My comment over at Happy Meets Crazy got too long, so I made it into a post.
Thanks for a thoughtful post. I wanted to add another layer to this conversation.
I am one who has children, but has wanted more. For health reasons, that has not been right for us. And it is a pain I carry almost every day, something I struggle with, wonder about, hope we are making the right choice with (because for us, this is a choice we are having to make, not a choice made for us...and that is hard in and of itself...to be able to conceive but not feeling right about doing that).
Anyway, there have been times when an announcement of a pregnancy has ripped through my heart, and tears have come. I feel I am more empathetic to these trials of infertility that I ever was before. Having also been single for a decade of my life while friends and family married and became parents, and people sometimes asked why I wasn't married, I understand that side, too. I don't ever want to say something that hurts someone else with this tender topic.
But I don't believe avoidance of the topic is always the answer, and indeed, I think sometimes that can be an unfair expectation, a barrier to healthy relationships in and of itself. As with everything, there is a balance, I think. I would not want people to avoid talking to me about the joy of their pregnancy or infants just because they know I have ached for another baby. And if they *don't* know about my pain, might it be that I am partly to blame for not opening up a bit of my heart?
I think we all need to be sensitive, but I have come to believe that those of us who struggle also owe those we love the comfort of knowing that they don't have to walk on eggshells around us, that we can rejoice with those that rejoice even as we hope that they can also mourn with those of us who mourn. The only way we can really get there, imo, is to be more willing all the way around to open up a bit more, and to be willing to listen a bit more, to be a little less me-focused and a little more others-focused. Easier said than done, I know.
And so, I try not to worry so much. If someone asks me about having another child, I am open and honest with them. I let them know this is a struggle, that we have prayed about it and it doesn't feel right. I don't have to go into deep personal details, but to me, an honest response helps them and it makes me not feel like I have to go to a corner and cry. And I usually get love in return. But I also try to rejoice with others who don't have my struggle, because motherhood deserves to be celebrated! And I think it's not only in focusing on our similarities (important thought this is -- so I am not trying to take away from this post and its sensitivity!) but ALSO in sharing our hearts and learning to *bridge* these difficult differences that we can often grow as sisters and friends, as daughters of God.