Earlier this week Instagram outed me to all my friends and family. After months of lurking fertility forums, fertility blogs, and other IVF Instagram accounts, I decided to join the community and create my own. For weeks I felt a sense of security in the disconnect of only sharing with strangers that were, most likely, going through the same process. I even attached the IG account to a separate email thinking it would prevent my own circle from finding out! When I looked down at my phone and saw that my first friend had started following ‘thebabymakinproject’ my heart fell into my butt (that’s a saying right?). As the day progressed I could feel my cheeks burn each time I saw another person I knew follow my secret account. I felt like someone had sent around a naked picture of me. I texted some of my closest girlfriends about my meltdown, and one of my oldest friends responded by sending me a TED talk (love me some TED talks) by researcher Brene Brown. “The Power of Vulnerability,” spoke on how opening up can change how we live our lives, highlighting that vulnerability creates and deepens connections and does not, as I had previously thought, make you appear weak. Throughout the day, I had friends and family messaging me love and warm wishes, and that’s when I realized that I wasn’t embarrassed anymore; I was relieved.
“Connection is why we are here. It gives purpose and meaning to our lives.”
All this made me think about the times I was extremely vulnerable, and how even though the outcome was not what I had hoped for, the connection and joy experienced from opening up was still worthwhile. So I am ready to share.
Miscarriages can make each subsequent pregnancy a terrifying and anxiety ridden experience. Some nights I couldn’t sleep just thinking about whether or not the baby was in the right place, and my days were consumed with counting down the days until my next doctor’s appointment where I could get some insight and relief. Although the thought of failure was always on my mind, I still made it a point to celebrate the pregnancy in small ways. I wanted that experience of telling my husband that we were pregnant, or surprising my mom with an “I Love Grandma” mug. Personally, I am glad I celebrated each pregnancy for the miracle that it was. This rings even more true now that we have started a process that completely eliminates all surprise and spontaneity.
It’s strange but when I look at these pictures, I don’t ever feel sad or think about the miscarriages that followed. I think about how happy I made my mom that day or of the excited look on my husband’s face when he opened the envelope, and the tears from my dad when he saw our sonogram. Those moments were great memories of love made by making myself vulnerable to the potential of heartache and loss, and just like my Instagram reveal, I’m glad they happened.
Courage – from the Latin root Cor – meaning heart – to tell the story of who you are with your whole heart