Tuesday, April 14, 2015

A to Z Blog Challenge: L is for Living with Infertility


 

“Do you have children?”
I get this question all the time. Often I’m tempted to answer, “Not on earth,” but I know this would just make people feel uncomfortable, so I always answer with “No,” or “we have furbabies.” The truth is, although it has become easier over the years, it’s never completely pain-free to hear this question.
No one asks with the intention of hurting me or anyone else who is child-free, and there is an expectation that most married people have children. The fact that we don’t have children is not by choice; we wanted children, but God had other plans. "This isn't forever. It's just for a season," a friend once said to me who was struggling with infertility herself. She went on to have children; we didn't.
I used to cringe at the sight of a pregnant woman or a mother and baby. Even going to church was hard. On the way into the sanctuary I’d have to see all of the mothers and their children lined up like ducklings--three, four, five deep. Now, those things don’t bother me as much.
My husband and I are in a good place these days. We’re relatively happy most of the time that we don’t have children. I watch the news and balk at the horrors happening in the world, knowing that raising kids in the midst of it all would be so difficult. I'm not sure we're equipped for that. I see my friends enduring unimaginable heartache from the pain of a wayward or prodigal child, and I breathe a little “thank you” that we’re not dealing with that kind of agony.

Still, there are always the questions. What if I'd married sooner? What if we'd tried for kids sooner? What if I didn't eat this? What if I didn't drink that? What if...Ultimately, I feel that God knows always what He’s doing, and there are very good reasons why the answer to our fervently prayed prayers was no.

I’m around kids (high-school aged) all day (and most of the time they drive me crazy), but I also care about them. That, and the daily care of our dogs fulfills a maternal instinct in me on some level.  That will have to do until I see my heavenly children face to face.

April is Infertility Awareness month. 
Pregnancy Test
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. --Proverbs 3:5

14 comments:

  1. Thanks for this gentle peek into your world.

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  2. Thank you for sharing! I have a few friends and family members who are in the same situation as you; and it is always nice to read about how others cope with it. It helps me be more aware of all of the emotions involved. <3 I don't know you- but you're awesome!

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  3. Very poignant and beautifully expressed. Glad I stopped by on the A-Z!

    http://shrinkrapped.com/

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  4. Big hugs. I'm in the same situation as you. We tried to have children--I miscarried and then never could. We got divorced before I could find out what the problem is and by the time I remarried, I was 40 and my husband didn't want more children...so I'll always wonder. But you do feel like you're the only person in the world without children sometimes, right? Like it's something everyone else does but us!

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    1. Stephanie,
      Thanks for sharing. It's so true that you feel that way sometimes. It's hard too when the timing just hasn't been right. I do find great comfort in caring for my dogs, but it's not always easy nevertheless...

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  5. It seems like the standard questions to get to know someone are "what do you do" and "do you have children". I think I'll make sure I don't ask that second question just in case. What was really hard for me when we were going through infertility was Mother's Day when they honored the moms at church. I liked in recent years they make less of a fuss; probably because some churches have realized its not a happy day for all.

    betty

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    1. I don't think you have to avoid it, Betty. I think we learn to expect and field it with grace after awhile. Mother's Day at church is really hard, you're right. Thank you for sharing your own struggles too!

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  6. I prayed so hard over the years for you to have a healthy baby. Those prayers reminded me just how much God is in charge of all this. You're much more polite than me in not wanting to make other people uncomfortable. I (almost) always tell them I have a 17 month old daughter in heaven. Then I watch their reaction. Some blow it off not saying anything, but others will say "Oh I'm so sorry!" However, I admit it's a little harder to know what to say about my recent miscarried baby. I've come to realize most people keep pretty silent about these babies. So sometimes I say "two children in heaven" but sometimes I don't acknowledge my miscarried baby at all. And then I feel guilty. Stupid I know. I have stopped asking people if they have kids for the most part ...

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    1. It's hard, Lisa...all the way around. You have always been an inspiration to me in your strength and the way you've handled loss. You are a rock.

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  7. I believe that it is hard for anyone to truly understand fertility until you go through it yourself. God has a plan for you two and he will reveal it to you at the appropriate time. I'm glad you are doing well as this is never an easy thing.

    Sean at His and Her Hobbies

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  8. A relative is getting those questions at the moment. I just think people have nothing to say, so after "When's the wedding?" when you've been dating for six months, the natural progression is "When are you going to have kids?"

    Annalisa, writing A-Z vignettes, at Wake Up, Eat, Write, Sleep

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    1. You are so right, Annalisa. And there's nothing wrong with asking those questions either. It's very natural.

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