For this week’s Tuesday’s Trials I want to talk about something that is a bit difficult to write. I want to discuss representing the deepest fear of an infertile woman. I am the example that despite praying and pleading with God, despite hoping, despite many medical interventions, sometimes pregnancy never happens.
When we were actively struggling through the infertility I longed to connect with other infertile women. When I met others who were struggling there was an unspoken understanding of what the other was facing. No words were ever needed. I clung to their advice because I knew it was borne out of their own journey that mirrored mine.
The catch was that I longed to hear from either those who were actively struggling as well or who were eventually successful in the endeavor to conceive a child. To talk with someone who was never able to get pregnant meant that I would have to come to terms that for some women it never works out. I could not face that. I wanted to hold tightly to the hope and inspiration of those who had a good outcome.
Almost ten years since we embarked on the journey to start a family, I know what I represent. I sometimes struggle to reach out to other infertile women because I know how I felt when I was on that month-to-month roller coaster. I only wanted success stories or those who still had the hope of pregnancy. Back then, I would have not wanted advice from someone like me. I did not want to realize that despite everything sometimes pregnancy never happens. It was easier to pretend that everyone had their happy ending.
It is not that I think anyone pities us. I think most everyone who is in our circle of family and friends celebrate the family we have today. People recognize what a true gift from God Turkey-Man and Little-Flower are. Everyone thanks God for the answered prayers that these two children are.
It is just that we are different. I would venture to guess that most who start the journey to grow their family do not picture the outcome that we had. I know I certainly did not. Our family came about through much heartache, both on our part as we struggled with various difficulties on this road and the ultimate heartache that the birth parents faced in choosing an adoption plan instead of parenting their child themselves.
I want other infertile women to know that it is okay if things turn out how ours did. Yes, I will always grieve the inability to feel my children grow in my body, but we have gained so many positive lessons through this journey.
I know what it is to rely on God. Had we been able to conceive when we first started trying for a family I think I would have totally missed learning that. Being independent by nature it is hard for me to rely on anyone, including God. Facing a situation that I could not solve myself taught me the peace that surpasses all understanding when one gives it all to God to handle.
I have learned that I am a vessel for God’s will to be carried out. My life is not mine to claim. Had we been able to get pregnant right away I would still be living life on my terms, independent of what God needs from me. I appreciate that his will for my life is good, I simply have to hold onto my faith in that. I know that no matter the outcome of the situation it will be just as God meant it to be and there will be beauty in the midst of it all.
I appreciate my children on a much deeper level than I think I would have had we not struggled to have them. I have a constant deeper sense of knowing that there are so many who would do anything to be experiencing the frustrations that I face on a daily basis. I remember people’s complaints about their children bringing me to tears because I knew I would give anything to experience that difficulty because it meant that I was a mom. I now understand how frustrating and exhausting motherhood is. I do my share of complaining, but beneath it all is always that awareness of how fortunate I am to even have these children in my life.
If you are struggling with infertility I want you to know that no matter how your journey ends, it will be beautiful, even if that means pregnancy is not part of it. Ours looks nothing like I ever imagined. It is not the storybook fairytale that I wanted. But no storybook ending has the fingerprints of God so readily visible. Trust me, there is nothing more amazing than looking back on your journey and seeing God’s hand walking you through every step. We know how blessed we truly are!