It felt like life was passing me by, couples were getting married and having babies, and I was in a babyless purgatory. Well-meaning people had so much advice.
“You’re so young.” Yes, yes, that’s true. Shouldn’t getting pregnant be easier then? I mean, my eggs were youthful and vivacious and ready to grow into a person, right? When we finally had our first appointment with the reproductive endocrinologist, she said that because I was so young, I shouldn’t be having these kinds of problems. Thank you! Yes, exactly! Ha, now I joke that God will have a good laugh and decide to make me pregnant when I’m 45. Gulp.
“You just need to relax.” How do I relax when the thing I want so badly is eluding me month in month out and I am powerless to make it happen? We tried relaxing. I took my mind off of it, got excited about other things, refocused. Months later, still no baby. I made good grades in school, got into the college where I wanted to go, never really had a major thing that I couldn’t achieve without hard work and diligence. Until infertility. I could not work my way out of it. I could not make myself get pregnant.
“Trust God.” Many people had variations on this one, like somehow my faith was crumbling and I needed a good spiritual enema to stay on the God-train. I wasn’t struggling with my faith in God! I was just hurting! I didn’t understand and I wanted Him to take it away, but He was still on the throne and still good.
“Wait on God.” Yes, we should absolutely wait on God, follow God, not get ahead of God (I just blogged on waiting a few days ago.). But. Would someone tell a cancer patient not to go seek treatment? God has blessed us with medical interventions. We slowly, prayerfully took it step by step, waiting on Him for direction, but not just sitting around for a baby to go POOF! in my belly. More about this later.
“My cousin/friend/sister/aunt couldn’t get pregnant, then after 10 years of utter despair, she finally did!” (said with an encouraging tone and smile of assurance) What the what? Ten years!?!?! This is not helpful people. Not helpful at all.
“Why don’t you just adopt?” We looked into it. Even from our vantage point then, it looked like there was no “just” about it. Like people thought if you couldn’t get pregnant you could go down to the Department of Adoptions, take a number, fill out a form, and bang! Baby. And now as an adoptive parent, I can say that THERE IS NO “JUST” ABOUT IT!!! Adoption is not a fallback option. Deciding to adopt is declaring war on forces that do not want to see orphans in families. It’s worth it and amazing and God’s heart and our PLAN A now, but having gone through both a crazy lab rat conception and high risk pregnancy AND an international adoption that hit roadblock after roadblock…the adoption grew and stretched me in ways that I didn’t know I could bend. I love it. I’m an adoption junkie. But I’m SO GLAD that I didn’t pursue adoption as a fallback plan. I’m so glad that God moved adoption to Plan A before we headed that direction.
“Are you doin’ it right?” Um…I dunno. Maybe we need a diagram or something.
“Have you tried adding ___to your diet/___position/___time of the month/measuring___/doing a fertility dance?” All useful suggestions. Thank you.
“It’ll happen for you.” It. Might. Not. Wrestling with how to survive that.
Now, I live with my foot in my mouth, and my foot’s probably stuck on this keyboard, too. So many caring people just want to help. I tried so very hard to smile, nod, extend grace, extend grace, extend grace. And then sometimes I had to go home and laugh/cry hysterically.
I learned to treat myself gently. Sometimes it was just okay to not be okay. Some months were harder than others, and on those days when my hopes would crumble, I’d let myself be sad. I’d let myself stay in, read a book, watch a movie. I’d tell God the truth about how I really felt about it. He knew anyway. It felt good to tell Him. “This sucks. Take it away. Make it better. And I love You and you’re always good, even if I don’t understand why it has to be this way.”
For awhile we were very involved in serving at church, and I really think that helped. We loved spending time with other couples. But as more and more of them had babies and we tried again and again, my depression grew deeper and more debilitating. My faith in God didn’t waver, but my ability to get off the couch and “be normal” did.
I’ll save that for my next post. Until then, beautiful sisters, I truly love you and ache with you. I’m drawn to Romans 8 tonight and am praying it now for you. “I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.” May your present sufferings fall away and His glory be revealed in you. The whole chapter is encouraging to me.
“For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Nor infertility. Amen and amen.
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