My relationship with my husband is like a mosaic weather worn table in the middle of a lavish overgrown English garden. Each piece of our lives with, and without, each other over the last near decade is like a piece of chipped colored glass in that table.
Through disappointments, major achievements, angry departures, and joy-filled reconciliations, we have come to know one another perhaps more than anyone else in our lives. What a gift dedication to a relationship through the hardest, and the best, times can be.
So when I received the phone call, which changed the entire trajectory of my life, the one that foretold a future that did not include a family biologically our own, I naively thought that I was equipped with all I needed to be to share this burden with him.
Yet, the first words out of my mouth after telling him the news were that we could file for an annulment because we had only been married a few months. It wasn’t right to saddle him with the life’s sentence my body had handed down to me. I couldn’t do that to him.
Because my husband is the incredible man he is, he simply held me and told me that of course we were not going to do that. He was there, like a rock, keeping me steady when the waves were crashing in, pulling me out to sea.
Unfortunately the juxtaposition of infertility is that his steadiness only made me love him more, which made the guilt I felt over my body’s failure increase tenfold.
You see the thing is I can handle my own disappointment, my own dashed dreams, and my own loss. What is much harder to accept however is the loss my body’s failure has dealt to my husband.
I know he does not blame me, I know he loves me even though. . . , yet forgiving myself for the life I have robbed him of is a harder job to tackle.
Recently we learned close friends of ours, just a few months after getting married, were pregnant. When he came cautiously to tell me the news I felt my heart ache a little for myself, yet it throbbed for the hurt I saw in his eyes.
Even still his concern ran through his wounds to mine, wanting to ease the sting the news would deliver to my still healing heart.
And again, his compassion only made me love him more, which made the guilt I felt over my body’s failure increase tenfold yet again.
It is not easy to release the guilt that comes with forever altering the person whom we love most in the world’s life. Perhaps however because marriage is like that mosaic table for two hidden amongst the lavender in the English garden, when the sunlight breaks through to illuminate the next chard of colored glass the hues will take our breath away–as will the beautiful child who was conceived in our hearts of pure love who now sits there.
Maybe then we will see that for what was taken away, the gift given in return is tenfold–for both of us. And maybe then I will let the guilt go for good.