In honor of National Infertility Awareness Week, I thought I’d share some thoughts on this infertility journey. I’ll go ahead and warn that some of the things I say may sound “hard” or “harsh” at some moments, but they’re true nonetheless.
I’ve gotten questions from friends, family members, and others I know going through fertility struggles, mostly centered on “why are you telling people this?”, “what will others think?”, and “are you just telling people to draw attention to yourself?” These questions have crossed my mind and no I’m not trying to embarrass myself or anyone else in the process. I would rather be “normal” and easily conceive just like others and not “draw attention to myself.” I used to care what other people think….I didn’t want to be the topic of someone’s gossip hour (especially people who barely know me or people from high school I haven’t talked to in a long time), I didn’t want anyone to feel sorry for me (and I still don’t)….. all I wanted was for people to know our story, know who we are (specifically our love for Christ), and let others closer to them that are also struggling with fertility know that they are not alone. I’m also praying that if anyone comes across a mother desperate and contemplating adoption, they can let her know of a wonderful couple in Tuscaloosa, Alabama that would give this baby a life that honors God :)
I think that when we are trying to support someone who’s going through infertility, we don’t know what to do or say. We try to be supportive by reminding ladies/providing “helpful advice” that it is His timing and not ours or that if we “let go and let God” it’ll happen. Let me just say that as a woman of faith and God, I know this. I feel bad when my instant reaction is getting irritated when someone would say this to me or say “well so and so waited about 9 years before they had their kid, your time will come.” It would make me feel like I wasn’t being Godly by accepting this friendly advice. Unfortunately, the emotions and hormones of infertility will make us feel this way. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t remind people of these things, but I can assure you that most of us ladies going through the trials of infertility know this. I KNOW that God has a plan for us, and yes I KNOW that it will be in His timing. However, this doesn’t take away the knee jerk reaction of feeling sad or irritated when people say these things to me. The ugliness of infertility is that some days we are open to this advice and other days it may rub us the wrong way (hello hormones and emotions!). The best support that people have ever given us has been letting us know that they pray for us and sharing scripture supporting God’s promises. I’ve also felt a natural bond with my sisters in Christ who have also gone through the struggles of infertility.
If I had to be honest, I’m thankful for my infertility. Don’t get me wrong, the cost of treatments over the past 2 years have not been easy but if we had gotten pregnant right when we wanted to right when we got married, I don’t think that we would be the parents that we aim to be today. I’d continue to feel as if I were my own god, having the “perfect” life that I created myself with a dream job, hilarious husband, beautiful baby, etc. I have full faith that God has been using this season of our life to work His completion in us and remind us that He is the provider of life, my Creator and Lord . I know that His timing is perfect and complete. I feel 100% confident we will have a biological child but I also know that we are likely called to adopt as well. The fun part is trying to figure out which path God wants us to travel first to build our family of 12 children (just kidding). I don’t know the timing but I know that He will answer.
If you are currently struggling with infertility or are a friend or family member who is wanting to support a loved one dealing with infertility, I highly recommend the book Hannah’s Hope: Seeking God’s Heart in the Midst of Infertility, Miscarriage, and Adoption Loss. It has specific sections for “burden bearers” – those looking on the outside wanting to be supportive while avoid being unknowingly offensive or for lack of better words, avoid sticking your foot in your mouth :)
Delight yourself in the Lord;
And He will give you the desires of your heart.
Commit your way to the Lord,
Trust also in Him, and He will do it. – Psalm 37: 4-5