1 in 4
1 in 6
1 in 50
1 in 880
1 in 5
One is the loneliest number. Even more so when you encounter it over and over again during your family building journey.
I know stats like these are supposed to make you feel less alone, but when the only number one you long to see is followed by “Mom” on a silly mug, it can start to feel like a cruel joke. That you may be number one but you’ll never hear anyone call you that name.
One in four pregnancies end in a loss, one in six people globally experience infertility, and the “number one” trend only continued the further along in our journey we went.
Number one is supposed to be something to strive for, not a waking nightmare that you’d give anything to escape. What you would give to be number 2, 3, 47, 213, anything other than that dreaded one – those other numbers don’t know how lucky they are.
When you’re the only “one” that you know, you’ve never felt more alone. You commute into work, studying those around you trying to guess who the other “ones” are. You run the numbers when you’re out with friends and wonder where all of the other “ones” are hiding, since if those stats are true they should be here. You start to think you must be cursed when you keep hearing that you’re number one yet again as it feels like everything is crumbling around you.
Then, finally, it happens. That spark of recognition, that instant understanding, that magical moment when you finally find another “one.” Someone who has been stumbling on their own journey, who’s got their own collection of dusty #1 trophies shoved into the back of the closet.
Someone who introduces you to a whole community of “ones” and you realize that while one is the loneliest number, that it doesn’t mean you have to be alone.
One community brought together by heartbreak, grief, anger, fear, and immeasurable loss. Where there’s solidarity in “one,” dedicated to walking together every step of the way, raising each other up, and sitting quietly next to each other during the darkest times.
One mile to represent the countless steps that you’ve taken as a part of your journey – the highs and lows, the unexpected detours and dead ends, the endless wandering without a road sign in sight. The screaming “are we there yet?” and hearing only your own echo in response.
One morning where the “ones,” and all of the other numbers who love them, come together and hold space for strength, hope, sorrow, joy, and all of the other complicated emotions that are a part of this journey.
One day to honor every “one” and take solace in the fact that no matter how difficult the path gets, you are not alone.