You know, I do y’all a favor by only writing on good days. If I wrote in my worst moments (which I do in my journal, but not publicly), you’d probably want to slit your wrists and then go jump off a bridge! Okay, so that’s a little dramatic, but I am trying to drive the point home that this is not easy, not nearly as easy and as light-hearted as I may make it seem.
I wanted to include you into a little taste of infertility, especially those of you who have had the blessing of not having this particular struggle in your life. Infertility is definitely one of those things I never thought about and assumed would never happen to me. When my husband and I agreed it was time for children to join our family, we assumed we would get pregnant within 3 months. I laugh at my naivety, now over 5 years later.
The first 3 years were fairly easy. I was younger (mid-30’s) and had faith that God would give us children in His perfect timing. I also had come to the conclusion that if God chose not to give us children, then he had something different for us to do, some kind of different calling where it would be easier to serve without children. I was totally okay with that. And then it happened . . . we got pregnant!!
This pregnancy was finally God giving us an answer to the question of whether or not we were meant to have children. It was His perfect timing as we got pregnant without any hormones or special treatments. We had gotten checked out about a year before we conceived. Both of us were completely normal with all the preliminary testing so we didn’t seek additional help with fertility issues. Those results were just confirmation that we were waiting on God. It was completely up to Him. It still is, but I have SOOOO many more thoughts on the issue at this point, which I’ll share with you. 🙂
That first and only pregnancy left us devastated. Our son was stillborn at 24 weeks. Again, not something I ever considered would happen to me. I was at peace and not concerned about the pregnancy at all. We were blind-sided. Please “hear my heart” as a dear friend always said and know that I am in no way belittling anyone else’s experience with child loss, namely miscarriage and stillbirths. Loss is loss is loss. Each lost child is grieved over by parents, regardless of infertility or not. I can only speak from my experience. I cannot imagine what it must be like for mothers who have lost a pregnancy and still had to care for and nurture their little people while grieving. I also know what it’s like from my point of view, having no children at all to hold and cuddle and love. I’ve spoken with many mothers who have lost other children and know that in no way, shape, or form do the children they have make up for the one(s) lost. I’d be lying if I didn’t say I feel a pang or twinge of jealousy though. I feel that infertility on top of child loss is a double-whammy or that the knife that’s already in the gut is being twisted. There’s the looming emptiness of the grief compiled with the unfulfilled desire to have a child. Constantly looking at the calendar, counting days, taking medicines, getting blood drawn, the innumerable negative pregnancy tests, the constant reminders every time you see a pregnant woman, baby commercials, or walking past the baby section in the store. This isn’t a pity party, just sharing my perspective of the pain I challenge daily. As I’ve said before, I refuse to let the pain win. I’ll feel it. I’ll cry through it. But it WILL NOT define me. I choose gratefulness and laughter in my life.
Anyway, back to my thoughts on God’s timing and children and fertility. After being pregnant, something had been awakened in me. The blase’ desire I had before of wanting children, but being totally content if it didn’t happen, was completely gone. Now, I long for, desire with my whole being, and crave being a mother and having children. I’ve struggled between these two schools of thought: 1) Hold onto the promise of children and have faith that God will give us children in His timing or 2) Let it go, forget about it, and accept that God has a different calling for us. Most people try to encourage me and lean toward the first school of thought. Oh and before I forget, yes we are aware of and have considered adoption, but we’re not quite there yet for a number of reasons. However, that’s totally on the table in the future.
I wanted to shed a little light on the second school of thought though. Remember Job? My heart’s desire is to be able to say, when everything in life is stripped from me, all my hopes, dreams, desires, etc. that God is a Sovereign God. He gives. He takes away. And I will always choose to bless His holy name. This is a perfect example and opportunity to do so. When Hannah was barren and distraught over it, her husband said “Am I not more to you than 10 sons?” I hear Jesus asking me that question. If I was forced to choose between the two, Jesus or children, I’d choose Jesus. I believe I would anyway. I know my husband would. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t in any way feel like God is asking me to choose, I’m just trying to say that God’s will is more important to me than my desire for children. Some people say God gave me the desire for children while others say that desire is innate in women. I dunno. I just know that desire is there and it is strong!
My first annual checkup with my GYN after we lost Judah (our son), my doctor gave me a referral to a fertility specialist because we had not conceived again and my age is not in my favor. Did you know it’s the eggs that go bad? Apparently my womb (any woman’s womb) can carry a child no matter the age, but it’s the eggs that stop working. That’s one of many interesting facts I’ve learned since we’ve begun seeing the fertility specialist. It’s a door we’re knocking on. If God chooses to open it, then hallelujah! If He chooses to keep it shut, then we’ll start knocking on other doors until we find the one He has for us.
One last thing I wanted to include is a couple of embarrassing yet realistic pictures. I never would’ve thought of this had a friend of mine not sent me a picture of her when she went through this same battery of tests. She looked much cuter though because she actually takes time to put on makeup and look decent when she leaves the house while I could probably be in a people of Wal-Mart video. hehehehe. The only difference is that they made her wear a cafeteria lady hair net and a radiation vest. Anyway, this is probably the most uncomfortable, vulnerable position for a woman to be in. Sterile, cold, being poked and prodded. What you can’t see is that my legs are strapped down so I couldn’t get off that table even if I wanted to! The things we go through for our children, even the ones who aren’t born yet.