here’s to love and thankfulness

Over Christmas break, I had a medical scare that apparently was just a nasty virus. But when you go to the hospital on account of fainting and you’re a 33-year-old, otherwise-healthy woman, everyone asks you if you could have fainted because you might be pregnant. And by everyone, I mean the ambulance medics, the first nurse, the second nurse, the doctor, and the radiologist. It got a bit exhausting explaining that I couldn’t possibly be pregnant because I have no eggs.

I also held out the tiniest bit of hope that maybe this was why I fainted. Maybe I actually was pregnant. Maybe this trip to the ER would turn out to be a Christmas miracle.

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a childless Christmas

I was recently talking to a friend who said her parents had opted not to “do Christmas” this year in the way they had before. I wondered if perhaps this was because she and her brother were single and her sister had a boyfriend, but no kids. In other words, like many people, her parents believed “Christmas is for children.” And since there were no children to dote on, they might as well not do Christmas in their family.

When I asked my friend if this might be the reason, she said, “Yes. You nailed it.” And of course, she was sad about it. Because what better way to rub salt in the wound than to say, “You’re single and childless. There’s no point in ‘doing Christmas’ with you.”?

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i didn’t even tell my husband

For a long time, I kept my feelings associated with infertility to myself. And when I say to myself, I mean all to myself. I didn’t talk much to my family, my friends, or even my husband about it. After all, I was the one who was sterile. This was my burden to bear. I started believing a lie, the lie that says, “You are all alone in this. No one will understand. There’s no reason to burden anyone with how you’re feeling about it, because they wouldn’t get it anyway.”

This lie will kill a person from the inside out.

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celebrating babies

Two of my closest friends recently had their first babies, and I’ll admit, I was nervous about how it was all going to go down. I didn’t know what negative feelings might surface as I was reminded – yet again – that their story would never be my story.  Read More

praying for a miracle

When my husband and I first found out I was infertile, we shared the news with some dear friends of ours. These friends are walk-by-faith kind of friends. They know everything is within God’s realm of possibility, and they live their lives as is that’s true. (These are great friends to have. If you don’t have any, find some.) When they found out the doctor told us we couldn’t have babies, the first thing they said was “Pray for a miracle!” Read More

guest post: God can handle our angry feelings

By Natalie Brenner

This blog was originally posted on nataliebrennerwrites.com on April 6 and is an excerpt from Natalie’s book, This Undeserved Life.

“I hope you’re not mad at God.”

Her words were hopeful, thoughtful even, as we sat on the giant rock staring out over the ocean. Her eyebrows were raised, her posture stiff, a question on her face, imploring if I was indeed mad at Him or not. Read More

when people try to fix our problem

I’ve noticed that people like fixing other people’s problems, and the problem of infertility is no exception. In conversations with people about your infertility, have you ever heard anything similar to the following?

  • A friend of your friend was struggling to get pregnant. Then she and her husband fostered some children, and because she wasn’t so focused on getting pregnant anymore, she finally did. (In other words, your anxiety is the reason you’re not pregnant.) 
  • A friend of your friend was trying to get pregnant, but then she adopted some children and now she is perfectly content as their mother. (In other words, you don’t have to parent biological children to be happy.)
  • A friend of your friend’s was having trouble getting pregnant. Then she adopted and realized God was truly the one in charge of her family. And now she’s pregnant with twins. (In other words, you also must not have given over everything to God yet. Otherwise, you would be pregnant too. Okay, that’s the pretty cynical interpretation. Maybe they are trying to say that God’s timing is not your timing.)

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the pain of the silence

I’ve come to accept that infertility isn’t really something people want to talk about. After all, people like to talk about happy things, things they feel educated about, or things we all have in common, like current events. But people avoid talking about the sad things, especially the sad things they can’t relate to. Even though about 1 in 6 couples struggle with some form of infertility, you would never know it, because people typically don’t talk about it when they’re actually going through it. Read More