But There is Hope… (Part 2 of our infertility struggle)

(Read part 1 of our struggle with infertility here.)

Emotions can be terrible things. They are not logical or rational. And as our struggle with infertility continued, I struggled with my emotions. A LOT. I even asked God if I had done something wrong that caused my infertility, even though I knew better (in my mind) because of what Jesus said when He healed the man blind from birth (John 9).

But even as I struggled constantly with my emotions, there were things that brought me hope. I clung to a couple of Scriptures, and while they may seem trite, they helped. The first was Psalm 37:4 – “Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.” Now, I’ll admit that at times I took “delight in the Lord” (Bible study, prayer, service at church, etc.) as a checklist, thinking, “If I do these things, surely God will give me a baby.” Again, I knew better, but desperation can speak louder than knowledge. Obviously, taking “delight” in the Lord is not a checklist – it’s a relationship.

The second helpful verse was Jeremiah 29:11 – “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'” I used this verse to remind myself that no matter what happened, it would fit into God’s overarching plan for me. Granted, I prayed that His plans for me involved motherhood!

But honestly, the thing that gave me the most hope came in a more tangible form. I don’t believe in coincidences, so I don’t think it’s chance that God brought me a dear friend who had been told she would never have children. She has severe PCOS, but she’s a mom three times over! She has three wonderful children, and her friendship and those great kids were a great source of hope that I could have my own child. (You can read about her story here.)

Now, back to our story…

At this point, after three years and two months of trying to get pregnant, we made another huge decision pertaining to our struggle. We decided to go public. It all started when an acquaintance of mine was extremely open and honest about having to go through IVF (In-Vitro Fertilization) to get pregnant. I was shocked that she would so openly share something so intimate with me when to be honest, I didn’t even know her last name at that point! But she said something that stuck with me. Paraphrased, she said why should they keep their struggle secret and therefore stop people from being able to pray for them? I’d never thought of it that way. Sure, we’d been praying, and by that point about a dozen other people were praying too. But who was I to decide that that was enough? Who was I to stop a couple hundred other people from praying for us? So, we went public with our struggle and asked for prayer from everyone we knew.

Again, I don’t believe in coincidences. Month #39, with our third insemination procedure, was when our lives changed. I didn’t even take a pregnancy test that month because I was already going to have to go to the fertility clinic for a blood test. And let me tell you, the hours between my test and the phone call seemed neverending! I couldn’t focus on anything but willing that cell phone to ring. When it did, and the nurse told me that the test was positive, I thought I was dreaming. I literally pinched myself. And yes, we went the slightly unconventional route and told everyone. A lot of couples wait until the first trimester is past because the risk for miscarriage is higher during that time. We decided that it was no coincidence that God answered our prayers after we were finally willing to be open and transparent, so we weren’t about to stop asking for prayer at this point.

Now, we have our little miracle baby. Even with all the tests, the specialist didn’t know why we were weren’t able to get pregnant naturally. Thankfully, with her help, we did – and with God’s help, we stayed pregnant and have a beautiful baby boy who is the light of my life.

Many infertile couples wait much longer than three years to get their little miracle, if they’re able to conceive at all.  I can’t imagine how much worse the pain would have been if our wait had been longer, because I felt like I was at the end of my rope by the time three years had passed.  And while I would not wish this kind of pain on my worst enemy, it has brought beauty to my life.  My baby is more precious to me than anything on this earth.  He  will never have to question how much he is loved, and we will make sure he knows how much he was and is prayed for.  I was thoroughly upset that God’s timing did not match my own, but if nothing else, the extra waiting makes me that much less likely to take my son for granted.

I hope you’ve learned some lessons from my story as well.

1. Infertility is common.

2. Please don’t ask that young married couple when they’re going to have children.  You may not know that they’ve been trying to have children for years and are secretly carrying that burden.

3. If you know someone who is struggling with infertility, be supportive.  Don’t give trite comments.  Don’t tell her that it will happen in God’s timing.  Don’t tell her that maybe God has plans for her before kids enter the picture.  Don’t try to explain it away.  Just listen to her, cry with her, hug her, and pray for her.

4. Please don’t tell a young woman that she looks “natural” when she is holding a baby.  Yes, I heard this one.  And I fought tears every time because my heart wanted nothing more at that point. If you don’t know exactly why a young couple doesn’t have children, don’t just assume it’s by choice and that you need to change their minds.

5. If you’re struggling with infertility, know that you’re not alone.  Before we made our struggle known, I had one friend (the one I mentioned earlier) who knew exactly what I was feeling.  Since our announcement, I’ve learned of at least half a dozen friends and family who also struggled or are struggling with infertility.  And while my heart breaks for them, I hope they are encouraged and supported by my relationship with them and my success in our common struggle.  My friendship with my PCOS friend helped me through many dark times, because I knew she succeeded, so there was hope for me. In the same way, I hope our success in conquering infertility brings hope to others.

1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: Our Struggle with Infertility (Part 1) | FrankenStan

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