To the woman in the waiting room.... As I take my seat across from you — now in my 7th month of a (relatively) routine, healthy pregnancy — I want you to know that I see you there. Right where you are.
I see you smack dab in the middle of the hardest season of waiting you could ever imagine. One you didn’t expect. One you’re still unsure how to navigate. One that’s testing you...your marriage...your faith.
I see you bargaining with God, offering up anything everything you can think of for one small piece of good news. One step in the right direction. One positive test. Praying that this time He will not only hear you, but that He will respond to your cries.
I see you pressing back the tears because there is literally no worse place to be waiting than the one place that all of the pregnant people seem to be gathered. Did they all plan to come on the same day, or is it just that everyone but you is pregnant?!
Seriously. They should have a back entrance for this kind of thing. Our kind of thing.
I see you. And when I see you, I see myself.
And I want you to know, I don’t just see you from the outside, like a spectator. I actually see you. And I feel your heart. And I know your soul. Maybe not all of it, but at least a small piece. Because we are sisters in this battle. You just can’t see it right now beyond my now bulging belly.
I know the knot in your stomach as you walk through the doors and go to check in, knowing you’ll have to sign off (again) that you are aware — so freaking aware — that today's appointment/test/medication/procedure is not covered by insurance. Because treatment for infertility is apparently “elective” ...although, becoming a mother doesn’t feel elective. It feels essential. Like without it, it's hard to even exist. At least at full capacity.
I know the feeling of the heat rising into your cheeks, hoping no one around you knows what you’re signing or why you're here (again). Hoping you don't run into anyone you know. You don’t know whether to be angry at God, yourself, the sweet girl checking you in, or every pregnant woman in the universe. But the anger is there, none the less.
I know the hurt in your heart each time yet another pregnant woman walks through the doors. And then the guilt that accompanies that hurt because it can be so. dang. hard. to be happy for those women. Those strangers. When you look at them, you see everything you want but don't have. Everything you're praying for. Everything you're fighting for. And you might assume that for them...it came easy. You probably assumed that when you looked at me today. And for that, I am sorry.
I know the ache in your soul. The ache that only grows with each passing day...each missed cycle. Whether you're hoping for your very first baby, or your fifth...the ache is there.
I know this place of waiting feels lonely...and I don't just mean this room. It is isolating and heartbreaking and suffocating. But please, don't lose yourself here – in the waiting. Because I promise you, in one way or another, the wait will end.
And maybe right now you want to fly this thing solo, or with your husband and family – and that's ok. But I want you to know in the meantime, there is an entire tribe of women standing by ready to go to battle for your soul and your sanity. No one understands this journey better than the ones who have walked it before you...or are walking it with you.
I know the baby bump you see when you look at me can be blinding, but I beg you – don't let it be the only thing you see. Because there is much, much more to my story. Just like there will be much, much more to yours.
A Mama Who's Been There