Unsuspecting Waves

Have you ever been standing in the ocean or lake and a gigantic wave just comes and knocks you over from out of nowhere? Maybe you were turned around talking to someone and it hit you totally unexpectedly. Perhaps you saw it coming, but didn’t expect it to have the kind of force that knocked you on you smack down on your ass {sorry Mom and Dad, you know I swear like a sailor}. My point is, these waves knock you over and take you by surprise.

That’s the best metaphor I can use to describe triggers in the world of infertility.

You think you’re doing totally fine, maybe you’ve even had a great day, and then suddenly, it all comes crashing down because this trigger just hit you from out of nowhere.

For me, I begin to feel incredibly anxious. Sometimes I shake. I get very quiet. I start to think someone must be sucking the breathe right out of me because it takes all I have in me to keep it together. The tears might well up in my eyes and I’m doing everything in my power to not blink because I know once I start, I won’t be able to stop. I tend to think everyone must be noticing what’s happening and I become more anxious that they know what’s going on. {Irrational, I know, but that’s what triggers do to you.}

I wish I was always at home when these triggers hit. But that’s not usually the case. Sometimes I’m at the grocery store. Maybe I’m in the office. I might be in a meeting or on a walk. It might be when I’m running an errand at Target or filling my tank with gas.

Triggers are different for everyone and they might even change from day to day, month to month, year to year. It’s funny. Lately, mine haven’t been what I thought they’d be. I’ve found mine are more often than not, the woman in the grocery store with her two daughters. It’s the new mom cooing at her newborn baby. Filling out the medical forms that ask me to check if I’ve ever been pregnant. How do you answer that when you’ve had IVF and was technically pregnant for two weeks? It’s the martial arts class I had to observe full of little kids and their families. It’s when a training facilitator at work asks everyone in the class to raise their hands who has kids. It’s going to a function where I haven’t seen anyone in a while and knowing I’m going to be asked when we’re having kids, or if we have kids yet.

These are the moments I begin to feel the anxiety creep in and the questions in my mind start racing. “Will I ever be a parent?” “Will that be me someday buying formula and diapers?” “Will I get to teach my kids what my parents taught me?” “Will I ever get to be the one who raises their hand when asked if they have kids?”

Sometimes I can ease the stress in the moment and mentally bring myself back to reality. Sometimes I can smile through it.But sometimes, I can’t. And I have to walk away. Or cry in the bathroom.

I’m not bringing this up to be sad or have a pity party. I just want people to understand the reality that comes with infertility, loss, failed cycles, etc. I want this blog to be a real representation of us and what we’re dealing with, and the feelings so many other couples are dealing with every single day. I often hear people say that they think I’m strong, and while that’s a huge compliment, I think it’s important for you to know that I’m not always as strong as I act. I have really hard days. Really hard moments.

I also want this blog to be educational. Remember to give people the benefit of the doubt. Unless you’ve experienced infertility or loss, you don’t know what a trigger could be for someone. For some, it’s baby showers. For others, it’s the moment you ask when they’re having kids {that’s a whole other post in and of itself}. Whatever it is, if you sense something is wrong, be there them, even if it means a squeeze of their hand or asking them about their hobbies instead of when they might be having kids.

Truthfully, I hesitated even writing this because the last thing I want is for anyone to be walking on eggshells around me. I want to be invited to your baby shower. I want to hold your newborn baby. I want to hear about your pregnancy. I really do.

But if it looks like I’m holding back tears, or I’m only half listening to your conversation while we’re in Target because I’m staring at a mom and her baby, could you show me some grace? I’m probably trying to stand up again after being knocked by down by one of those unsuspecting waves.

There are many reasons to feel grief- not just when someone dies.  When a dream dies... a lost relationship... a huge life change... So be kind to yourself.  Take time to mourn and mend.  And fill your life with as many sweet and meaningful things as you can, finding joy in the small, simple delights around you.  Life IS good.  GOD is good, and He loves you.  In this world you will have troubles, but with God you will overcome them all.:


One thought on “Unsuspecting Waves

  1. I hear this! I was supposed to go to an event that included a speaker on the topic of birth a week or two after my 7th (failed) IVF transfer. This is normally something I’d cope well with. My body went into melt down and I got a migraine and had to cancel. I think it was a small mercy. I wasn’t ready to face a talk about birth.

    That said – I wish it had been timed better. My 8th transfer was successful and I am now pregnant with twins. Would love to see that talk now.


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