Ben and I have been trying to have children for 4½ years. I’m a pretty open person, so when we started trying I told (quite) a few friends. I was excited! I also never expected to have trouble getting pregnant. After all, people get pregnant by accident all the time (a grief all its own) so why wouldn’t we be able to when we’re trying?!
To make matters worse, I have IBS which would often causes me to be sick in the mornings. I consistently got the comment, “Are you sure it’s not morning sickness?” I would laugh it off but after a few months, laughing got harder. After a year, most of the comments had ended and I started wondering why we weren’t pregnant yet. Every month that would go by started to become more painful. Unfortunately, I didn’t know how to handle the pain well. I became numb and focused my efforts into my job, existing family and friends, and other projects. Yet the silent pain that is Infertility continued to grow.
It took us a long time to start seeking medical help. I felt so stuck. I wanted to know why we weren’t getting pregnant, yet I was terrified to find out. I both loved and hated the hoping every month.
When I finally made that first doctor’s appointment, I was so happy to be making positive forward movement. Even though it was a long process (due to my own inaction) involving sometimes awkward and painful tests, it was worth it. After all of these tests were complete, we were told that nothing is wrong.
Now we had Unexplained Infertility. This diagnosis is filled with both hope and pain. You have the hope that nothing is wrong – so we really could get pregnant any month. Yet that hope turns to pain and disappointment each month when it just doesn’t happen.
As the years went by, my heart (which wasn’t grieving infertility well) slowly became hard and wounded. I could not go to baby showers anymore (unless they were a really close friend). I did not want to engage with my friends’ children. I would see pregnant ladies in the store and walk the other way. I was afraid to hold babies.
When I left work in the fall of 2014, everything changed. I could no longer pretend that the infertility grief didn’t exist. I had delayed my grieving for so long and now I had nothing else to distract me. It came on with full force. The deep sadness and pain and loss hit my heart like a ton of bricks. I had an insatiable desire to be Mom and no idea how to get there.
We finally received a definitive answer this April. I underwent laparoscopic surgery and it was found that I have severe endometriosis that has blocked my fallopian tubes. We are not able to have children naturally. It was a severe blow to my heart.
I have asked the Why question quite a bit. I have been grieving the fact that our children probably won’t share our DNA. I am grieving the fact that I most likely will never know what it feels like to be pregnant, to give birth. I may never hold my baby and see my husband’s baby picture reflected in his face.
It has been so important for me to grieve this pain. Knowing what is wrong has helped me find closure. God has been doing an awesome work in my heart. I can honestly say I’ve never felt so whole before. As I grieve through and accept reality, I am healing. My heart is opening up. I have a new, deeper love for my friends’ children. God is giving us new Dreams and new Hope and new Compassion for the pain of others. It’s blowing my mind!
Even though I have days of deep sadness, most of my days are filled with Joy and Peace. God’s plan is better than my own. I believe that as much as I believe the sun will come up tomorrow. I don’t know what it will look like yet, but I trust Him. That’s something I could never have said without walking through the grief.