If you had asked me at the time if I was depressed, I would have said that I was fine. Alex told me that he just thought I was lazy! (I think I’ve said enough awesome things about him on this blog to throw that one in. We were both big doofuses…what’s the plural on that…doofi?) It wasn’t until years later that I looked back and realized how the sadness had slipped over me like a fuzzy warm blanket that I was too comfortable to remove. The couch was really really comfortable…my blanket was comfortable…the TV sucked me away from my childless existence and replaced my life with reruns like Full House, full really really full house of kids and laughing and Uncle Joey antics, and Seventh Heaven, with its seven kids who all look out for each other and invite their friends to eat big family meals around the big family table and the more episodes I watched the more kids I wanted.
After about two years of trying to make a baby, our sex life consisted of charts and days and times and pee sticks and so much pressure that our time as husband and wife felt like a graveyard of buried dreams. Oh, I forgot one for my list from Part 2: “Well at least it’s fun trying!” Oh absolutely. We are swinging from the chandeliers with wild abandon over here! We’re not at all cowering with fear that our stuff doesn’t work. No, this whole thing feels like a second honeymoon.
We started seeking the Lord about whether we should keep soldiering on, you know, relaaaaaxx, or go to the doctor and start poking around. One night around 2am, He answered us with my waking up with severe pain near my right ovary. I went to the doctor, who sent me to the ER, and all of a sudden after years of carefully selecting female gynos to handle that region, I had male ER docs down there and I catapulted into the land of medical intervention, where there is no privacy and everything is cold and gooey. We were thinking apendicitis when I went in, but once they ruled that out, they sent me for tests, and so began our journey through fertility testing and treatment.
I have endometriosis. Many people with endo can get pregnant. And many can’t. Alex is shipshape. And so, over time, as I lay on the couch with a heating pad on my abdomen watching sitcoms of happy homes bursting with children, my thoughts wandered to what if I wasn’t here? What if I was out of the picture and my sweet darling husband who I love so much could remarry a fertile Myrtle who could give him the kids he deserves? After months and months of hospital trips and chronic ovarian pain, I had a large stash of pills lined up in the medicine cabinet. Ten steps down the hall to the bathroom and ten steps back to the couch would free Alex to be a daddy…
Lies. Jesus inside of me would not let me fall for them. One day, after spending too much time in my television fog thinking of slipping away, I stood up, walked quickly into the bathroom, opened up every last jar into the toilet, and flushed. My backup plan swirled away and I breathed lighter and made a choice to be a wife, to stay, to fight.
Infertility does not define me. Infertility does not lessen me as a woman. I am a stronger woman than I was because of this battle. And I will use every last drop of my weakness for the glory of Jesus. “His grace is sufficient for me, for His power is made perfect in weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:8). I am a weak vessel for His perfect power. “Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me” (2 Corinthians 12:9-10).
Only Jesus could redeem me from my life on the couch.
Only Jesus could restore me from a life almost erased.
Only Jesus could reveal His majesty through my ashes.
I love my infertility. I love my weakness. Because it’s not the whole story. “Being confident of this: that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus” (Philippians 1:5-7).
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