Struggling silently with something that no one can actually see can be hard and hard to understand. On the outside I smile and nothing appears to be wrong but on the inside I’m a mess and you’d never be able to tell that I have had to find a lot of courage to plaster that smile on my face. For instance, Wednesdays are library day for Miss E. I love taking her there because she loves books and reading. The library is always filled with new adventure for her and also opportunity to learn new things. The look on her face when she discovers something new or even the look on her face when she remembers something that she already learned and applies it right then and there is priceless and I love being able to experience that joy with her.
However, going there also poses a feeling opposite of joy-heartache.
Heartache happens daily of course in this SI journey. However, I find myself needing to be courageous at the library as it never fails this triggers me and I do everything to gain strength, compose myself, and fight back tears. There is this overwhelming constant reminder of what is missing in my life at the library-a second child. A few things I notice as I sit at lap sit with E that tug at my heart are A) There are a lot of expectant mothers. Most of these women were at the library with their first child along with me when I had been taking E to Baby Time. These women are either expecting a 2nd child or have had a 2nd child already or have had a second and are expecting a third or are on their 3rd child already. Crazy to think in the time that I’ve been trying I could have had 2 babies and be halfway pregnant with a 4th B) E is one of the few kids in her story hour who doesn’t have a sibling(s) sitting next to her and C) I am either asked by one of these women if I plan on having more children or E looks at me with her big beautiful eyes and sadly says, “Mama, I wish I had a brother or sister to sit by, look at that cute little baby I wish I had a baby or why don’t you have a baby in your belly?”
It’s hard. Nothing about this has been easy. The library is not the only place I am triggered either. Every time I leave my house I am faced with a new obstacle that causes some pretty overwhelming emotions. Even when I stay at my house it’s there. Who am I kidding, it’s over taken me and is there all the time! You may not see the courage it takes to get through these moments-but let me tell you it takes all my energy to muster up that smile that you see on my face, especially when on the inside I am in so much emotional pain.
I just ask that you don’t judge me for feeling this way because if you’ve never gone through SI you really don’t understand what I am going through fully. I ask that you don’t tell me to be grateful for the child I already have because you have no idea how grateful I am for my miracle and probably more grateful then some because SI has truly opened my eyes to how lucky we are and what a blessing every child truly is. I want to remind you that because I have one, does not take that burning desire in my heart to have another away. I want to give my first baby the gift of a sibling. I ask that you don’t tell me to get a hobby as I already have many. I ask that you don’t tell me to relax and it will happen. It’s a medical condition and it’s not going to just fix itself by relaxation. I ask that you don’t tell me to stop trying and it will happen because there is no shutting off your heart and the desire to be a mom again. Don’t joke around and tell me I can have your children because I’d would gladly take them in a heartbeat. Don’t complain to me about your children or being pregnant because I’d give anything to be in your shoes. Don’t tell me to just be happy because the weight of this has been heavier then you can imagine and most days I am lucky to even have matching clothes on because my head, heart and body feels so unglued. Please just ask me how I am doing without advice or your opinion of what I should do or how I should feel, give me a big hug, and listen to me as I pour my heart out and maybe shed some tears. Sometimes your actions can just be louder then your words when it comes to supporting us through this and you have no idea how much your support really does mean to me.
Everyday has been a struggle for me in this and here we are 23 months later and I keep putting one foot in front of the other. Someway, somehow I’m doing it. I’m trying and it takes a ginormous amount of silent courage to do so. This has been by far a very difficult time in my life that has created other side issues as well. My point of writing this was to just remind you that not everything is visible to the eye so please consider that before judging someone. We may not know they are even struggling. We all deserve kindness and a helping hand and you never know how your support can affect someone in a positive way. It could be life changing.
My other point of writing this can be summed up here:
Thank you for reading this, it means a lot to me and please know even though you may not be able to see it. We need your support now more then ever.