I don’t care how informative this week is suppose to be, it is a week that sucks. Like big time. It is painful. It is dark. It is sad.
I know. I know. You look at my full brood of children and have no sympathy for me. Unless feeling sorry for the 2 hours of sleep I got last night because Max woke up screaming and running (or trying to) into my room saying, “MONSTER! MONSTER!” And I found him in his room pulling the play kitchen apart as he was trying to run out the door.
THANKFULLY he did not wake Josephine—she just so happens to sleep right next to the play kitchen (they share a room).
But, you see…I did not have a full brood for a long time.
According to the Mayo Clinic, Infertility is defined in the following way, “If getting pregnant has been a challenge for you and your partner, you’re not alone. Ten to 15 percent of couples in the United States are infertile. Infertility is defined as not being able to get pregnant despite having frequent, unprotected sex for at least a year for most people and six months in certain circumstances…”
Unprotected and frequent sex for at least a year.
Do you know how that makes a person who has been trying for 1 year, 2 years, 3, years, and 4 years feel????
Bad. Very, very bad.
Six months to a year????
That seems like baby spit to me.
My husband and I tried the above definition for many years. Many years.
Yes, I already had a struggle going into it with a pituitary tumor. But that does not make it suck any less, knowing that what may be true, infertility, is true.
And then I was no longer infertile. I had a baby in our 5th year of marriage after 5 years of having unprotected sex. After 5 years of never preventing a baby. After years of being considered infertile.
While the joy of knowing that I was pregnant with our daughter was both frightening and exhilarating, I will never ever forget those dark days of complete sadness each time I started my cycle. Or each time the pregnancy test came back negative.
Infertility is something that you live through. Some of us come out on the other side victorious with our own biological children. Others of us come out victorious as parents of children from our heart. And some of us come out of it victorious in living a full life without children biological or adopted but full of our own victories through work or service.
And some of us continue to suffer in it…
In the lonesome, dark, desire of wanting.
Wanting that child so badly.
Can I be honest…when I was wanting a baby so badly, I despised women. I despised women with children.
I despised pregnant women.
I despised a woman’s ability to get pregnant.
I harbored a lot of bitterness towards the world’s cycle of life.
Friends. This is not a pretty place to be. But you need to understand that it is a place where many women are. If you are that woman, hear me. You are not alone.
But even knowing that you are not alone does not stop the sadness or the bitterness.
And it doesn’t make you a bad person.
Perhaps you know this woman. The woman struggling through these emotions.
Friends, Infertility makes all of us very real.
Real women suffering a loss.
The loss of the children that we want so badly.
The Bible speaks clearly of women that suffer through infertility. And it allows you to see the pain in the hearts and the darkness they feel. You read their tears.
That is because that is infertility.
Pain. Darkness. Tears.
I listen to a podcast #MomStrugglingWell . Recently one of the speakers (I can’t recall which one) spoke on how “You, Ladies, can do hard things!”
Doing infertility is hard!
Before I end, I want to share that many people ask me to speak to other women that have pituitary tumors or are suffering through wanting a child and not getting pregnant.
They come to me hopeful that my story will somehow lift their friends’ or family members’ spirits.
That my story will change their current sadness.
But I honestly tell them two things.
One, I will gladly share with your friend or family member.
BUT only on the condition of Two.
And Two is this: Infertility sucks. It is hard. It is dark. It is sad.
And just because I have babies does not mean that is going to be outcome for your friend or family member.
Also, they may not want to talk with me. Because I HAVE babies. I did not want to talk to those women (the ones with children) when I was suffering through my infertility.
Lastly, I tell them, RESPECT your family or friends’ need for tears, sadness, and suffering.
Because infertility is dark.
I think sometimes my response to their question surprises the people asking.
I think because of my natural cheery disposition of smiles and humor, it surprises them that I don’t come throwing rainbows at them.
That I don’t jump on my unicorn, and then speed away saying, “Don’t worry—I’ll give them in the infertility pep talk and we’ll all have an assembly after with cheerleaders and the spirit squad to give us the grand finale G-O! rally.”
It, especially, surprises them that I don’t immediately say, “ABSOLUTELY! AFTER ALL—WITH GOD ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE! I GOT PREGNANT AND SO CAN YOU!”
Friends…The world does not work like that. God does not work like that. Life does not work like that.
Infertility is real. And sometimes we live a life of suffering and sadness. And that is real. And sometimes we NEVER EVER get what we want the most. And that is real.
I will never tell a woman suffering through infertility that “She can do it, too!”
But—let me tell you what I do tell her.
I tell her that I suffered great sadness. I suffered the loss of Desire. Month in and month out of years. I suffered bitterness. And tears…
Until I realized that maybe, just maybe, I would not be granted children through my own biology. My husband and I came to a point where we decided that surrender was our only option.
It does not mean we lost. It does not mean we were defeated. It means that we realized that our lives are not guaranteed pep rallies with cheerleaders.
So we gave our tears of infertility to God.
And we released the balloon.
We watched it soar into the sky.
And I cried the entire time I did so.
Because I felt the loss.
And then I felt the calm.
The calm that only God can bring.
Ladies suffering through infertility, you can do hard things.
But you don’t have to do them alone.
Rest in the arms of Jesus. Allow him to wipe away your tears. And let him be your shelter.
You may never have a baby that grows inside of your belly.
So what are you going to do?
Perhaps you are going to look into bringing a child into your home? A child that comes from the womb of another but will capture your whole heart.
Perhaps you will live your life as a woman whose baby becomes your work and actions. And that will capture your whole heart.
Perhaps you will always have that longing and desire for what was never granted you…but you show the rest of us How That Is Done.
You know—surviving…succeeding…living through adversity!
And, if you just need to speak to someone and share your loss, you be the woman that is NOT ashamed to call a counselor or therapist and say, “I need help. Please hear me.”
Because help is not ever anything to be ashamed of. It takes a strong woman to admit that she needs help. She needs someone to talk to. She needs to be heard. That her suffering is real.
But, no matter what, surrender.
Not to loss — but to Jesus.
Because he will be the calm to your storm.
And that is how you will be able to #dohardthings.