So, in the midst of this Facebook Fast where I am unable to check social media, I get an email about a prayer request for a family that lost their little girl. The email stated the mother was a local teacher and the father a local fire fighter. Both of these roles I immediately connected to because she works in my school district, lives in my city..we have several mutual friendships-though we do not know each other directly. DPD and DFD have a connected bond through the work they do for the city. I am also a mother of a toddler. I could not find any information on the situation on Thursday night without jumping on Facebook, so I just committed to pray.
Yesterday, a fundraising site began circulating around and long story short now more people are talking, sharing and mostly fundraising to help this couple with funeral costs and paid leave as they grieve. My child choking is my worst nightmare and my child experiencing pain while in the care of a daycare or sitter is a close second. Every working mom has guilt and the number one guilt is that you cannot be there for your child and will someone else care for them to the depth that you will. I mean I have to work (infertility is expensive), but I hate it because it took me so long to be a mom. In the end, you just have to let go and let God and trust that you are making the best decision possible. All of this rocked me to my core as a parent. It hit too close to home. And then I learned a detail that brought me to my knees. This couple suffered from infertility and their child was conceived through IVF.
We in the infertility community know this pain too well. “For this child I have prayed…” The loss, the waiting, the patience, the emptiness and then to finally parent (whether through treatments or adoption) is your greatest joy because it did not come easy and it was not natural and you thought time and time again “What if it never happens?” We know the brokenness our bodies feel and the shame and the regret and the pain when everyone around us has two then three then four or just starts selecting dates on a calendar to try for another like it is so simple; for them it is. We know something entirely different. Our story is not the same. The love is the same, the parenting is the same but, the struggle can only be felt if you have been there and felt like that 1 in 8 that cannot conceive. My friends might cringe at my numerous kid posts, but this was a kid I never thought would exist and this kid may be my only one due to the work it took to get him…so I am embracing each day because I know it will not likely come again. I don’t get the luxury to plan for baby number two….I have no control.
In light of all this my Facebook fast seems pretty unimportant and small. In fact, it allows me more time to hug my son and embrace his laughter. It allows me more time to pray for this family and listen for God to tell me how He will use me to help. This blog is it.
IF community I urge you to join me in donating to this family. They have already reached their fundraising goal, but we know it is not about the money. It is about the community of us that struggle to conceive and cling to those miracle babies only to thing their birth signifies the struggle is over only to lose a child while you are at work. God be with your donation, God be with this couple and their families and God be with all of our community. Let’s UNITE and show them we see them, we care and they are not alone.
THe good news is: I am not saying infertility babies are more loved or more special. Any loss of a child is tragic, I am just saying that nine months to meet a child and 36 months changes things. THe baby becomes like a prize and a reminder every day of a blessing you thought would never come. Every dirty sock, every poopy diaper, every temper tantrum is a gift that I do not deserve and adoption allows me to be a parent. My heart aches tonight. God, be with them and all of us that do not get it. Remind us that death is part of your promise and without it we would not see you. We must die for our life to begin.