A few weeks ago I attended a friend's birthday dinner. I was preparing myself for a semi-awkward night because I was the only one there that is not yet a mother. DH was out of town, so I had to face the evening alone surrounded by four other couples. As expected, the evening was taken over by stories about children. The only time I was able to contribute to the conversation was during a small interval in which in-laws were discussed. Other than that, I just listened. My heart ached that I couldn't join them in the baby talk. I drowned myself in my only companion - a glass of wine... or maybe two... or three.
Two things hurt me during that dinner.
1) My only IF friend was present. She was the first person I told about my IF struggle. I felt safe sharing with her because we were going through it together. In 2009, after about a year struggling with infertility, and some treatments later, she became pregnant. In the Spring of 2010, she gave birth to twins. There weren't very many people that knew about her struggle. When others would ask if twins ran in her family, she would lie and say that they did. Now, I don't know why anyone would ask that. That's pretty intrusive. I might have said the same, especially if I wasn't very close to the person that asked. I think it's none of their business if it runs in her family or not. However, as time progressed, I noticed a complete change in her. I don't blame her too much, after all, we didn't have IF in common anymore. However, it still hurt. Since she wasn't admitting her struggle to conceive or at least toning down some of her comments/actions, I felt like she was trying to do whatever possible to fit into the 'fertile' group, leaving IF behind, and with it our friendship. She never talks about it anymore; sort of like pretending it never happened to her. I lost my friend to the smugness. I know she doesn't mean to hurt me through some of the things she does. I know it's not intentional. This friend was at the dinner that night, and she didn't do much to make me feel a part of the group. I was an outcast, and that was pretty disappointing. I'm going to try really hard to not follow in her footsteps when we do get pregnant and have children. I'm going to try really hard to be sensitive to other IFers out there and never try to deny what we've been through.
2) The part that really hit me during that dinner was the birthday girl's toast. She had given birth to her second child about two months before, and her birthday dinner was her first night out. She tapped her fork against her wine glass, and proceeded to give a toast. First she thanked us for attending. Then she said that four years ago she prayed to God for a wonderful husband. God answered. Then she prayed for two children before she turned 30 years old. God answered. She said that she is in disbelief that God had so far answered her prayers exactly how she wanted them answered. I was pretty floored by her toast to say the least. I thought, wow, she must be God's favorite child! I know that's not true, but it sounded like it. I've prayed for many things in my life. I believe that God always answers prayers. I don't think that they are answered in the exact way that I would want, but they are answered.
I realized at that moment that I am extremely blessed for the answers I've gotten. I also prayed for a wonderful husband, and a family before a certain age. I do have a pretty fantastic husband. My children didn't arrive at the age I desired, and that is probably all in God's plan for my life. I know that eventually I will become a mother, whether it's through giving birth or via adoption. I know that I've been blessed with the many things that I do have. I have my health, aside from infertility. I've had the opportunity to travel the world. I've been able to live in three different countries. I've learned new languages. I've met some incredible people along the way. My life is full of great experiences. All of which I never imagined. My dreams have been tiny compared to God's dream for my life. That fact alone gives me more comfort than anything.
One thing is for sure, I've had the opportunity to meet some pretty amazing people on this IF journey. Most of them I've never met, but I've instantly felt a strong bond. A strong connection like none other. I wouldn't change that for anything.
I am blessed beyond what I ever envisioned, and I'm glad that God didn't answer my prayers in the way I wanted them answered. All of the blessings I have I could not have even daydreamed. I am grateful. I am grateful for God's faithfulness and love. I am confident that He knows the desires of my heart and that no matter what, my prayers are always answered.