Thursday, April 30, 2009

The Girl Next Door

About two years ago, I had an office next door to a girl, "R" who has now become a close friend. We had always been friendly but had never gotten too comfortable with each other. Then one day, another co-worker, "K" walked into my office and confided that R was also having a hard time becoming pregnant. I realized that both of us had been talking to K about our IF struggles, but neither of us had talked to each other about them. I guess K decided that this was the day we both needed to find out. It turned out we had both been trying for about the same amount of time.

Within a couple days, R and I were confiding in each other and connecting in new ways. There is a definite bonding that happens quickly between two women faced with the IF experience. We discussed doctors, possible causes, treatment options, diet, etc. I helped lift her up and listen to her on days when she was feeling down and she did the same for me. She moved away from the area temporarily while her husband took a 9-month class in another state. One weekend I received a message that she was in the hospital and would explain more on Monday. Immediately I imagined what was happening and began the prayers. On Monday, I learned that she had an ectopic pregnancy. I finally confided in her that I had a miscarriage, and although they are different situations, I can understand the suffering of losing a child.

Our relationship continued to grow. Last spring we were together at a meeting and were alone for a few minutes. She started to delicately prepare me for the "I'm pregnant" news and I was so excited to tell her that I was pregnant as well. We had gotten pregnant within a week of each other! We were both screaming, hugging and crying. We quickly became pregnancy buddies, spending lots of time quietly talking on the phone (during work time) about our symptoms and plans for the pregnancy, doctors, child care, etc.

Sadly, I miscarried at 12 weeks, but R was able to carry to term and now has a 6-month old boy. I wasn't sure how I would handle watching her pregnancy progress and seeing her little boy. I prayed to God for the grace to get through this time. At 4 or 5 months, she returned to the area and I knew I would be seeing her every day. I was quite anxious about how I would react to seeing her and hearing my co-workers talk to her about the pregnancy. Although it was not easy, God gave me the grace to get through it without feeling sorry for myself (at least that's what I say now). I was even able to go to two baby showers for her (one personal, one at work) which I normally avoid like the plague. When I see her little boy, I can't believe that I could have had a 6 month old (and a 2-year old) if my pregnancies had carried to term.

I'm so thankful that God provided me with this friendship at a time when I needed it most. It is amazing to me that the girl in the office next door, was going through the same struggles as me for so long and neither of us even knew! Please pray for my dear friend. She was diagnosed with a likely case of thyroid cancer last week (doctors are still not totally sure, but it looks like it). She'll have surgery on Monday and will have radiation therapy as well if it is indeed cancer. Thanks in advance for any prayers you can spare!

"We accept good things from God; and should we not accept evil?" Job 2:10b

"Two are better than one: they get a good wage for their labor. If the one falls, the other will lift up his companion. Woe to the solitary man! For if he should fall, he has no one to lift him up." Ecclesiastes 4:9-10

"Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep." Romans 12:15


Reflection Questions

  1. How has God surprised you during your IF journey?
  2. What friends have you met along the way that have helped you through struggles?
  3. Has God given you the grace to get through difficult situations?
  4. How do you handle situations that you do not feel you have the grace, strength, or courage to face?

Prayer of Thanks for Friends

I want to thank you, Gracious Lord, for the good friends you give me; they are for me a priceless bounty.
Thanks to them, friendship is neither an abstraction, nor a distant, almost impossible, dream.
I owe to your providence, Lord, the possibility of counting on the constant help of friends.
Between me and them you have formed a solid bridge,
which can withstand all threats of destruction.
The happiness with which you have blessed us enables us to enrich one another.
Lord, you alone know the reasons that drew us closer together.
I promise to do everything in my power to deserve this precious gift that you have reserved for me.
I ask you, Gracious Lord, to keep them safe in your hands, for they are yours above all.

PS – My friends from college are adopting their second infant in a span of just over 12 months! I can't believe what luck they have had. If/when we go the adoption route, I will definitely be on the phone with her to find out what the heck she put in her family profile! Here is her adoption story for #1 – scroll beneath the photos for the adoption timeline. First adoption only took 38 days – what!?!

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