Confessions, Infertility, Letters to My Kids

Truth is,

Child of Mine, my heart is on a roller coaster every time I go on Facebook. The truth is, I’m probably on Facebook far more than I should be. The truth is, even though I know I’m going to see 90% of my newsfeed overflowing with beautiful babies and ultrasounds and birthday parties, I can’t seem to look away.

Perhaps it’s because I want to share in the joy of my friends. I am truly thrilled for the new life that is springing up so frequently in the stage my friends are in. You can’t deny these child-bearing-years. I haven’t struggled with hearing pregnancy reveals or baby shower invitations or receiving those adorable factoid cards in the mail after the birth. It can only be credited to God’s grace that my heart hasn’t become entangled in these moments.

But my voluntary exposure to the baby craze is perhaps a little too risky. I am in a very vulnerable place right now, hoping beyond hope that this surgery is the solution to our barrenness. Praying that our years of waiting will soon be over.

If I had a dollar for every time I heard someone tell me, “Oh! as soon as so-and-so adopted they got pregnant!!” I would seriously have a few hundred bucks. I’ve heard all these accolades and more: “It’s all in God’s time.” “You’re going to be a wonderful mother.” “I just  know you’re going to have children of your own someday.” “Now that you’ve moved in that big home and settled into life, it’s got to be the right time.” “Just relax and it’ll happen.” “I got pregnant right away after we did such-and-such.”

And typically I can stop the emotional upheaval in time to recognize the sincere concern each of these people is trying to show by their words. I feel the love, I really do. But the words? They’re just empty. There’s nothing I can say, nothing my husband can say, nothing our families or friends can say that will make this better. 

The only fullness left is Jesus.

He’s not my magic wand or the whisperer of answers. But He is my peace, my burden-bearer, my ever present help in times of trouble (Ps 46:1).

The truth is, I’m not all that shaken up right now. I’m not angry or inconsolable. I’m just over itI’m tired of the jealousy I battle every time I see another one of my dear friends’ beautiful children. I’m tired of the hopelessness I’ve sunken into over the past 52 months. I’m tired of being poked and prodded. I’m tired of answering the same questions. I’m tired of updating the people who want to know the latest scoop. I’m tired of my loss of privacy, albeit voluntary. I’m tired of it all. 

More and more frequently women I meet ask right away if I have children. And perhaps my response is too much, too fast, but I’ve become accustomed to honestly sharing our infertility. Just get it all out on the table. More often than not, these ladies share their own journey with endometriosis or trouble conceiving. Child, this is a rampant problem that’s kept a secret by so many. It’s so private, so painful. But in sharing my own story, others are released to share theirs and we both leave encouraged. It’s just good to look someone in the eye and know they get itThe interesting pattern I’m discovering is how removed these women have become from their days of infertility. And I wonder what I will be like if and when we have our own children. How quickly will I move on from this pain, this thing that’s become my identityI don’t want to leave these stage unchanged. I don’t want to forget what it was like.

Barrenness is a scary, dry, lonely place to live. And it has left me with only Jesus

And I don’t ever want to forget.

Mama

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7 thoughts on “Truth is,

  1. Last night 2 people asked me when we were going to start a family…. I know its out of love, but it’s really not that appropriate to ask…. it’s a question that often the answer is painful to share.

    Remember Matt Ostro? Here is a video about him and his wife’s journey through infertility… they’re part of a movement that is getting the word out about how painful it really is. I love Matt’s perspective on all of it!

  2. I am praying for you. I pray that God would answer your deepest prayers and desires and I also pray that he will continue to fill you and meet you in this time of waiting.
    I understand (although in a different way) having to fight off jealousy. When I see joyful hospital pictures and precious first moments with moms and their littles I have to fight it off. I have pain, loss and trauma that I am still trying to sort through with A.
    Again, it’s different, and I know I can not understand the depths of your journey, but I just share to say that you are not alone in the battle of feelings and that I am praying for you.
    May God bless you, fill you, meet you and sustain you today.
    Also, thank you for sharing your journey. Your words and faith point me back to Jesus.

    • Love you, my friend. I have truly admired your own journey through pain and questions and God-seeking. Thank you for sharing such encouragement with me today.

  3. Rachel Maier says:

    Melanie,

    Thank you for sharing that with us. My husband and I are going through the same thing, and it is comforting to know that we are not alone. It is such a difficult thing to deal with as a wife, daughter, sister, friend…etc. So many people depending on you to produce something that God has not allowed you to. You feel like you have the weight of the world and that it is not only yourself that is being let down time after time, it is your loved ones and your husband too.

    Nothing could have ever prepared me for this, and even now I feel alone in the struggle, as no one can really understand what it feels like or what we are going through unless they have been there personally. I know God has a plan, it is just difficult to hear the same responses from people over and over, “it will happen when the time is right”, “You will get pregnant, I know it”, “It just takes time”. Only God knows the timing and/or if we will ever get there. I just pray that either way my husband and I can be content with God’s will, and to use it in our lives to help others.

    Thanks again for sharing, and know you are not alone. I will be praying for you and Kevin.

    • Thank you for sharing your own journey with me, Rachel. Neither of us is alone. And we’re stronger when we help each other lean into God. Blessings to you and your husband.

  4. Your honesty floors me — spiritually apparates me straight to the red carpeted floor at Christ Church. We are encircled, all of us, by the Spirit interceding for us with groans where words fail. Even when inadequate, words are precious vehicles of expression. I am honored to read and ponder and pray over yours.

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