Note: I had hoped HuffPost Parents would pick this up today, as I wait I wanted to post here to say thank you before the day’s end.

~~~

When I profusely thank such organizations as Beat Infertility, Don’t Talk About the Baby and Share for including me and my story, I both hope they know how sincere I am being but also know they are probably thinking,

Of course, what is the big deal?

My words of thanks come from a place of love formed in the darkness of loss.

I have never been pregnant.

Thank God because being pregnant for me after two back surgeries and a year in a body cast would never lead to the normal celebratory leap of joy over 2 pink lines that those of us in the infertility and loss community long for.

My surrogate never achieved pregnancy with our embryos either.

And yet, there is not a National Failed Infertility Treatment Awareness Month or National IVF Embryos Count Too Awareness Month, and so the month of October’s Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month is where I fall (or perhaps force my way in). Even though I can at times feel like the odd man out, left behind or the girl just beyond the outskirts of fitting in often wondering to myself,

They probably don’t think I belong here. I did not lose enough. I am not enough.

That damn inner critic and scarcity, and yet, I know I am nowhere near alone.

Just as my friend over at Another Forty commented on my last post:

Having never been pregnant, though, I realize that I still have some shame related to whether or not pregnancy and infant loss awareness month applies to me. I have these pictures of our four embryos that feel like the only tangible remnant of our efforts, the closest I ever got to pregnancy. But at the end of the day I never did get there. So does it still count? I want it to desperately, and I want others to recognize it. It is such an odd thing to lose something you never really had.

To which I replied:

Those pictures of my 8 celled babies are not only cells in a petri dish to me, never strong enough to take strong footing in a warm mother’s womb, they are my babies. They count, they most definitely count. I am with you sister, it sometimes feels like there is not a place for us, but I assure you it is here. We too became mothers the day we dreamed of becoming mothers.

To you, they may simply be 8 celled embryos who were a science experiment in a sterile lab and petri dish.

To me they were growing babies, made up of Chad’s athletic ability and kind heart and my red hair and passionate personality, and transferred to Michelle’s loving motherly womb. My babies who never took a breath of this earth’s fresh air and who I must parent from afar for the rest of my life always wondering who they might have been and who I might have been as their mother.

awarenessdayTonight we will join families all over the world in the Wave of Light as we light three candles in honor of our soul scars.

And as I look at those bright flames, I will wonder if they are proud of me, wishing they were here while all in the same breath knowing all is okay.

I will also say thank you.

Thank you for including me and for remembering mothers like us.

~~~

In honor of my three: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eokZZUkf_zk

30 thoughts on “They Count Too

  1. Love this. Just shows how different everyones story is.

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    1. Thank you, so different and yet so much the same. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Tarynne says:

    Your pain is just as real, your babies existed. Love and hugs sent your way.

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    1. Thank you ❤ ❤ ❤

      Like

  3. In Due Time book says:

    You absolutely DO belong. You DID lose. You ARE enough! My thoughts will be with you tonight as I light my candle.

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  4. This is a beautiful tribute to you and your babies! Sending hugs and thinking about you today.

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    1. Hugs and love to you too! Thank you!

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  5. In Due Time book says:

    You DO belong. You DID lose. You ARE enough! I’ll be thinking of you tonight as I light my candle.

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  6. National Failed Infertility Treatment Awareness Month or National IVF Embryos Count Too Awareness Month – Now THAT’S an idea.

    It goes without saying that as an embryo momma I’m all in on our losses counting too, so I’ll just leave it that I’m abiding with you all today. Although I did skip the candle lighting – we had a lot of embryos – didn’t want to burn the house down on top of everything else:-)

    Liked by 1 person

  7. jenh94 says:

    I read this and thought how it never once even occurred to me that you (or anyone who has a similar story) would not be considered as “fitting in” or belonging as a part of the Pregnancy and Infant Awareness Month. To me, I very much see that those babies- no matter how they were formed or how far into the process they were- were your babies. They were/are real.
    Reading this has brought out another perspective that I never saw or even thought of. The perspective of the critic and how there can become such a hold up on labels. How there could be others who would not consider your story deserving enough or fitting enough to be included in the supportive hug of an awareness month or day. Having realized this – it also makes me much more aware of how lonely a journey as yours can be at times. Fitting in, belonging, being included, comparrisons, judgements, misunderstandings.
    This is another good example of why it is important that you write because even people like me- (who knows your loss is real, who realizes how hard some days can be, and who supports you completely) do not always get the full picture of the struggle and strength it takes to find your way when the path isn’t always so clear.
    My wish for you tonight, and every night, is that you are always able to feel the love of your supporters and that even on the days that you might feel alone, you can feel it without feeling lonley because you belong and you are most definitely included in the supportive hug of today’s awareness!! 💜

    Liked by 2 people

  8. I’ve been pregnant 4 times, but I have no living children. Only once I saw a heartbeat. All my babies died too soon, like yours. I do think you’re just like me, even if it may look I went a bit farther than you did. After all, I have nothing but shattered dreams, memories and pain for my losses. Just like you.

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    1. So true, thank you for your words, support and love!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. anotherforty says:

    Thanks for this post! It is such a confusing thing to figure out where to fit in, though I often ask myself why I feel the need to fit in anywhere at all! This community has so helped me understand that every story is different and all inclusive is the best approach. Glad you were able to honor your babies yesterday.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for being a part of this family, even though I wouldn’t wish being a part of this family on anyone… Much love friend!

      Like

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