These beautiful words were written by the incomparable Stacy Deeble-Reynolds. Every once in a while, the universe creates someone truly magical…someone whose heart is pure and strong…whose love can sustain others in their darkest hour. I am so lucky to know Stacy and to be able to call her “friend.” If you read this, you’ll see why.
Pangs… and Becoming Mom
Emptiness. True, raw, hollow stomach Emptiness. Everyone has felt it. Some more than others, more often than others. It’s a feeling that I experienced over and over again when I longed for a child. It’s something that people don’t talk about, or rather, I didn’t talk about… until now.
Yesterday my heart broke for a friend. She and her husband were planning to adopt a baby girl, only to discover several hundred miles into their road trip that the birth mom had changed her mind. After months of hope and excitement, and pulled over in the middle of nowhere, Emptiness.
Three years ago, I discovered I was pregnant. Yep. After several years of trying to start a family, and a year after adopting my first son, I was shocked to receive confirmation of this news. At twelve weeks, my boss made the big announcement at a work meeting to a room full of 100 elated colleagues. The very next day, in an eerily quiet doctor’s office, Emptiness.
Emptiness can slowly creep in, or it can slap us in the fucking face. Both could send me to my knees with such force that I actually worried I might not be able to stand up. I prayed/wished/made compromises in hopes of understanding. I went about my life with a protective smile, and in the meantime thought hard about what I could change in my life to up my chances of becoming a mom: abandon diet coke? eat more fish? run more? For years, I felt the pangs of Emptiness month after month after month. Pregnant women seemed to follow me in droves. Ads for new moms popped up while searching for recipes. Mom friends were debating breast-feeding on Facebook. Celebrities and their babies were plastered on magazine covers. It was maddening.
I have learned that women don’t often talk about this kind of Emptiness. And I think we should. We have the opportunity (and responsibility, I feel) to support one another and offer hope. With the help of my incredible husband, mom, cousin, and a couple of close friends, I learned to cling to hope. And I felt energized by releasing control. Eventually, two beautiful little souls entered my world and enveloped my heart. Holding them closely, I cherish motherhood every single day.
I know there are women needing support. Please join me in reaching out to them and offering sensitivity, compassion, and hope. This could be a long and difficult journey.