National Infertility Awareness Week 2018
I am now and forever will be one who speaks up for those like me who struggle to grow their families. While growing closer to God and being blessed with our beautiful little girl has certainly healed many wounds, there will always be a part of me that is broken and hurting because of this reality. For a while, I thought I’d grown past that heartache but I realized recently that those wounds don’t ever really go away. Because there are a lot of never’s with infertility…
I will never know what it’s like to have a positive pregnancy test. I’ll never get to experience telling my husband we’re pregnant. We’ll never get to do a fun announcement or gender reveal. I’ll never get to feel a baby move and grow inside of me or marvel at how my body is changing and morphing to create life. I’ll never know what a little person who is a combination of me and Ryan will look like. I’ll never know what it’s like to push that little life out into the world. I’ll never experience how pregnancy and childbirth can change and strengthen a couple in new ways. And if God chooses to bless us with a miraculous pregnancy (which I fully believe that he can if it’s in his plan for us) I’ll be honest and admit there will most likely be a lot of worries during that pregnancy of what could go wrong because of all the struggles and the loss we had along the way.
I’m sharing this because there very well may be someone you know that is struggling with infertility. It may be primary or secondary or miscarriages or who knows. Because often this heartache exists silently in the lives of those we love. I’m sharing because 1 in 8 women is struggling with this and there is so often so little sensitivity or understanding to her plight. I’m sharing because the infertile couple lives in a world built for families and is constantly reminded of what they lack. I’m sharing because yes – I am now a mother, but those hurts are still there for me too.
I’ll go ahead and be open and honest. (After all openness is my word for 2018.) I still sometimes get jealous or feel the sting of pregnancy announcements (and I never know when one is going to hurt or not). I often find myself having an initial reaction of “must be nice.” Nice that you can decide to get pregnant and have it happen naturally and fairly easily. Nice that you don’t have to worry about the logistics of planning for the paperwork, classes, home visits, and expense of adding another child to your family through adoption. Nice that you don’t have to experience loving a child that may not end up being yours. Nice you don’t have to consider the loss your child and his or her birthmother is experiencing. Nice that (from my perspective) there is a lot more simplicity to your experience of motherhood.
And I know that sounds bad! Especially from someone who is INCREDIBLY blessed to be a mother now. But those are real and honest thoughts that do cross my mind sometimes. However… I’m not bitter about my infertility anymore. I’m not devastated or consumed by it like I once was. Surrendering myself and my life fully over to God was a huge turning point for me in my infertility journey (and my life). I’m letting you know all those thoughts because I am human. And I’m not perfect. And a deep wound like 7.5 years of waiting for a child and experiencing all the loss and pain along the way changes a person. I think it made me softer and stronger and more compassionate and open-minded. But the wounds don’t go away… scars remain. And if you’re like me and you feel you’ve “overcome” a lot of the infertility pain- I want you to know you’re not a bad person or awful because those thoughts still creep in.
So today – at the beginning of 2018’s infertility awareness week, I share all of this in hopes that someone feels less alone. In hopes of helping someone to better understand a friend or loved one traversing the lonely road. And in hopes of continuing to raise more awareness about this unfortunately common experience. If you’re feeling alone on your journey – PLEASE reach out to me! I’m always happy to listen and be there for a fellow infertility sister. And as always I’m sending love to you and prayers to Jesus that your wait ends soon and that the joy of morning arrives quickly!