A few years ago, when we were well into the infertility and miscarriage slog, but Rex was no where in sight, I happened to look out my window at home and see a touching family portrait: mom walking her little girl in a stroller while sporting an obvious baby bump. As usual, my blood boiled and I mentally cursed the universe for subjecting me to this scene at such a low point in our lives. I didn’t know the neighbor, they had moved in a few months before. All I knew was that they had one kid and were on the way to having another and that was more than I had or could even imagine having.
That second child was born in October of that year, right around the time of both of my prior due dates. Mr. X and I happened to be taking a walk one afternoon, shortly after the new baby came home and we met him, being borne around in the arms of his proud papa. I made all of the right congratulatory noises even though I was still just as pissed inside.
If I had known then what I know now:
That their first child was the product of IVF. That the second child was an oops only 8 months after the first one since they didn’t think they had a chance of conceiving naturally.
I found this out from their next door neighbors (really, in our neighborhood, there is no such thing as a secret, depending upon who you talk to). Their daughter also dealt with infertility and just had a baby through a surrogate, using IVF.
I could have learned this information much sooner if I had been more outgoing during our struggles. But, I didn’t want to talk to anyone, least of all mothers of small children. They would be just like all the rest of the fertile population – blissfully unaware of the difficulties of life and telling me that having kids has been the greatest thing they could have ever done with their life, blah, blah, blah.
Oh, how we are own greatest enemies. I could have found additional support from these ladies (well, maybe not the lady with the grown daughter. She was a bit …. much). I could have seen that the world isn’t nearly as black and white as I had made it out to be – and me being a lawyer, too, for shame!
But, that time is gone and I’m glad that I do know, even if it’s a little late. I was able to share with this neighbor our struggle to have Rex and how we too benefited from IVF. She got it, even though we both have the families that we wanted, she still got it.
And I learned that it’s never too late to reach out.
image: Steve Took It