It’s infertility awareness week. I honestly didn’t know it existed until after we adopted Gabriel. I figured since I’ve committed myself to writing a blog, this week couldn’t be a more perfect time.
I think sometimes people assume that because I carry the title “Mom” the pain of infertility is long gone. I, too, assumed that motherhood would erase that pain. I hoped that when I became a mother it would fulfill all my innermost desires of motherhood and I would weep no more. I think being a mom has had definitely filled a desire in my life. It has also required so much of my mental devotion that I don’t have a lot of time to dwell where my heart is weary, and yet my heart still aches.
We got married 6 years ago. Just a short time later, we started trying for a family. Six months in, I had an appointment to figure out the delay. After a long journey, miles and time included, we found ourselves looking at In Vitro Fertilization as our only option for a biological child.
On the road to Austin, TX. We made this trip AT LEAST 12 times over 3 years.
I don’t think I have ever been more depressed and lonely in my whole life. The sadness I felt pierced me to the soul. How? How could something like this happen? This was not in “the plan.” (I roll my eyes to think of that phrase now.)
We had 3 failed cycles of IVF over 3 years. I can only describe it as a roller coaster where you don’t get the rushing joy and thrill as you walk off the ride. We walked off the ride 3 times with nothing more than a receipt, no thrill, no joy, no baby.
My second cycle medications. Fortunately my precious husband did all of my shots so I never had to stick myself.
The first cycle, I remember knowing I wasn’t pregnant before the lab ever called. I was working at the bank that day, hovering over my phone and hiding in the technology closet when I couldn’t contain my emotions. My eyelids were so swollen from tears that night that I could hardly open them. Which worked out great, because I basically wanted to sleep off the relentless pain. The crazy thing is that we paid over 40 grand for the most excruciating mental and physical pain, nothing more, but had it worked out, it would have been worth every penny.
I can’t completely say that all we got was an expensive piece of paper. This life experience has morphed since it’s freshness and a thankfulness has made residence in my heart. Our foster/adoptive journey is an obvious result of our infertility. I can’t put words to describe my happiness in being a part of our son’s lives and lives of our other children.
Before the first egg retrieval. I was so nervous because I had never had anesthesia.
Today, I still struggle with disappointment but I don’t live there. I yearn for experiences that new mommy’s have in bonding with their biological babies. On occasion, a random nausea symptom or exhaustion will hit me and all I do hope it is a sign of new life and when it’s confirmed that it’s not, the twinge of disappointment stings. Life keeps me busy with my two boys and the joy we share, so those sad moments are typically interrupted by banging at the bathroom door and cries of my name because the dog ate their snack, again.
Our final cycle. They transferred 3 perfect embryos that day and little did we know that our forever baby was already with us.
One of the greatest revolutions during this journey has been the transformation of my relationship with the Lord. I learned first hand that He is our healer and He is close to the brokenhearted. I learned the power of prayer and more than anything, I was able to witness true miracles right before my eyes including the arrival of our first forever baby. (That’s a story for another day!)
My hopes in sharing my journey is that maybe another person may come to believe that even though it isn’t working the way they thought or planned, that there is still joy in this life. The sun rises again and His mercies are so new.
I like to think that my motherhood story isn’t over. I believe that the Lord has a miracle in our future and though I don’t know what it looks like, I believe that His power will be recognized in it. He is truly a God of miracles.
If someone you know is struggling to build a family, pray for her and offer her empathy not solutions. She has already tried it all and offering her simple solutions will only alienate her from you. Let her know that you care for her and that your heart hurts because her’s hurts too.
If you are in the midst of the battle, you have my heart and my prayers. I pray the Lord holds you close.
“The Lord is close the brokenhearted and he rescues those crushed in spirit.” Psalm 34:18