Wednesday, March 23, 2011

What I Think About--The "I" Word{Guest Post}


Today's guest blog was penned by Sarah.  I talk about Sarah all the time on my blog because she's one of my closest friends who just happens to make great cheesecake.  Please take the time to read her post and then pray for her.  And if you really want to encourage her, leave a comment (or go to her blog Frontier Kitchen, and leave a comment there).

Sarah is pouring her heart out with with Shell at Things I Can't Say.


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If you’ve ever spent an afternoon with a group of moms, you’ll notice that we talk about pretty much anything: television shows, kiddos bed times, date ideas, pregnancies, allergies, books, our child’s developmental milestones, in-laws, vacations, house hunting, etc. But there’s one thing that we rarely talk about…
Infertility.
The “I-word” often seems to be taboo. And understandably so. Everyone prefers to talk about the joys of pregnancy and cuddly cute new babies. Those of us who have dealt with infertility would rather pretend it doesn’t exist; pretend that we’re normal and 100% emotionally stable. When, in reality, all it takes is someone innocently asking, “So when are you going to have another baby?” to send us out of the room bawling.
I know. I’ve been dealing with the “I-word” for the past two years since I had a miscarriage and lost our precious baby in 2009.
I’ve had countless tests done. My regular doctor can’t find out why I’m going through this. I’ve seen an infertility specialist. Right now I'm literally days away from an invasive surgery to determine if endometriosis is the remaining possibility. 
I feel completely isolated and alone in dealing with this issue.
But as it turns out, second-time infertility is very common. But nobody talks about it. We see many of our friends and coworkers with one child or with large gaps between their children and assume it’s because they used birth control and/or they were too busy with their careers to want another child.
As a Christian, infertility has challenged my faith in ways I never expected. It’s really popular to hear Christians refer to Psalm 37:4 “Delight yourself in the LORD, and He will give you the desires of your heart.” Or similar passages that speak on God fulfilling the hopes and dreams and goals that we have, if we believe in Him.
But yet, even though I’ve wanted, hoped, and prayed for God to bless us with a baby for the last two years, He hasn’t.
I continue to struggle on a weekly basis with the life God has given me even though I’m incredibly blessed with a wonderful husband and daughter. God’s met all our physical and financial needs every day of my life. And in my heart, I want to walk in the path He has planned for me, whatever that may be.
But, more than almost anything else, I want another child. I always envisioned myself as having 3-4 children. I planned on being a mother first and having a career later in life.
But perhaps God’s will is different than my own life plan. He knows that I have no desire to teach before all my children are in school. Perhaps He isn’t giving us another child because I’m meant to start teaching next year as our only child begins kindergarten. Perhaps my persistent baby fever is a gift from God and meant to be directed towards the children I will teach. Perhaps some of them will be from broken families and need someone to be in their life daily to care for them unconditionally and be their constant champion and supporter. Perhaps by being that person, I will make a huge impact on the direction that child’s life takes.
All I know is that dealing with infertility is emotional and isolating. Because we don’t talk about it. I only know of one friend who is also dealing with infertility right now even though I’m sure there are more.  I pray for her almost daily because I know the pain and heartbreak that is accompanied with infertility.
Essentially, I’m writing this because I want you to know that if you’re dealing with infertility, you aren’t alone. Infertility may be taboo but it doesn’t have to be. Yes, talking about it is painful but once you do, you’ll be able to find friends and family you can go to for emotional support.
Anyhow, I don’t have any answers on this topic but would love to hear your thoughts.

16 comments:

  1. i am so sorry for what you are going through. You are right - most people feel uncomfortable talking about miscarriage and infertility, and anyone who has been through it knows this is when women need to talk the most. Thank you for opening up and sharing your story. I wish you all the best.

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  2. I completely agree with you, Sarah: Infertility is something as moms and women we shouldn't be afraid to talk about. I have had multiple friends and family members that have struggled with it, but I often wasn't aware until after the fact. I wish I had known sooner so I could have lent my support. I'm so sorry that you are facing this struggle. I don't know God's plan for you and your family, but I do know He loves you! Let me know if there's anything I can do to help. In the meantime, we'll be praying for you.

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  3. Sarah, you are such a wonderful mother and I hope and pray that you will be able to be happy, whatever God's answer is on this.

    You're not alone in feeling alone. After having a child with a disability (I still hate calling it that), I had a really hard time talking to my friends as they had what I viewed as perfect children. I cried every time I heard "ten fingers, ten toes" reported after a birth. It's not that I grudged them their happiness, I just longed for someone to talk to who understood the complex emotions. I wanted someone to grieve with, someone to remind me that everything would be okay.

    We all feel alone in something. Just know that you aren't alone in that. I hope you feel free to talk about infertility with our Mom's group. Even though my struggles aren't nearly what yours are, I am not ashamed to admit that the year it took me to get pregnant with my oldest was one of the hardest of my life and a miscarriage that was early enough I should have just been able to get over it was a crushing blow to me.

    May God bless you through your trials as I know he has blessed me.

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  4. Sarah, I, too, hope you feel like you can talk about this with us in the mom's group. If you need to talk about it, we can certainly listen.

    I will tell you my experience with this word. When I was pregnant with my son, one of my very good friends from high school told me she was going to be in town for Frontier Days to see some family. I asked her if we could get together to hang out and her response was somewhat hurtful. She was going through infertility issues (they had been trying for four years) and she said she did not want to see me while I was pregnant because it was too difficult for her to be around pregnant women. While I understood that it was hard for her, I was very hurt that she did not even want to be around me at all.

    She has since had a beautiful little girl who is only about six months younger than my son. I never talked to her about those words she said to me and that experience has left me a little "gun shy" when it comes to the topic of infertility. If my dear friend of many years couldn't even be around me when I was pregnant, I can't imagine talking to someone about infertility for fear I would open up very painful wounds.

    Of course, if YOU would like to talk about it, I am happy to listen, but I will not be the person to bring it up in conversation.

    You will be in my thoughts on Friday. I hope everything goes well and you can get some good news!

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  5. Thank you for sharing!

    Last year I had the distinct honor of being able to donate ovum to an infertile couple, to help make their baby dreams come true. When I found out that my eggs were miscarried after a seemingly successful fertilization, I wept for days. I can't imagine going through it first-hand.

    My thoughts are with you, and I hope the happiness creeps into this situation one way or another.

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  6. Oh man there is so much in this I can relate to. We have been trying over a year to get pregnant and last month, I had a chemical pregnancy. I was so sure this would be it. I have one child already and got pregnant so easily with her and I just feel broken- like if I can't even make a baby then I'm screwed up or something- isn't that what a woman is for. and sometimes, I feel like I'm awful for being upset or complaining because some people never have children but even though I have my daughter it's still hard- if anything I feel it's been harder on me than had I not had kids because I got to experience all the joys with her and I want it again SOOOO bad with no avail. It's just frustrating to see everyone else around me getting pregnant and being all happy and stuff and I'm breaking a little more inside each month. Thank you for posting this- sometimes it's nice to know we aren't alone!

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  7. I have no advice or suggestions of any kind. Just a warm hug and support.

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  8. Sarah, I am very sorry that you have had to deal with this and for any insensitive things I may have said in your presence! Please feel free to talk with us about any of the issues that you are having! I think that it is pretty safe to say that everyone in our playgroup loves you and would do anything to help. I hope you find answers on Friday; I am praying that you will. I am sure that God has a plan for you and for your family. If you are interested, my MOPs group meets every other Thursday night and I know from our discussions that there are a couple of moms there who have dealt with infertility. You are a very brave, strong woman! Good luck Friday!

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  9. I posted on the topic of infertile secrets today. Hope you'll stop by and read my post (http://www.leadingmama.com/infertile-secrets.html) I am participating in IConLeaveWe at www.stirrup-queens.com this week which is a comment fest for anyone who wants to link their blog. Melissa Ford, the voice behind stirrup queens, has 2800 blogs on infertility linked to her site and they're organized by diagnosis so people can reach out to others with similar experiences. You are not alone. But I totally agree that IF is isolating. I had my second baby through IVF. HUGS to you!

    Heidi

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  10. It's so hard to know God's plan.

    Have you tried talking to other moms near you about it? In a moms group I was in a few years ago, it was the hot topic. And I was the one not sure what to say b/c I was one of the few who hadn't dealt with it. (instead, I have different struggles with my kids)

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  11. Oh, Sarah. I know how hard it can be! The six year gap between my children certainly wasn't planned. Knowing what you want and accepting what you have can certainly put a strain on your relationship with your peers, your spouse, your child, your faith. The options available aren't always easy or within our ability to have or in your faith to accept. I agree it shouldn't be a taboo sbject, but it is difficult to talk about. It touches on many other subjects that don't seem to relate to the infertility itself (how are your finances- can you afford the options available to an infertile couple? Does your faith allow it? can your marriage withstand the stress? is your parenting suffering because you long for a child you don't have? Do your friends understand?)

    (((hugs))) While I might disagree with "God has a plan" I do agree that whatever the outcome, it will ultimately make you a better person.

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  12. Sarah thanks for sharing your heart. I will be praying for you, for God's presence and healing. We had a very difficult time getting pregnant with our son and ultimately had to have medical intervention to do so. It was hard on our marriage, with me feeling like less of a woman and my husband feeling like less of a man. We didn't share with our close friends our difficulties with becoming pregnant. Even though we have prayerful friends, we didn't ask them to pray about this and I realize now we should have asked our brothers and sisters in Christ to help carry our burdens and to lift us up in prayer. Your blog has encouraged me to reach out to my friends for prayer and support when we decide to try for #2.

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  13. Oh, Sarah. It pains me to see that someone as loving and sweet as you seem to be, is hurting in such a way. I'm sorry not to be able to give any wonderful words of wisdom. I wish you peace, and give you many hugs.
    ~~Lori

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  14. Thanks everyone! Your support and kind words have been such a blessing for me to read today. They made me cry - in a good way. :)

    To my mom's group friends - Y'all are the best. Seriously. Whenever I have talked about my struggle with infertility y'all always listen and offer your encouragement and I can't thank you enough for that simple gesture.

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  15. Dearest Sarah, I too know what you are going through first hand and assure you I will start to pray for you this very second. We have one amazing God on our side and He knows our pain and has an amazing plan in place...
    I experienced infertility in trying for our daughter and thanks to some amazing doctors was able to conceive her. I still feel it will be an issue in having baby #2. I am now working with a nutritionist that has changed my "fertility" health greatly.
    I am so glad you are sharing your story. Thank you. It is a blessing. I truly pray that this is an issue that we women can talk more freely about. It is painful, it is lonely and I feel like we should lift each other up during these times.
    Keep your head up and know that we are all praying for you! We are here...

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  16. Sarah, you are certainly not alone. I have PCOS and it can be so frustrating when your body just doesn't "work." We are praying for another baby too but it will definitely be on God's timeline. It took 2 years, and countless treatments and procedures, before we were blessed with Samuel. I am always open to talk about IF and know firsthand the pain and disapointment. Every negative test makes me sad and appreciate my baby boy even more. It's comforting to know that I am also not alone!

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(Did that reverse psychology work???)