“Deep down I knew the test was probably negative, but I just really hoped things would be different this time.” I uncontrollably sobbed as I uttered these words over the phone to my sister-in-law.
Just days earlier, I had taken a pregnancy test and all I received in return was a big fat negative staring me blank in the face. Initially, I was fine. It was what it was and “I knew” it would probably be negative anyways. Unfortunately, as the days passed, the grief of my unborn child set in and the reality that my womb was in fact empty…still…also set in. I became incredibly overwhelmed with my journey and the unknown outcome of our story. I was lonely and exhausted, as my journey was suffocating my already broken heart.
“I’m so tired, Nicole!” I cried.
I was driving and could feel the heat from the sun on my skin. My emotions were raging and my eyes welted with tears. It was as if the flood gates just opened inside my 1999 Corolla and I was drowning in my own tears. I tried to compose myself as I shared my heart with Nicole. So many thoughts ran through my mind and I was once again devastated by my barren womb. I recognized the deep grief in my heart as I have experienced that kind of pain several times before. I was frustrated for even taking a pregnancy test because they have always only resulted in a shattering let down.
“I just want to be a Mom…” I told Nicole.
I could only hear her breathing on the other line. Then suddenly, Nicole, too, broke into tears.
“I know, Desi, I know.” She continued to tell me how much she loves me and how she is here for me through each day and every moment of this difficult journey.
She was interested. She cared. She validated my feelings. She was there for me. Honestly, in the midst of my grief that day, that was all I needed.
She didn’t minimize my heartache or tell me to “just relax and you will get pregnant.” She didn’t offer me “tips” in the bedroom. She didn’t try to tell me about one of her friends who had a hard time conceiving and what they did to get pregnant. She didn’t try and convince me that my empty womb was all apart of God’s plan and that “everything happens for a reason.”
She was exactly what my heart needed.
It wasn’t until I was neck deep into this journey when I realized how important the support and love of your friends really is.
During this long season of infertility I have needed a friend who would hear me express the afflictions of my heart and truly listen. I needed someone who cared about the fact that I faced the daunting single pink line, yet again; someone who was patient with my array of emotions and still loved on me even though I was a sobbing hot mess; someone who was interested in the medication I started and how my body was responding to it; someone who understood my infertility vocabulary as it helped them understand my journey and the specifics of what I am up against; someone who cried with me as their heart too grieved my unborn babies; someone who offered and committed to coming with me to tough appointments; someone who remembered me on Mother’s day. And I needed someone who literally was going to walk hand-in-hand alongside my journey with me. That someone was and is Nicole.
That was all I wanted…and it was all I needed, especially on that day.
The truth is for some of us this journey to parenthood is unbearable and truly a brutally heart-wrenching walk. Some of us are dying to share our stories. And some of us are dying for you to listen. Everyone handles infertility so uniquely. It is so important to be there for your friend, walking this journey with them, respecting their desire to talk as much or as little about what they are facing. Infertility is a reoccuring grief and I whole-heartedly believe it is vital to have a strong support system of people who will be brave and have strength with you, especially when you are having an exceptionally hard day. Unless you have walked through infertility yourself, it is very difficult to understand the immense heartache and pain that encompasses this journey. However, that doesn’t mean you cannot and shouldn’t try to understand. It doesn’t mean you can’t be a good friend and that there aren’t things that you can do to show your deepest amount of love and support along the way.
When we first started trying to conceive, Ryan and I chose to keep our journey a secret for some time. We had always envisioned us completely surprising our families and friends that we were pregnant in the “oh my God, I can’t believe it” kind of way. Obviously, God had a different story for us. As test results came in and my womb still remained empty we continued to conceal our secret. However, as time went by our secret was paralyzing me and I knew how much my journey was especially affecting my heart. We finally decided to expose the truth of what we were going through to Nicole and her husband. I remember the very moment when we finally decided to share with them that we had been trying to conceive. My heart exploded with freedom and, even joy, as I was finally able to express my raw and authentic feelings to someone I loved and trusted, who I knew would respect my heart and the accompanying feelings. I knew they would be there for us every step of this walk–no matter how long it would take. They were one of the first people we shared our news with and one of the few who knew for nearly the first year of our journey. For myself, being completely vulnerable and transparent about my story as well as finding the safest friends to expose my heart to, has changed my life in a way I could have never envisioned. God has presented to me some incredibly trusting and supportive friendships-people who I know are literally walking this journey with me, believing in God’s faithfulness, who will always be there for me. This used to be a very lonely walk, and honestly, sometimes it still is. However, I know I am not alone, nor am I the only woman in the world who daily faces the battle of an empty womb who is hoping, wondering, and ultimately not knowing when their miracle will come. God has shown me a deeper meaning of friendship and how we can be there for each other when we face adversity.