As a child, I watched my mother go through miscarriage after miscarriage. At the time, I couldn't come close to grasping the physical and emotional toll it was taking. Still, I knew that these lost little ones, so tiny, fragile and barely formed, were real, and that though she had never held them in her arms, she had held them in her heart.
I have had friends go through secondary infertility. Although they are grateful beyond measure for the child or children they have, the desperate desire for another is coupled with pain from the callous disregard of others. "After all, you have a child already. You should just be thankful." Muzzled by lack of understanding or compassion from those around them, they may not ever express the pain and disappointment of broken dreams.
Infertility is cruel. The emotional exhaustion and pain of having your hopes rise persistently only to get washed away with blood and tears a few weeks later is unspeakable. You may try so hard *not* to hope, not to set yourself up for the crash, and yet, however well you prepare yourself mentally, there is still that bitter aftertaste of swallowed grief.
And my own blood has boiled while listening to unthinking comments and platitudes that negate any right to mourn. Doubtless, most people mean well, but please, for the love of decency, don't say this stuff to anyone, ever.
The story of my wonderful SIL has a happy ending. My precious nephew is here, running around and playing with his cousins like we had dreamed. But I know that for many, those dreams don't come true. I don't know why, and it seems very unfair.
I hesitated to write this post. I feel in a way that I have no right, because I haven't experienced the pain that you have gone through. But I think that is why I *must* say something. Because silent grief is the hardest of all, and you are not forgotten, "less than" or unimportant.
To all my dear friends who have longed for babies that you haven't been able to hold except in your heart, I ache for you. I am sorry. It is not your fault, there are no "shoulds" that I can give you. But I can give you my ears, my tears, my prayers and my shoulders. Whether we have ever met or not, your stories matter to me, and if you would like to honor us by sharing them in the comments, they will be welcome.