“I just can’t imagine. I didn’t know it was that bad.”
Well, imagine this.
Imagine peeing on pregnancy tests every month, just in case you are pregnant, only to see the negative test time and time again.
Imagine being told that you will never become pregnant without medical interventions.
Imagine spending thousands and thousands of dollars to try and become pregnant.
Imagine grieving the loss of your fertility every day. Grieving the loss of any sense of control.
Imagine celebrating the arrival of your medications like it is Christmas morning.
Imagine receiving more than 160 shots, needing a pill case just to keep track of all of the pills you need to take. Some in the am. Some in the pm. Some both am and pm on this day but not that day. Some before 6 pm. Some after. Some only after you wait for a phone call for approval.
Imagine going to the doctors office multiple times a week to be poked and prodded.
Imagine having every ounce of your life controlled by your doctors. Want a tattoo? Not recommended. Want to go to hot yoga? No, too hot. Want to sit in a hot tub? No, too hot.
Want to go on a diet? No, don’t do anything extreme. What to eat ice cream? No, watch what you are eating. Want to drink a bottle of wine? No, not a good idea.
Want to sign up for a race? No, it may land in the time frame while you are taking meds. Want to go on a trip to a tropical country? No, not advised because of Zika.
Imagine having every ounce of your fertility controlled by doctors.
No. It doesn’t work the old fashioned way, as much as your friends just hope that it will happen for you.
Imagine friends getting pregnant on their first try.
Imagine people continually asking you, “when are you going to have kids?”
Imagine the anxiety when the day finally arrives and your embryo will be transferred back. But will it survive the thaw? Will it be placed back into your uterus correctly?
Are you calm enough? Is your bladder full enough?
Have you been laughing enough? Is your stress level low enough? Is the acupuncture helpful enough?
Imagine going home with the hopes that your doctors helped you conceive your child.
The hope that it worked.
The hope that it stuck.
Imagine when it did work. The joy. The excitement. The anticipation. The desire to scream that you are pregnant from the rooftops! The two pink lines arrive and you still don’t believe it’s true.
Imagine sitting at the dinner table at 8 weeks when you feel blood spilling out of you.
Imagine seeing your child’s heartbeat for the first time. Imagine the overwhelming love you have.
Imagine the fear that you should keep it quiet for 12 weeks, just in case. And then 12 weeks pass and your baby is okay.
Imagine telling your son that he is going to be a big brother, screaming it from the rooftops, telling everyone you know. “It worked.”
Imagine your son kissing your belly every single day. Saying “hi baby” and “I love you, baby.”
Imagine talking every single day with your husband about names for your baby.
Imagine singing your baby songs. Reading your baby books. Telling your baby stories.
Imagine getting on Pinterest every day to find inspiration and decorations for the nursery.
Imagine washing, organizing and folding all of the clothes. Filling the dresser and getting everything possible ready for the baby’s arrival.
Imagine hours and hours of meal planning, recipe hunting, grocery shopping and meal prepping so that your freezer is full and ready for the baby’s arrival.
Imagine your amazing friends hosting a surprise sprinkle for you full of diapers and new books.
Imagine being fully ready for your baby’s arrival. Imagine the tiny car seat in the back of your car. Imagine the bassinet next to your side of the bed.
Imagine every single hope and dream you created for your baby. For the baby’s older brother. For your family of four.
And then imagine in 4 words your entire world is shattered. “Sorry, there is no heartbeat.”
Let that sink in. “There is no heartbeat.”
Imagine hearing those words after carrying your baby full term. 38 weeks.
Imagine being induced for labor and laboring for 29 hours knowing your baby, whom you were to give life, will never live.
Imagine the baby is dead.
Imagine holding your perfect baby for the first and last time within the same day.
Imagine giving your child to a nurse and watching her walk him down the hallway, his body covered with a blanket as to not scare any other expectant parents or celebratory grandparents.
Imagine knowing that that was the last time you will ever see your child.
Imagine walking out of the hospital without your baby. The empty arms. The empty car seat. The empty bassinet. The empty nursery.
The empty hopes. The empty dreams.
And you didn’t think it “could be that bad.”
Maybe you just don’t want to imagine.
Maybe you don’t want to imagine because it is your worst nightmare. Just as it’s mine and so many other people’s.
Maybe you should start trying to imagine. Maybe imagining would bring more compassion.
Maybe imagining would bring more empathy.
Maybe imagining would bring more understanding.