I recently had the honor of sharing our story in public. First, to a pregnancy loss support group, then at a memorial service, where Double A joined me. In both instances, brave women, and some men, shared their stories of joy, heartbreak and loss.
Each person, each story, and the baby(ies) they represented reminded me of the strength within each of us who have walked this path. I’m not sure about you, but sometimes in day-to-day life, I forget. No, I don’t forget about our babies, or everything we went through. I forget everything that it took—and takes—to get me here to this moment. Perhaps I block it out, I mean, who wants to remember those days? At the same time, I need to recognize that determination and courage.
One of the women in the support group analogized survivors of baby loss as Warriors. It’s perfect isn’t it? For some, just getting pregnant is a huge feat. Then, if/when we finally get pregnant, there’s the worry over if we’ll stay that way. And if you’ve been through loss before, there’s the constant battle of trying to be positive in the day-to-day, with the ever-present fear that something bad will happen. If that something bad does happen, we have to figure out how to make it through. To understand the not understandable. To breathe. To fight. To even hope.
In contrast, I have a friend who refers to the women are blissfully ignorant on the pregnancy/infertility/loss front, as Smurfs. You know whom I’m talking about. The ones who decide they’re going to get pregnant at a certain time because it is convenient for their lifestyle…and then do. The ones who don’t realize that not everyone who decides they want a baby gets pregnant quickly—or at all. Or that even if pregnancy is achieved, that it’s not a given that the pregnancy will result in a healthy, living baby. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t wish ill will on them. I’m not looking to be the first green Smurf. On some levels, I wish I were one of the tiny blue creatures. I look good in blue. I just wish that they realized just how incredibly lucky they are to don those little white hats of innocence.
Warriors are fighters. Warriors are survivors. Warriors are resilient. Did you see the CBS Sunday Morning story about The Science of Resilience? When it came on, Double A turned to me and said, “That’s us.” Sure, we sometimes dwell about what happened, why and the what-ifs. But, time and time again, we realize that we have found something inside of each of us—inside of both of us—to keep going, trying and moving forward. It is because of that resilience that we are able to survive and function in daily life. It is because of that resilience that we are somehow still able to hope. And it is because of that fight that we continued to push forward, not give up, and modify our expectations to explore alternative avenues to family.
That said, even resilient Warriors have their moments. Sometimes we need help. And sometimes we feel defeated. But Warriors fight. I always knew I was a fighter. I just didn’t know how strong I was, or where that strength could take me.
How do you recognize and honor your Warrior spirit?