I like to think I’ve been pretty open on the blog. But there’s one topic that’s absolutely terrified me to approach, and that’s my infertility and pregnancy story, that was the start of life with my baby boy.
I still have so many fears about sharing it. One fear is that, since my story has a positive outcome, it may hurt those who have tried longer and suffered more, those who haven’t had happy endings. Another fear is sharing the real and heartfelt struggles I went through when I was going through it all. I fear that people won’t understand. But mostly, it was a highly personal battle for me, and it makes me scared to share it.
But some of the most impacting blog posts I’ve enjoyed are the ones that are real and fearless. As I was going through my time of infertility, reading other peoples’ thoughts helped me to feel like I wasn’t alone. It’s my hope that this will reach someone who needs to hear it, so that they can feel comforted.
About two years before our big pregnancy announcement, we decided we were ready to have a baby. I’d always loved children and wanted my own, so I was filled with anticipation and excitement. I must have thought my fertility was off the charts or something, because I really did expect it to happen right away.
A few months in, I was still hopeful. At about six months, the worries crept in. After nearly a full year of trying, and not talking about it with anyone, I finally “confessed” to a family doctor at a check-up. She told me that after a year of trying, they diagnose you as infertile.
I blinked back tears as I drove home, a referral appointment for the local infertility doctor in hand. They mailed me some forms, and I cried as I filled them out. I was young, healthy, and never thought it would get that far. I finally called my mom and told her. My husband was supportive and sweet the whole time. There were times, though, that it didn’t feel like he could fully understand, and those times were hard.
The only infertility doctor in the area seemed rushed, and barely talked to me through my first appointment – rather, he talked mostly to his young male student as they conducted a highly awkward exam. At the end of it, he recommended a couple of tests and procedures.
While all this was going on, it seemed like every day someone was announcing a pregnancy. I felt so torn. I wanted to be happy and excited for my friends, and I was, but I also felt alone, scared, and depressed. The closest women in my life were encouraging, but they also had children, and I felt like a burden to them. There were a few friends who could relate, which was a comfort.
I prayed through this whole time, sometimes frustrated and angry, mostly just scared and sad, trying so hard to understand what God was trying to teach me. In many stories in the Bible, not being able to bear children is seen as a curse from God. Was God cursing me? What did I do wrong?
We chose to work with the doctor through one of his procedures, but it turned out to be painful and deeply embarrassing for me in the way that they were conducted. Finally, after all that and no clear answers, I started driving to a recommended doctor’s office two hours away to get exams and figure out what was wrong.
While the attitude of this office was completely different – the doctor walked me through everything, explained all the options to me, and was much more sympathetic – I was disappointed to hear that she still recommended surgery. We set it up, and I anxiously waited for it. At the end of the day, I knew it was possible that they could find nothing at all, or it could be more serious than we thought.
Friends started having baby showers and babies, and I still couldn’t shake that feeling. I was happy for them, sad for myself, and guilty that I felt that way. I also felt like I had to grieve every month as I found out I wasn’t pregnant.
Somewhere through this whole time, God was working on my heart. Instead of wondering if he was cursing me, I started being grateful for the way he was drawing me to himself, encouraging me to trust in him, and showing me his love through it all. I felt closer to him through prayer and some of my favorite scriptures, like Lamentations 3:22-23:
Because of the Lord’s great love, we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. (NIV)
Just one week before the surgery, around that normal time of the month, I started feeling cramps. But my period never came. I decided to take a pregnancy test, more to prove to myself that it wasn’t anything else.
It looked like it could be positive. (Can you ever really tell 100% with those stupid tests?)
I bought two more and took them both. Positive. We called the nurse at the office. She ordered blood tests. Positive. My husband and I visited the doctor. Sure enough, there was a little tiny heartbeat.
There were times over these past couple of years, I tried to rationalize it all. I was never really infertile, it was totally possible for me to get pregnant, I just needed to relax, etc. But I still truly feel that he is our little miracle. A week before surgery! Every time I think of the struggle of the whole season of my life (about 20 months), I hold him close and am amazed. God is good. He would have been good if I hadn’t had Theo. But I am so grateful that it was in his plan for me to be Theo’s mom, and him to be my son.
I am amazed that at such a time where I felt so alone and sad, I was able to grow closer and closer to God, and he was able to bring me to a place of peace, even in uncertainty. I hope for you, that if you’re going through this time, you don’t feel alone, you don’t feel “cursed,” and you still have hope. Please reach out if you need someone to talk to!