H.E.A.R.T.strings Perinatal Bereavement & Palliative Care at Northside recognizes that all losses are painful and difficult, but we also know that special and unique challenges can occur when the loss follows infertility.
There are women that become mothers without effort, without thought, without patience or loss and though they are good mothers and love their children, I know that I will be better.
I will be better not because of genetics, or money, or that I have read more books but because I have struggled and toiled for this child.
I have longed and waited. I have cried and prayed. I have endured and planned over and over again. Like most things in life, the people who truly have appreciation are those who have struggled to attain their dreams.
I will notice everything about my child. I will take time to watch my child sleep, explore and discover. I will marvel at this miracle every day for the rest of my life.
I will be happy when I wake in the middle of the night to the sound of my child, knowing that I can comfort, hold, and feed him, and that I am not waking to take another temperature, pop another pill, take another shot, or cry tears of a broken dream. My dream will be crying for me.
I count myself lucky in this sense: that God has given me this insight, this special vision with which I will look upon my child that my friends will not see. Whether I parent a child I actually give birth to or a child that God leads me to, I will not be careless with my love.
I will be a better mother for all that I have endured. I am a better wife, a better aunt, a better daughter, neighbor, friend, and sister because I have known pain. I know disillusionment, as I have been betrayed by my own body. I have been tried by fire and hell many never face, yet given time, I stood tall. I have prevailed. I have succeeded. I have won.
So now, when others hurt around me, I do not run from their pain in order to save myself discomfort. I see it, mourn it, and join them in theirs.
I listen. And even though I cannot make it better, I can make it less lonely.
I have learned the immense power of another hand holding tight to mine, of other eyes that moisten as they learn to accept the harsh truth and that life is beyond hard. I have learned a compassion that only comes with walking in those shoes.
I have learned to appreciate life. Yes, I will be a wonderful mother.
The Ache for a Child (Bridwell) Bridwell writes candidly (and with a Christian/Biblical perspective) of her struggle to have children, the cycle of hope and grief, and the sorrow of pregnancy loss.
Empty Womb, Aching Heart (Schalesky) Infertility strikes at the core of what it means to be a woman or man, tests marriages, and shakes faith. The honest, open, and emotionally resonant first-person stories in Empty Womb, Aching Heart share the real struggles couples face, including "crying in the diaper aisle", wondering if you are "less of a woman", asking "how far should we go?" or whispering to God "it's not fair." This is a book for the times when professional advice isn't enough, and you've had your fill of well-meaning comments from those who haven't experienced infertility. Empty Womb, Aching Heart will help you know you are not alone with true stories about couples who share your hopes, fears, frustrations, and the comfort only God can bring.
Ended Beginnings (Panuthos & Romeo) Infertility, miscarriage, sudden infant death, abortion, adoption, premature or traumatic birth, and help for grieving children.
Tears of Sorrow, Seeds of Hope: A Jewish Spiritual Companion for Infertility and Pregnancy Loss (Cardin) Many women and men long to find solace in religious ritual and tradition to ease the emptiness felt from a loss that is without a face, a name, or a grave. This book acknowledges and encourages expressions of their grief, and offers comfort in the moments of their pain. Providing companionship and strength for healing from others who also have grieved, Tears of Sorrow, Seeds of Hope is a spiritual companion that enables the reader to mourn within the words and ways of Judaism. Drawing deeply on the wellspring of comfort found in traditional Jewish texts and prayer; it also offers readings and rituals created especially for parents struggling with the uncertainty and sorrow of pregnancy loss and infertility, providing a source of compassion, healing, and hope.