Sitting With You In Grief
I want to sit with you in this moment. As I was thinking about what to write I felt that I needed to sit with you in your grief. I needed to be as vulnerable as I can in this moment. So, here I am. Here’s the reality of the grief I have felt in our current loss of fertility.
Infertility has been one of my fears in life, and yet, so has being a mother. I babysat some girls when I was younger that were a big challenge for me. I remember feeling inadequate and thinking that I would never be a good mom someday because I struggled dealing with those two. Mind you, I was 13 at the time. I’m typically hard on myself, so this is something I carried with me for a while.
Then add illness in the mix. I had cysts on my ovaries that burst every month. I had horrendous periods. I had a family history of “female issues”. I had Celiacs. Then the fear was added that I wouldn’t be able to have children. This thought rested in the back of my mind for years. I chalked it up in the rankings with the fact that I would probably be a bad mom anyways, and planned for the worst.
Not only did I think I’ll be a bad mom, or that my body won’t allow it, but also that I didn’t deserve it. I wasn’t worthy of it. God wouldn’t have favour on me.
I remember posing a question to my husband, then boyfriend at the time, about what we would do if we couldn’t have kids of our own. We said that we would probably want to adopt. In my mind, it was a done deal at that moment.
Yet, after being married for a year, I wanted to have children with Him. I wanted to be a mother and started to give the lies I knew I believed about being a bad mom to God. We waded through the first year nightmares of trying to conceive to no avail. We had to go to the infertility clinic. Now the doubts and shame of my health and previous choices were haunting me.
Unfortunately, I had my concussion during the infertility testing process, so the testing was delayed. We found out another year later that we actually couldn’t conceive. Our hearts were broken! More doubts consumed my mind with how the testing was done. They did the opposite of what they said they were going to in one of the tests. It cost a fair amount of money, so we haven’t redone it. I had come to desperately wanting children, believing truth that I could be a good mom. I wrestled over the lies of shame that I didn’t deserve this, and gave that to the Lord. Two of my three fears found healing, and yet, the health one came true. Both my husband and I had reasons that we were unable to conceive.
I don’t even want to think of the money I have spent on pregnancy tests in hope that that month could be the month. I wept when my doctor put me back on birth control to regulate my hormones which were damaged from the concussion. It felt like just one more sting of reality. I have broken down and cried so hard during so many pregnancy announcements. I’ve avoided Facebook like it’s the plague, when all I seemed to see was picture after picture of beautiful babies. I’ve stood in our spare bedroom staring into space, lost in visions of what a nursery would look like. I’ve been tempted to buy baby shoes in hopes that I would have a child that would fill them one day.
It’s been five years since we started this journey. We have had tremendous moments of grief. We have shed countless tears at our loss. We’ve had to reduce our involvement with some friends because being surrounded week after week with their kids was too much. I literally got to the point that I loved a child so much, that I was devastated each time I had to leave her. I knew that wasn’t healthy. I knew I wasn’t in a good place, so boundaries had to be set.
We have had the tough discussions of what next. We’ve considered sperm donation, private adoptions, embryo adoptions, foster to adopt, or walking away from it all and moving on with life. We haven’t felt settled about any of those options. So, we wait. We watch our ages rise, the calendar move ahead, and wonder if it will ever be something that happens for us.
I share this with you so that you know you are not alone. I share so that you can see there are others who get it. But, we are not left there. We are not left in the pain. There is hope! I can’t guarantee that you will have children. I can’t and won’t make that promise. But, I know that whether you can or not, that you can find healing for your soul.
It is my prayer that as we journey together through these hard times, that you will find hope in your situation. Even if circumstances don’t change, God can help to heal the hurts. He can bring peace and restore your relationships with Him, yourself, your spouse, and others. He can bring joy and purpose back into your life. Don’t lose hope!