Wednesday, July 16, 2014

The result of being public

   What does it feel like to have one of your most personal, emotional, and life-changing situations become public knowledge? What does it feel like to have people you barely know come up to you and talk to you about some things that most people keep completely private? What does it feel like to have your whole world be everybody’s business? Well, let me tell you!
   At first, it was extremely difficult. It was awkward. It was scary and nerve-wracking. Sometimes it was off-putting, and other times it was wonderful. There were times when I wasn’t totally sure that I had done the right thing by sharing our story. There were times when I wanted to hide under a rock and cry, and never come back out. But those times, for the most part, are over now.
   I know, reading this you must be wondering why, if it was so difficult, did I put it all out there? I know I have given reasons before, and they were all true, but now, with hindsight as this all slowly comes together, I know for a fact that it was the right thing, the best thing, and the most powerful thing to do.
   I am just a regular woman trying to figure life out like everyone else, but I have a unique and moving story to tell. I have had experiences that not a lot of people get in life, and I think it would be foolish and selfish if I kept it all to myself. Life is not about experiencing things, learning, and then forgetting all about them. Life is about experiencing things, learning from them, and becoming better because of them.
   For me, sharing my life, or parts of it at least, has helped me become better. This situation has helped me not only to really learn who my true friends are, but it has also restored my faith in humanity, something that was leaving me much too early for my liking. It has helped put things into a perspective that I wasn’t otherwise able to see, and it has helped me express myself to family and friends in a way that I wasn’t fully able to do just by talking. Some things are hard to say. Some reactions are hard to receive.
   Having written all this out for my family and friends to read at their own leisure has saved both them and me many hard conversations, but also created many conversations that might not have happened if I hadn’t been open.
   Had I just kept everything private, I would have suffered alone much more than I did. Ryan would have suffered alone, while watching me break down and not knowing how to pick me back up or where to turn. But because I had this place to come to, to let it all out, to be able to tell everyone what was going on… when I was ready… and how I wanted them to hear it, was such a relief for me. It saved Ryan having to tell people, and it saved our families from having to really talk about the toughest parts, unless or until they were ready. I opened up enough to be vulnerable, which was very difficult and scary to do, and really let people see ME. But I only opened up as I was ready to do so.
   I have gathered a network of women who are going through infertility and really understand the heartache and grief that comes with such a situation. And I have gathered a group of people (much larger than I ever anticipated) who support Ryan and me and are giving us their undying love. Without making the decision to be open and vulnerable, I would never have known these people, nor would any of them know the suffering we went through, or that we were suffering at all. And of course, I might never know their suffering or loss. We are helping each other.
   And, without the willingness to be open, we might never have the support needed for the situation, and the fundraising that we must do. I know I say it all the time, but the love, support and generosity of everyone is completely overwhelming and just so amazing. Ryan and I are so unbelievably grateful.
   I hope that by sharing my story, I am able to help other women and couples who are struggling through infertility, and give them the confidence and strength to share their stories and to know they are not alone.
   Although our needing a surrogate does not ultimately stem from an infertility issue and it took a very long time for me to allow myself to relate to that, it really is very similar. The grief and loss that is felt is the same, the worry and fear that this might never happen for us is the same, and the loneliness of not having anyone who understands is very much the same. I am not infertile, but I am grieving infertility. I am not trying to get pregnant, but am trying to make a baby. I want to give my husband a child, and I want to be a mom. It is all the same, and I am so sorry for anyone and everyone who has, is, or will go through these same emotions.
   I know we aren’t yet pregnant, and that things might still go wrong. But with the power of positive thinking, a lot of faith, and some proactive behaviour, I do believe all things are possible. The sadness can come to an end, and happiness is achievable. I feel it already. I am happy. I am not sad anymore, and I do not feel sorry for myself anymore.
   Through all darkness comes a light, and I can see it already. I feel it. I am hopeful, grateful, and excited. To all of you reading this, I offer a most sincere thank-you for allowing me into your life, and for coming into mine. Without this place, I may not be where I am today, and that just means the world to me.