Every so often I receive emails and messages from women all over the world with stories like mine…and yours. Just recently I received this message from someone who not only knows the pain of infertility, and the pain of a miscarriage, but also the pain of how it can impact our marriages in a negative way. I have written a letter to my husband, which you can read here, but today I want you to read a letter this woman wrote to hers. It’s real. It’s raw. And it’s sincere. So take a peek. I would be surprised if at some point you didn’t whisper to yourself “me too”.
Dear waiting for baby bird,
I understand what it feels like to wait for a baby bird. We have gone through steeps and valleys as we lost our first pregnancy three years ago, and despite the prayers and endless effort, we haven’t been able to conceive since. I wanted to share with you that this past weekend our church held a marriage conference and one of the skills we learned was how to write a forgiveness letter. The purpose of the forgiveness letter is about the other person.There’s no blame, justification or denying your own pain. But it’s truly a gift for the one you are writing it to. I modeled it for the congregation and it was an incredibly profound experience. It was not easy by any means. In fact, I struggled in-between tears to speak. It was the first time I had ever shared such deep emotions to my husband about how he must’ve felt during our most difficult season. And it was the first time I was sharing in public such a personal pain and hurt. My husband only knew that the topic would be infertility therefore he didn’t want me to read it to him beforehand. Needless to say, it was an incredible experience for us and I wanted to share this letter with you and all of those who might be walking this same path.
I love you in so many ways. I adore your playful and witty sense of humor. I love that you make the bed every morning. I appreciate that you protect and provide for us. I respect and admire your courage, strength and decisiveness in making important decisions. Your wisdom inspires me to make better decisions.
I remember the first two joyful years of our marriage. There were so many dreams I wanted to share with you like traveling and buying a home. One of the things I was most looking forward to was starting a family with you. I was so excited when we got pregnant the first month we tried. I remember how excited you were. Together we thought of fun and creative ways to share the happy news with our family at Thanksgiving. However I never anticipated that our pregnancy would end in a miscarriage. I had no idea what feelings could arise after a miscarriage. I didn’t know what to feel.
At first it was numbness, then profound sadness. I blamed myself for my body’s inability to sustain our baby. I carried the guilt of depriving you, the man I love, a family.
Soon after I started to hear about other people getting pregnant and with each pregnancy announcement, it crushed me. I found myself in a tsunami of emotions I didn’t know how to process. It birthed in me the ugliest and most shameful emotions: envy, bitterness, resentment, anger and a spirit of competitiveness.
As I was dealing with all these heavy emotions, I forgot about you. I thought you were managing your emotions well and assumed you did not hurt when you heard about others conceiving and beginning their parenting journey. It didn’t occur to me that you were suffering in your own way and that you needed my support as well.
In the midst of my pain, confusion and multiple disappointments of trying again, I shamefully treated you with contempt. I withdrew and many times rejected your advances to be intimate. During the times we were intimate, we did not make love. We had sex with a purpose…to conceive. I used you for a purpose and I lost the fun in our lovemaking.
I made conceiving a child an idol before loving you.
Ray, even though I still experience difficulty in not knowing if we will conceive, I want you to know that in the midst of our trials and difficult in-betweens, I promise to love you and make loving you my first ambition. My love, I am so sorry I caused you so much misery, suffering and loneliness in our marriage. I am so sorry for making conceiving a child an idol and neglecting you, your needs and your feelings. I am so sorry that I was so immersed in my grief and my belief that no one understood my suffering, that in the midst of my own feelings of abandonment, I too was abandoning my husband. You deserve all my love, attention and affection. You will never stop being my first love. Will you forgive me?
I love you,
Your Mrs. M
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