You know, one of those women who envied other women that could easily get pregnant for the fifth time
the trenches of struggling with infertility, I would often distance myself from those relationships. Not because of anything they did necessarily, but simply to protect my own heart.
And if I'm being honest, I was jealous.
I was envious that my body was broken and theirs wasn't.
I was bitter because their life seemed perfect, and mine was in shambles.
I was angry that my family's situation was nothing short of a nightmare.
It became easier to distance myself from those particular relationships because they served as constant reminders of how imperfect my life was. And how much I was hurting. Sometimes, this came at the expense of a friendship altogether; other times, the distance served as a temporary arrangement for self-care with wounds I simply wasn't sure how to cope with or heal from.
Years later, I would come to realize nothing cures the sting of a friend, colleague or acquaintance touting an unplanned pregnancy. No -- not even adopting a child [or two] takes away the pain associated with infertility.
As with a lot of things in life, these lessons have come full circle for me; you see, I now know what it's like to be on the receiving end of those strained and distanced relationships because of the blessing of a pregnancy.
While many of my friendships remain, some that were once close hang by a thread.
People who I desperately still want in my life have fallen off the grid. They've taken some time away, and that's okay because I see my [former] self in them.
I see their heartache. Their doubts. And their pain.
I understand it, but it certainly hasn't made it any easier.
As I near the end of this pregnancy journey, I have a new perspective, though.
I'm grateful for the women who allowed me space and time to grieve when I needed it, even if it came at the price of me not being the friend I wanted to be -- and should've been -- during such an important time in their lives.
I'm grateful they didn't interpret my absence as a lack of caring.
And perhaps most importantly, I've realized I owe others the same amount of grace that was extended toward me.