I really don’t like writing about infertility. It’s just too deep, too personal, too real, too painful, too embarrassing. And I just don’t want it to be a part of my story.
But then again, none of us want suffering to be a part of our story.
I’m so thankful for those of you who have loved me and encouraged me through this. And, I can’t believe how many have pulled me aside to tell me . . . they’re walking through it too.
It is crazy how many women are experiencing this deep pain, and hiding.
We’re not hiding because we want to. We’re hiding because we don’t know a safe place to come out and talk about it. And it’s not because people don’t mean well, people think they’re safe . . . but they’re not.
The journey itself is so painful, so confusing, so devastating, and so discouraging. The last thing any of us want to do is open up to someone, who quickly shuts us down.
Because sometimes, people say really hurtful things. And they don’t even realize it.
Two weeks ago, a new coworker asked me if I had kids (which automatically makes me feel like I’m less than when I have to say “no”). Our conversation literally went like this:
Her: You have kids?
Me: No, we don’t.
Her: You trying?
Me: Oh yes we’ve been trying. For years.
Her: Well, it’s called adoption. You know there’s a lot of kids out there that need a home.
And she walked off.
The conversation was that brief, that short, and that blunt. It felt like I was stabbed in the heart and left there to bleed out. . .
I can give lots of examples of painful things people have said to me, not even realizing the hurt it may cause.
“Well you know, God has a plan.”
“If you had kids, you wouldn’t be able to do all that you’re doing.”
“You know, kids aren’t all they’re cracked up to be.”
“Oh I know, I tried for 3 months to get pregnant with my first.”
“Just stop trying. Once you stop trying you’ll get pregnant. That’s how it goes.”
“You can take my kids for a day, maybe then you’ll rethink it.”
“Have you considered going gluten free?”
I know people mean well, but trying to solve the problem or fill in the gaps for God is just not helpful. In fact, it’s hurtful.
Sometimes you just need a friend to sit in it with you, no judgement, no cliche, no fix-it plan or advice, just compassion.
Infertility is not black and white. It involves two people, a broken body, broken dreams, lots of decisions, grieving, praying, hurting and seeking.
It is just hard. It’s hard on you. It’s hard on your body. It’s hard on your marriage. It’s hard on your relationship with God.
For those of you walking through this, please don’t feel alone. You don’t have to hide. Find someone, a small circle of people, who can encourage you and pray for you. It can feel so isolating, but it doesn’t have to.
And for those of you who know someone walking through infertility, please read this: Infertility Etiquette
Please be sensitive. Listen, love, sit, ask. Don’t try to speak for God, don’t tell them what to do, make snarky comments, complain about your pregnancy, etc. Just be aware, there is a dull ache always there that can be soothed more by what you don’t say, than what you do.