After writing Infertility, One Year Later : An Open Letter to Our Friends, I received a message from a woman who longed to be a grandmother. She told me how touched she was by the post I wrote but also said that she wishes there were more posts written by the parents of the women and men impacted by infertility. So I did the most natural thing next in this conversation– I told her that she should do it!
This woman isn’t just anyone messaging me. This woman is someone who has been in Brandon’s life longer than he has been alive. This woman is an adopted aunt– adopted by choice and love only. Not only does infertility impact her biological family, but impacts her chosen family as well.
I believe one of the reasons that the grandparent’s side is not always written is that fewer grandparents feel the pain of infertility. They’re busy loving, doting over, and chatting up their current grandchildren and do not feel a part of them missing. This post was most certainly written to tell her personal story and show the world the story of a grandparent that experiences the pain of loss associated with infertility.
We are beyond blessed to have someone in our lives that feels the pain of something missing, too. Even if the pain is different.
Grandparents are not alone in their longing, either, and I think it is time that we give them a voice, too.
This is one of the hardest things I will ever write in my life.
Losing a baby is heartbreaking and never easy to deal with. Miscarriage and infant loss are becoming more and more acknowledged in the public eye- which is wonderful. There are many different levels of this loss. Infertility Diagnoses (PCOS, Azospermia, etc), other medical issues that have caused infertility, or experienced an unexplained loss, it is all painful.
My viewpoint is a very different one than traditionally posed online.
I am the grandmother of four babies. Four babies lost too soon. My daughter and daughter-in-law have both lost two babies over the past year. Four of my grandbabies.
The heartbreak that I feel is twofold. I’m grieving for my child’s inability to fulfill their dream of being a parents, and I’m grieving for my lost grandbabies.
How do you try to comfort your children in their grief when you are grieving the loss as well? How do you continue to be there support while feeling so broken and dying inside? How do you not feel guilty for being so blessed because you were able to birth your daughter and sons?
My biological daughter has had two ectopic pregnancies; one in each tube.
Both times I could have lost her! The most recent time, I sat in the emergency room with her and watched as the pain racked her body. I watched her become as white as a sheet. Suddenly her blood pressure dropped. She looked at me and there was a final goodbye in her eyes. I know this look well from my time spent as a nurse. I have been with those who have passed away. I realize how close she was and I am so thankful that my little girl (my only baby girl) was saved that day! It was the same ER Doctor, Gynecologist that just six months earlier had saved her life from sepsis of an undiagnosed ectopic pregnancy. The pregnancy had turned to liquid. I am thankful that Angels, thoughts, or the big guy/gal in the sky heard my screams. There are still so many questions about her future. She had yet another surgery recently that they had to remove part of her reproductive system, but our prayers were answered yet again when we received the best possible outcome from the surgery. Although not ideal, it truly was the best outcome we could pray for.
As for my son and daughter in law; just four short months after finding out she was pregnant, she miscarried.
Six months after that she found out pregnant again and the joy came flooding back. We were devastated to discover another miscarriage had occurred. After the second miscarriage she was advised to use a permanent birth control—- she opted for a Mirena. Placing the Mirena almost took her life. They tore her cervix and struggled to control the bleeding. After all of this, my daughter-in-law was severely depressed (and understandably so).
All of this happened over two years.
It seemed like every three months it was happening again. As of January this year, my daughter-in-law was diagnosed as post-partum depression. My daughter is fighting this same demon, but has not been officially diagnosed.
I have felt the loss of my own children, as well.
I know personally the heartache, desire, total disappointment and anger when people say “I thought you were pregnant?” Or my favorite “I have four grandchildren, how many do you have?” I reply “none.” “Oh well,” they say “there’s still time, maybe your youngest will give you one.” If they only knew the pain in my heart.
The pain that I go through daily, watching friends tell me of their grands, or the joy of a seventeen year old wayward child I know (who is carrying a healthy baby), a woman who never wanted children that has two won’t take care of them, but claims to be a great mom on social media.
I cry more often than not!
I have so much love to give and hurt so deeply. I hesitate to talk to my children about these feelings because they hurt enough! I can’t talk to my fiancé, either. She is a survivor of four miscarriages and a hysterectomy at age thirty. I sit and ponder who addresses the depth of heartache that the parents of our babies who are having a terrible time whether conceiving or carrying? Who understand the depth of the loss of our grandbabies? Grandbabies bring joy, happiness, and wonder!!!!! Not terrible pain and tears that never end. But here I am- hoping that maybe, with the help of writing, I might move on….
To the women and men struggling with infertility:
The wish for all of you is that the hole in your hearts, minds, souls, and spirits be filled with the love that comes from each other and know that your parents hurt too! We will try to fill that hole, and sometimes we try too hard, and get pushed away- just know that we are always hoping and praying for your dreams to come true!
Thank you taking the time to read my letter.
A heartbroken, heart warmed confused loving mom & grandma of angels.
ps: I want to thank Anne and Brandon, for giving me the courage to write about this…. Maybe it can help someone else out there know they are not alone!