Because this is one of those ugly hard months. The ones where it doesn't feel okay that other women are pregnant, where I can barely manage a congratulatory "like" on yet another pregnancy announcement. Because why not me? Why this cross?
I'm turning 35 in five weeks. Back when I was 22, engaged, and planning out my perfect life, this is the year I would have my final child, probably our fifth or sixth.
Because surely I would be old and have a big family, so why risk anything less than perfection?
Man, that girl was not great.
Instead, I'm watching my minimal fertility sputter out. The cycles with signs of fertility are fewer. Every month, I watch the window slide a little further closed.
My two girls will turn 11 and 4 this summer and I'm working hard to fully embrace this picture, without daydreaming of another.
Every day, I pray for peace with my life just this moment as everything is.
As I am. With the family size I have. I pray to dive down deep - not into accepting where I am, but actually reveling in where I am.
I pray for joy, even as the crashing wave of another unsuccessful cycle swallows me whole. The cycle where all the things lined up perfectly....and still...no.
I pray, as I ask you to stand with me just a moment and feel this crushing weight. Imagine with me a moment what it is to take a gift for granted, and then spend the next ten years begging for it.
Like thirst for water in the desert, it burns.
Some months, I find an oasis. In the midst of my desert, I find respite. I laugh and cheer those swimming in the ocean.
I pray for them when the water is so deep it scares them. All the while, happily sitting next to my puddle.
Other months, the sun has scorched the earth and I'm thirsty. I can see the water, but I can't have it.
This is that month. Where I'm struggling to stay upright. Not because I'm depressed or unbalanced, but because this cross is heavy. This road is hard.
Infertility is sad and hard and grief-stricken. The desert can wither your soul, or that heat can become your refining crucible.
It's who I take into the desert that matters.
It changes who I will be when I emerge.
To all my fellow desert wanderers, this week, praying for you is getting me through.
To all my friends in the ocean, I'm loving you hard and praying you stay afloat. I'll find another oasis I'm sure.