Anyone who has gone through a miscarriage will tell you, if you care and take the time to listen, of the eviscerating gut-wrenching experience of loss that takes over your body, heart and mind.

Then there is the agony of actually getting your cycle when your whole heart hopes for the very opposite, a positive pregnancy test!

Oh, also, your heart cringes when your best friend tells you of the joyous swelling in her belly and an insane jealousy, steeped in the repeated failure to reproduce, possesses you.  Of course, you tell NO ONE about these dark, crazy thoughts.  Your husband is at first, really empathetic and he tells you he feels the same way.  Then he becomes either annoyed or impatient and wonders where his wonderful partner is.  And you can’t tell him because you do not know such a grief.  Few of your peers are going through this ordeal.   It is impossible for your husband, your peers to know what is like because their body and heart are not irreversibly linked in the abyss of failure and loss as your body and heart are. You are so invisible in your grief, even to the closest ones of those you love.  It is like you are a zebra with invisible stripes amidst a sea of horses.  They don’t recognize that you are a zebra, you do not necessarily recognize you are a zebra with invisible stripes.  You know you are no longer a horse though…

Joe Biden, in a recent interview on the PBS News Hour, was asked what advice he had for people who are experiencing crushing losses such as the ones he experienced with the passing of his wife, daughter and son.  “Find a sense of purpose”, he said.  He shared how a letter from Teddy Kennedy’s wife helped right after the loss of his son to cancer.  She shared a letter that Teddy Kennedy kept by his side that was written by his father to someone who had experienced a similar loss.  Joe Kennedy described the bargaining stage of grief where one asks oneself: “Why me?  Why did this happen to me?”.  Then Joe Kennedy realized he had to continue living life and wondered instead: “What would Joe, my son, be doing if he was still alive?”.  Joe Kennedy then decided to dedicate himself to that purpose and it gave him peace of mind to find both meaning and reason for the loss in the pursuit of that purpose.  Joe Biden goes on to say: “There is hope and purpose in devoting yourself to something that really matters”.

Many women with fertility mishaps whom I have counseled over the years find that purpose by realigning their goals behind the purpose of sharing and connecting with other women with the same issues, to decrease their loneliness and isolation.  I have also seen then become advocates for their suffering “sisters” and join organizations, organizing support groups through their doctors, writing their story and sharing their story with a community of compassionate listeners.  I encourage you, if you are suffering from mishap fertility issues, to reveal the stripes of your suffering and find the tribe that will connect with your very own experiences.

Joe Biden’s interview is available for viewing at http://tp.pbs.org.2E62hour 

Resources:  1. “The Fertility Cure” by Dr. Randine Lewis, http://the fertilesoul.com

2. Michelle Galatoire, Fertile Mind Body Life Coach, http://www.michellegalatoire.com, 281-281-798-2002.