If they only knew
The first time I walked into a planned parenthood, I was eager to be there. Getting birth control for the first time at 17, I wanted it. Excited even.
I've had debilitating cramps so extreme, the minutes seeped into hours as I just lie there in the high school nurses office hoping every wave of pain would pass, thinking that resolve was just another breath or two away.
Over the years after being on the pill, the cramps were less extreme and I continued my life over a decade later of like-clockwork, swallowing that little white pill, in honor or avoiding any unwanted pregnancies. I never came close, or at least thought I did, to any "mistakes".
It's funny how life changes. Priorities change.
Now having been off the pill for 15 months there is so much that nobody tells you.
Nobody tells you how long it takes to get back to your normal cycle and you hear of, but never think that the hormonal changes will be enough to derail YOUR physical health. Or how much it actually effects you. Mentally. Google tells you the timeframe of what most people encounter, but of course you fall outside of that range.
You've decided to start trying for a family, so you expect your body to do the same. Right? Wrong..so wrong.
Through interactions with friends/family at every gathering, you try to avoid it, but the fertility interrogation you were dreading makes it way to you.
When are you guys gonna have kids?
Are you pregnant?
Are you trying?
Just relax it will happen.
Maybe you should loose some weight
Stop stressing about it and it will happen
At this rate we will never have grandkids ha ha
Every remark an assassination on your heartstrings. Such a small conversational piece shouldn't bring your world crashing down right? It's just innocent small talk. Then on the drive home not recalling anything memorable at dinner because all you can think of, as you stare into the passing lights of the other cars on the freeway, are those resounding comments/questions burned into your mind.
It angers you, but all you can think of is, if they only knew.
If they only knew right?
As you sat on the sidelines watching your close family get the one thing in this world you desire but can't replicate yourself.
Having to remove yourself from gatherings and constantly skirt around the topic. Fake laugh it off, put a smile on, knowing the cracks in your voice might just give you away and open a can of worms you try to avoid opening, to discuss with people who've just unintentionally hurt you. Holding back tears on the phone as the news of someone else's pregnancy steals your undivided attention leaving you unable to authentically react.
Muting their social media stories in fear of seeing something triggering. Taking their picture off of your fridge because you cant stand to look at their stupid happy faces.
Forcing yourself to show up and be present while you have to listen to everyone talk about the exciting future of the lucky new parents. Indulging in questions about the new symptoms and having to hear about milestones she's reached but you haven't even come close to experiencing.
Those two lines you can't even make appear.
If only they knew countless times in your head you replay the scenario, only it's you with good news and not them. Or the times you've had to cry hard enough to have to pull over because you cant see, or keep your eyes open, on account of how upset you are. The mascara burning as you try and articulate to your partner your feelings in between gasps for air and childlike sobs.
You finally get to a place where you start verbalizing your feelings and letting people in on the silent battles you've been fighting. At a glance, they seem like they care and voice their understanding for concern, but it's later forgotten, overshadowed by the obvious reason.
Nobody tells you.
And just when you think things are getting better, you of course get notified of someone elses "great news".
Queue the disappointment.
It consumes you. All over again.
Thoughts of, this should be us. And, why isn't it us? When will it be our turn? Why is it so easy for them?
Feeling like everyone around you is all drinking the same koolaid and you are just some fluke exception.
Loosing sleep now as you have to re-live this nightmare you already barely survived, scathed but still standing.
And all of the pretending.
Pretending like you're happy when you're not. Pretending to be happy for someone else. Going on pretending like your fine with life just going on around you, without you.
This *** sucks.
Nobody tells you about the guilt you feel for having negative thoughts surrounding other peoples news. How you try and utilize every resource available to erase these ugly thoughts, all to not feel an ounce better about the situation or who you believe your turning into.
Unhealthily playing the images of friends telling their family their good news, wondering if even a thought about you and your struggles come to their mind. Images of your first interactions with the new parents and the in-laws, of them knowing how hard this topic is for you and imagining what that conversation is going to be like. Thinking up ways to avoid it.
Having to decide whether to be disliked for being visually upset and present when they tell their baby news, or hated for opting out of being there when the big reveal happens.
Dealing with the consequences of not congratulating them immediately or showing outward support. Or how this process has given you a different view on how you used to see these people so close to you. None of it was intentional but you can't help feel the sting of betrayal.
So many things no one tells you about this process. How it's so easy for others but not you. How your partner doesn't fully understand why you feel the way you do.
From following sililar stories online, it seems they all eventually lead to a successful pregnancy. You scroll through their uploads. The feeling is a papercut; they've concieved, so now you view their once relatable struggle discounted, as you acknowledge they did share the same experience as you, but now can't fully relate, as they finally did it, not you.
Following all of the reccomendations of your doctor, you try to do everything right and just hope that maybe by some miracle you too will have great news to share.
The two week wait.
Every little abnormal ache and out of the norm symptom hurdles you towards Google only to realize that what you're feeling might just be the side effects of coming down off the medication you so necessarily need to take. And if you're not pregnant by the time the test rolls around?
The whole cycle is left to repeat itself, because even if you do want to give up and quit, quitting is no closer to your goal. So what, you just endure.
Recognizing there's no other way around it,
You are just left with these emotions.
I'm not okay. And if you share my struggle then i know you're not okay.
I was told that I should write down how I'm feeling as a way to cope. Rereading the traumas I have been through it makes me feel no better to be in this situation.
I wish that people understood what I'm going through but then again,
If only they only knew.
You are so so strong. Your words. True. Resonating. Right on. True. You will be a strong one. You will make it. No doubt. I am 13 years celebrating my loss. It will always be a loss. Many hugs.
March of Dimes fights for the health of all moms and babies. We're advocating for policies to protect them. We're working to radically improve the health care they receive. We're pioneering research to find solutions. We're empowering families with the knowledge and tools to have healthier pregnancies. By uniting communities, we're building a brighter future for us all.
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