One of my best friends has tried to have babies with her husband since they married many years ago. They were never able to conceive.
She has considered adoption – and would love to adopt. But I know her heart is set on creating her own life. I understand this feeling as I feel the same. I am adopted and I wanted to look down and see my own DNA look back at me.
She has gone through many heartaches trying to create this life. After many years, she and her husband decided to go through IVF. Watching her deal with medication, express 100 different emotions, navigate her way through communications with her husband, listening to others’ comments about her body…is rough. It is rough because it’s difficult to know how to comfort her. I certainly don’t want to say the wrong thing. It’s rough because there is not one thing I can do to help.
When she lost her baby, I felt frozen in heartache. I could not summon the words to try to comfort her. It was like I was unable to speak. Sometimes I worry that I may have given her too much silence. Maybe I didn’t talk about it – or call her to comfort her. I worried about bothering her – I thought maybe she needs to grieve and not hear another person saying I’m sorry. All I could do was feel the loss with her. I prayed for her – I prayed her heart wouldn’t harden and crumple. I prayed that she would be able to move on. I prayed that she would allow the hurt in so she could begin to heal. I prayed that her body would relax and let the sadness flow out like a river, not a drippy faucet.
I read article after article about what to do / not to do for people struggling with fertility. What can I buy? What can I say? What can I do? I learned about meal train, keepsakes to buy, etc. Things to say / not say….
I found that just giving a hug – embracing her while closing my eyes and trying to let her know that Im there for her no matter what – is something I can do. Attending an appointment with her and holding her hand- is something I can do. Trying to make her laugh out the sadness is something I can do. I almost live in the shadows, waiting to be called upon. I stand by – and when I’m asked to help I feel honored.
I am not sure if I’m doing the right things. What I do know – I love her with all my heart. I will ALWAYS listen. I will ALWAYS be there for her. I will never stop my prayers.
Written by Tina Gottschalk