I was meeting virtually with a senator and public-school teachers from around Hawaii. Senator Hirono’s office organized a Zoom call with teachers in July 2020 to see how we were handling the pandemic. She was empathetic and gave us 90 minutes of her precious time when we were only expecting a short meeting. Unfortunately, that was about 60 minutes past the complete absorbency of the pad I was wearing.
You see, 12 hours prior to this meeting, I was in the ER miscarrying for the second time in a week. We lost our “Baby B” dubbed by our clinic as “our little fighter” who hung on after we lost Baby A. I was released and told to expect the heavy bleeding, and to come back if it was “too much.” As a 10-year member of the “infertility club,” I knew this drill.
No one else on the Zoom call had their cameras off, so I did not want to be rude to a sitting Senator, but I also didn’t want to ruin our carpet. I covertly texted my partner, ever my rock, for help. He quietly came into our office, went under the standing desk where I was working and laid down puppy pads under my feet. Then we worked together to change my pad, all the while I was nodding and participating in the Zoom conversation. No one knew. That’s infertility.
If you’re reading this, what I want you to know about infertility is that for every heartbreaking moment, there’s a tenderness of human connection. While I was telling Senator Hirono that we need legislation for quality broadband internet so that all kids can access virtual learning, my husband was lovingly wiping the blood from my knees off camera. Losing our twins, even through the heartache, somehow made our love stronger.
When we learned that Baby B probably wouldn’t make it, our doctor put in personal calls to fetal specialist friends to see if anything could be done. The best phlebotomist I’ve ever had the honor to be needled by lovingly touched my shoulder without saying a word. I’m sure the tests being ordered let her know what I was going through, but it felt so human. Making a baby should be a quintessential human experience, but for us “infertiles” that part of the journey has often been taken from us.
When I decided to make an Instagram post sharing about our losses, so many friends reached out to share their similar stories and provide comfort. Stories have power and sharing yours just might help someone else. You don’t know what community is there until you tell your story. Infertility is part of my life, but it does not define who I am. If you’re reading this as a secret member of this sisterhood, reach out. We’re here for you.
This photo is my husband, Robert and I at the Sugar Land, TX RESOLVE “Walk of Hope” in 2017.