This weekend always brings a flood of emotion to Erin and I. A weekend of celebration, and rightfully so, for so many. A weekend where we celebrate our moms, grandmothers, aunts and the moms we adopted along the way.

But if you’re the 1 in 15 of couples who struggle with infertility, this weekend is different.

If you’re the 1 in 100 that has lost a child, this weekend is different.

This weekend may not be one of celebrating.

Maybe you didn’t go dress shopping for a new outfit. Maybe you won’t go to church this Sunday. Maybe you smile and celebrate with your friends while putting on a brave face that hides a desire long unfulfilled.

Maybe this weekend is more questions than answers.

Maybe this weekend will be different, because things are different.

Love

My wife and I have walked this infertility journey for a decade. The entirety of our marriage. We have felt alone. We have felt lost, and we have felt loss. And I’ve not always handled it well. My wife would tell you that for a long time I didn’t want to be a dad.

For most of my life, I was terrified of making the same mistakes my father made. So in my late teens, I came to the conclusion that I’d simply never have kids. It was simple, I could not mess up that which I do not have. I am incredibly grateful for the healing I’ve experienced since those days, I’m not that person any longer.

But still. Different.

It’s different when the very first question anyone asks is ‘do you have any kids?’. It’s different when you’re on a first name basis with your dog’s physical therapist but have never met a pediatrician. It’s different when you’ve made new friends, but you struggle to invite them over because you don’t have kids for their kids to play with, you don’t have a kids room they can play in.

It’s just, different.

But if I could say one thing to my wife, and to anyone who resonates with our story, it would be this.

Yes, things are different.

Circumstances are different. Hard and painful questions exist that do not have answers.

Yes, this weekend will be different.

But you are not different.

You not broken.

You are not forgotten.

Your story is not over.

You are not different.