From the beginning, I have been open about our infertility: to friends, to family members, to anyone who will listen. It is so great to have that extra support and to surround ourselves with people who truly care. But I often find myself struggling to answer their most common question:
How are you feeling?
I close my eyes and think, How am I supposed to answer this question? On any given day, the response may be different. It may even be different from hour to hour or minute to minute.
There are days or moments when I feel great. When the sun is shining and I can see things in the brightest of colors. I see things differently. I laugh. I feel warmth. I can walk into a baby store, browse through the tiny onsies, and hold a little pair of shoes in the palm of my hand. I can close my eyes and envision what our baby’s nursery will look like: the colors, the furniture, and me sitting a chair rocking our baby to sleep. I can feel the warmth of my child’s embrace as I send him off to his first day of school. I can feel the pride in my heart as I watch her graduate from high school and college, and settle down to start a family of her own. And I can feel the joy when my child places his child in my arms and calls me “Grandma.”
During bright days or moments, these images make me smile. And the hole in my heart seems a little smaller.
But then there are days or moments when the clouds rolls in. Before I know it, the sky is dark and the winds are howling. The temperature drops, buckets of rain begin to fall, and the lightning and thunder appear out of nowhere. In the blink of an eye, pregnant women and babies surround me. The rain is so hard that I can barely see straight. My body shakes passing the diaper aisle at the grocery store. The Earth begins to spin and I feel as if I am going to fall off the edge at any moment. The sky goes from dark to black. The storm swallows my heart and everything in it, and then? Then there is nothing: no feelings, no fear, and no hope - just numbness.
But no one wants to hear these things. And I don’t want to say these things.
So, instead, I open my eyes. I do everything I can to smile and say,
I am feeling fine. And how are you?