Another childless Christmas. I thought it would be different. Surely, there would be a baby by now. At least one, maybe two.
Maybe we would be planning on how they would share the room we’ve saved for them, and maybe have a cute little bunk bed like I did growing up with my seven brothers and sisters. We thought we would be pregnant by now after 39 months of trying, and only share how hard the journey was once we were announcing that we were pregnant in the hopes to encourage others with our story “with the past.” We would say, “Our little miracle is here, but here’s what God did through it all.” Instead, we’ve decided not to wait. We’ve decided to simply share that most days we barely make it. That it didn’t used to be hard, but that right now, in this moment – it’s hard. Because this season matters, too. Because 1 in 8 couples are fighting this battle, are suffering in silence, are feeling alone, are living in ongoing fear and grief of the unknown, and are desperately searching to see where God is in all of this.
If your eyes are glued to this because the first sentence described the pain and heartbreak you are currently experiencing this season – I’m so sorry. I’m so sorry that your idea of what your family was supposed to look like right now is so very different than what your current reality is. I’m so sorry you are going through the rollercoaster of faith and hope each month, only for it to be crushed yet again with another negative pregnancy test. I’m sorry for every time your body has played tricks on you into thinking that it would be different this month – so you take 4 pregnancy tests instead of one “just in case” the first three were wrong. I’m sorry that the one thing that is supposed to give you a child, for whatever reason – isn’t right now.
I’m so sorry for all the painful conversations that you’ve had to endure as yet another person asks, “So, when are you guys planning to have kids?” As if, anyone that wants children can have them anytime they want. I’m so sorry for the wrench it puts in friendships as you watch them become pregnant effortlessly, and you are forced to put a smile on your face as the surprise pregnancy announcements roll in, yet you can barely breathe every moment you’re with them as you watch their belly grow over the next 9 months…. because the dream you have seems to be slipping further away as each day passes. I’m so sorry that you’ve had to struggle to to explain “I’m genuinely happy for you, but this is extremely painful for me.” I’m sorry that you’ve had to become the master of finding the exit of every room full of moms to be and children everywhere, because you might lose it at any moment. I’m so sorry that you’ve wanted to roll your eyes each time someone shared how hard it was to wait 4 months to get pregnant. And I’m sorry for all the guilt you’ve experienced because you can hardly believe that’s how you truly feel about people in your life when it’s baby-related. I’m sorry for all of the unsolicited advice you’ve received once you’ve become courageous enough to share and open up about your journey: the “don’t worry, it’ll happen,” the “have you tried ____?,” the “stop stressing, and then it’ll work out,” “You’re so young! You’ve got time!” or my personal favorite: “Just wait on God’s timing.”
I’m sorry for all the decisions you’re facing that you never thought you would have to make: to keep trying naturally, or pursue treatment; to pursue foster care and adoption, or to try and pretend none of this exists? I’m sorry it’s incredibly complicated. SO COMPLICATED. I’m sorry that you’ve had to sit down and listen to the fertility doctor say after all the tests, “Medically speaking, after 12 months of trying without one pregnancy – giving it ‘more time’ the natural way doesn’t increase your chances of having a baby at all.” I’m sorry for the thousands of dollars you’ve spent on treatment, ovulation kits, and pregnancy tests over the years without any of it leading to a child to fill your empty arms and aching heart. I’m sorry for how much you’ve struggled to not hate your body, because you feel like it’s betrayed you.
I’m sorry for all the ongoing grief and deep pain you experience, and for every time you’ve had to pull off the side of the road because you can barely see through your tears, or for when you can hardly hear yourself crying out to God above your own screams. Maybe it was because of the adorable onesie you saw at Target that you wish you were buying for your child. Maybe it was because you were shopping for your friend’s baby shower, and you’re still trying to figure out the best excuse as to why you can’t come because it’s just too much to handle. Maybe because it was swarm of people “oohing and awing” over all the newborns with their Mommas at church nearby. Or maybe because it was just another day trying to battle through infertility.
I’m here to say that we don’t have all the answers. We don’t know what’s next. We don’t know what the plans of God are. We’re broken. We’re weary. Very weary. But we are not without hope.
What we do know is that God is still sitting on the throne of heaven and He is Lord and ruler of our lives. We know that He is faithful. We know that He is love, and that He loves us. Not because those are characteristics that He’s good at, but because it’s who He is. We know that we can trust Him; even when it doesn’t make sense. And we know that there is nothing – NOTHING, that is beyond his redemptive love and power – and that no circumstance is beyond complete redemption. We know our faith is never wasted, and He is at work behind the scenes. We know we will be parents one day, even if we don’t know what that looks like or how we are going to get there. We know that our family started the day we said “I do,” and the fact that no one calls us “Mom” or “Dad” yet does not define us. We know that God can heal broken hearts. We know that He has the final say, and He’s not finished with us yet. We know that He sees the pain; that He knows and that He understands because Jesus came down to earth and He identifies with painful, messy places. And we know He has not forgotten about us – even if some days if feels that way.
And finally, we know that we cannot walk this journey alone. Words cannot describe how thankful we are for the ones who have let us bawl our eyes out in front of them without judgment, who have checked in on us consistently, and who have listened – even if they didn’t quite understand – and for those who didn’t try and “fix” our situation. And we’re thankful those who have been willing to walk the journey with us without hesitation, to pray with us, and believe with us for the days ahead.
Yes, He is good. Yes, He is with us. And He’s not finished with our story. And it’s okay to not be okay.
If you are new to the blog, welcome. I will be starting a fertility series in the next few posts because there’s so much more that needs to be shared. If you know someone who is walking this journey right now, please share this with them. Maybe it’s you. Whoever you are or however you stumbled on this page, I don’t want you feel alone anymore. In all of my brokenness and weaknesses, and through God’s grace alone – I want to help point you the One that can help you heal. And if you feel led, please do not hesitate to reach out and send me a message if you are wanting to go beyond reading and want to start a conversation. It would be my honor and privilege to pray for you and your future children.
NEWS: Based on the response we received of those who shared similar struggles, I recently created a secret Facebook group called “The In Between” for those that have the desire to be surrounded by other women who are battling infertility, secondary infertility, or have experienced a miscarriage. Find more about the group right here, or if you are already like “YES, sign me up right now!” – click here to send me your email so I can add you to The In Between. Make sure to include in the message that you would like to be added!