To any woman picking this box up to stare at it in longing, in mourning, in hesitation. To wonder. To wish. To throw it in her shopping cart again this month.
Throwing it in with hope. With fear. With premature excitement. With anticipation. With a sense of dread that it may just be another down the drain waste basket Walmart drop of $12.98. Knowing that even if she didn’t buy this one, she’d be filling her basket full of 99 cent droppers tests, or trying every single other brand to double-check a cruel reality.
To any woman who has pulled this test out of it’s box time and time again, only to cry in disappointment and frustration at that one faint negative line in the result window.
Only to remember why this has been the hardest money to spend and the hardest pill to swallow. After all the treatments, injections, prescriptions, hormones, cycles, and positive feedback, how could there only be one single line? How? How could the test still be negative? Why, after everything, is completely crumbling to shambles her end result? How come nothing she has done been successful? How come not a single medical breakthrough has actually broken through? Is she a failure? Is all hope completely lost?
To the woman who could own stock in these not so cheap little plastic sticks. Because no matter the difficulties she has faced or the hurdles she has struggled to jump, she never loses hope—hope that maybe this might finally be her month. Maybe this excruciating journey will come to an end and she’ll finally get to make her first doctor’s appointment and plan her announcement. Maybe she can tell her best friend during that joyful lunch date or video conference her family in another state. Maybe she can look forward to the good for a while and forget about the bad.
To the woman who is going back to the trash can a day later just to make sure it wasn’t a fluke. Maybe it was actually positive and just took longer to show it. The woman who has picked this up in the store and put it back, because she can’t handle another heartbreaking night in the bathroom. She can’t handle another shower just to hide the gut-wrenching sobs. She walks past this test in Target and gives it a soft glassy, doubtful glance. Why bother? She asks herself. Why put myself through it all again this month?
To the woman who took this test last week and got her positive. She got her wish. Her miracle. She got the one thing she had prayed fervently for.
The woman who is on the table this week at her first ultrasound hearing no heartbeat, thinking back to the relief and joy she felt the moment the test in this pink box made all her dreams come true. Dreams now crushed—by devastation, by an unexpected and unwelcome fate. The woman who is now living with a broken heart, broken plans, broken dreams, and broken promises.
To the woman who picks the perfect gift, and silently smiles at baby showers, month after month, year after year. Still holding on to hope that one day it might be her they’re celebrating. She is exploding with happiness for her friends but engulfed in mourning for herself.
This test? It does not define you.
Each time it’s thrown in the trash doesn’t decrease YOUR worth. This test does not make you more or less of a person. It’s thin, stained lines selfishly taunt some of your most valued, precious endeavors, but it does not define your goodness. It will never measure your womanhood, or your ability to love. It doesn’t compare you to others, and it doesn’t set your worth.
Your life is incredibly valuable and at the end of the day, whether or not that second line appears, you are still strong. You’re still going to keep pressing on, and you’re going to be ok.
It is not your fault.
You are not broken.
Your body is not damaged.
You are still very much a woman. A woman who is no less than the women this comes effortlessly for.
You deserve to achieve all of the things you set your mind to.
Your dreams, goals and life visions are and will always be worth chasing, no matter the cost.
It’s OK to ask questions.
And it’s OK to ask the hard ones to God.
This is not the end for you.
This battle is not your whole story.
The pain you feel is real, and yes, you should feel it to its full extremity.
You should talk about it.
You should keep fighting it, but only because you are 1 in 8 who are brave enough to.
Sweet girl, do not let this downpour consume you. Do not let it become who you are or what you are about. If anything, allow it to give you a bigger voice. Allow it to become your motivation. Your power. Your direction to win this race you’re weary of running.
I’m not going to say be patient. I’m not going to say try harder, or take a break, or “just relax.” I’m going to say, there are no realistic answers here. There are no incentives that exempt us from the trials and tribulations of life. No matter how much I wish there was, there just isn’t. There are no fairytales. There are no explanations for why things happen the way that they do, but I trust that there is a reason. There is an underlying purpose in our deepest, darkest struggle. Maybe it’s a beautiful, happy ending. Maybe it’s being the comfort and salvation someone else needs in this exact journey. Maybe it’s simply a small voice that whispers for us to get back up and try again tomorrow—because it is going to be OK.
I’m going to keep praying for you. I’m going to keep you on my heart with faith that this page is going to turn. This uphill climb is going to lead to one breathtaking view, and your suffering will be no more.
But in the meantime, remember—you’re valuable and oh so incredibly beautiful.
You’re a good friend, an extraordinary light, and a sister or daughter. Maybe, somehow, you’re already a mother just longing for more. You’re not in this alone. Your boat is not going to sink. Adjust your sails and have peace, my girl. You are going to be OK.
This post originally appeared on Love, Lattes & Life Unscripted by Molly Claypool