nearly as lengthy as some others have endured. But that doesn’t make my desire to have another baby any different than anyone else’s.
It doesn’t make the hurt that comes with every negative test fade.
It doesn’t make it any easier to swallow the feeling that everyone is getting pregnant right now except me.
Fertility (or lack thereof) isn’t a contest.
It isn’t a race where the winner waits the longest and the prize is the right to feel sad about not having a baby.
To those who have suffered longer than I have, I commend you for your faith and for your struggle. I can not fathom the journey that some of you have been on.
But to those of you who are on the path with me, struggling to make sense of this new place you’re in; waiting impatiently for those beautiful two pink lines you’ve desperately been hoping for…those of you who feel the twinges of pain with every new announcement of pregnancy you read on Facebook or Twitter…
You are NOT alone.
And you have the RIGHT to feel whatever you want to feel.
You have the RIGHT to hurt and be sad.
Don’t let anyone tell you differently.
You don’t have to suffer in silence.
Because in the end, pain is pain, no matter how long you’ve been enduring it.
Have you struggled with conception and adding to your family?
Did you ever feel like your “pain” wasn’t good enough?
Courtney Kirkland is a Southeast Alabama Writer & Designer. Since 2008, Courtney has passionately provided beautiful, intentional design to small businesses & bloggers and encouraged thousands to walk in a rich faith in any situation.