Throughout my husband and my ten-year infertility struggle, I was not the easiest person to love. I was so lost in my sadness and grief over not being able to get pregnant that I often did not think about others’ feelings. I was consumed with my own. I look back on that time now, and I am so grateful that my friends and family looked beyond the surface. They saw the heart within, showing me grace during this very difficult time in my life….
Not So Good at Bueno
One evening, I met my girlfriends at Taco Bueno for dinner. This was a rare treat, as my husband and I were trying to make wise financial decisions and rarely went out to dinner. As we were waiting on our food and talking, I guess I must have been complaining because one of my friends said, “Everyone has problems, Brandi.”
Well, I lost it. At that point, I truly did not care that others had problems. I simply could not imagine that anyone was dealing with anything worse than my infertility. I was broken, wrapped up in my own sadness and unable to muster any empathy for anyone else.
Because of that, I got my food to-go and I left before our girls’ evening really had a chance to even begin. Crying, I told my husband what happened and I just knew that a 20-year friendship was over….
But I was wrong. My friend came to my home several hours later and talked to me. I don’t remember our conversation, but I do know that she showed me grace. And we are friends to this day.
Not So Cool on Lupron
On another occasion, I flew off the handle at one of my co-workers. Honestly, I can’t even remember what she did to make me so angry. I just know that I yelled at her. And in front of students. It was unprofessional and rude and to this day, I’m embarrassed by my behavior.
Luckily, not only my co-worker, but my assistant principal who heard about the ordeal, both showed me grace. (It didn’t hurt that my assistant principal had gone through infertility treatments and knew the horror of the hormones.) And to this day, I am Facebook friends with my co-worker.
Not So … when others were expecting
The grace that astounds me the most, however, is that which was shown to me when others told me about their pregnancies.
A different co-worker came to my classroom after school one day and told me she had something important to say. She looked anxious and worried and I was really concerned that she was ill. By the time she told me she was pregnant, I was so relieved that I kind-of grinned and said “Is that all?! I thought you were really sick!” Her concern for my feelings made it easier for me to be happy for her and not quite so jealous….
Another pregnancy announcement came when I was shopping at Wal-Mart. I saw a call from one of my best friends, so I answered. She talked and she hemmed and she hawed and finally, I asked, “Are you pregnant?” She answered, “Yes. I’m so sorry!” To this day, I tear up when I think about the fact that she was so concerned about my feelings. It was easier to be happy for her because she was so tender with my heart. And today, she is the best Mama and I just love watching her with her little….
The Two Best…
The two people who have shown me the most grace, however, are my mom and my husband.
My mom has never made me feel less than for not being able to have a child. She didn’t push or question or blame. She didn’t even judge when I got upset that my brother was having a little. She let me be sad and angry and jealous. She has fully embraced her role as a dog grandma and she welcomed our exchange daughter with open arms. I am so completely blessed that she is my mom….
And finally, my husband. The person who stood by me through the darkest moments, watched me sob, and tried to soothe my breaking heart. And he did all of this while he was going through the same torture. But he never asked me to be strong for him. He cried alone. He never once made me carry his burden. And I will never be able to repay him for that….
Not So Lost Anymore
Four years into accepting my infertility, I am now trying to show grace to others–to pay it forward in some small way. So many are hurting, so many struggle. So, I share good things and try to stay positive and pray for God to give them peace and comfort. Because, after all, His grace is the best grace of all.
Read more about our Infertility Journey…
I wrote this post after Ashley Ramey, founder of Grace Extent, asked me to write a guest blog for her site. I am so thankful that she reached out because I don’t know if I would have written this if not for her offer. She posted my blog on her site and graciously agreed to allow me to post it on Not So Mommy...™, as well. I encourage you to check out Grace Extent, where Ashley openly shares about her battle with depression.