I hate labels, a while back during National Infertility Awareness Week I wrote this post titled, Label Maker, for those dealing with the heartache of trying to conceive.
I've now found a different label and that's The Infertile Mom. Gah, I hate the word infertile, can we change it to fertility challenged? It's so icky. Anyway, I'm the one the moms who might be taking longer than they'd love to conceive turn to for support. If you're new to our story, you can read more HERE
I'm the one friends call when they get a negative test, but then I'm the one they avoid when they get a positive one.
I'm not sure why that is, because I'm ecstatic when a friend gets pregnant, because every baby is a miracle. I know more than anyone, infertile women know more than anyone, how difficult it is and all the amazingness that has to line up for God to knit that baby together in a womb.
I believe in the power of sharing our stories to reflect God's glory in helping us overcome. It's the only reason I share so openly our struggle to conceive with others, to show them how God has given us peace, friendships, and an amazing life despite what the world has unfairly given us. I don't do it for sympathy, nothing makes me more uncomfortable than when someone says "I read your post and I just wanted to say..." ughhhhhh, thank you but I'd rather talk about your issues than my own. Becca Dorr has more to say in her post, Infertility: The Downside to Being Public, read it HERE.
I'm the infertile mom friend who receives heartbreaking messages (and I'm paraphrasing to respect privacy) like this:
"We've been trying for 3 months and still haven't conceived our second child, do you have any advice for us?"
"I lost a baby in between my first and third, I haven't told many people, but I wanted you to know. I'm still sad about the baby I lost."
"We've been trying for 4 years to have a baby and the doctor told us we should adopt. He's given up on us."
"We have our first appointment at the reproductive specialist, what should I expect?"
"We went to the doctor today and they couldn't find the heartbeat."
"We got our results back and my husband's the problem, not me. He doesn't want to do any treatments, but I can't be motherless."
"This is so unfair, why do I have to pay thousands of dollars while druggies get pregnant on the street?"
"Why would God do this to us?"
To these women I send words of encouragement, tips I've learned over the years of ways to cope, and how God will get them through it. Lean into the pain of it all and let it transform us into better people instead of letting bitterness take over our lives like the Enemy wants. There's another side of me that weeps for them, for the unfairness of it all, and I cry out to the Lord for the pain to stop. It's too much, it's too much to see some of my most favorite people go through the pain of infertility, the pain of miscarriage, the pain of dreams lost.
I've been there, I've done it all. I've sat and listened to super fertile women complain about their kids, I've watched moms who are overwhelmed get a surprise pregnancy test, I've seen the pregnant teens at Walmart, and I've listened to moms cry over having their last baby. So in essence what I am saying is have faith that I can have joy in your good news - when God has chosen to bless you with a new life - as well as comfort you when the struggle is there for so many of us. It's all painful for The Infertile Mom in me, but I can use it. I know I can use it for the greater good.
What label have your friends placed on you that you are using for good dear reader?