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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guest blog: nursery

By Sarah Rodriguez Rhodes  

At first it was fun, trying for a baby that is. I kept a stash of pregnancy tests under my bathroom cabinet and would test constantly through the month. I just knew it would happen at any time. My mom got pregnant with me on her honeymoon, accidentally. If my Mom was a Fertile-Myrtle I figured I would be too. I had no reason to believe otherwise.

Trying for a baby is an interesting thing. For many people in the first few years of marriage, the only thing you are trying to do is “prevent” until you deem yourself ready. Then once you decide the time is right, you expect your body to obey on command.

Only mine didn’t.

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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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guest blog: embracing the family i never knew i’d have

Image by Tina Floersch

Post by Amy Brown, amazing woman, blogger, and co-host of the Bobby Bones Show.

My husband and I started trying to get pregnant about 8+ years ago. We’d been married for a couple of years at that point and decided we were ready to grow our family and into the next phase of life. Little did we know how hard it would be to do that.

When it didn’t happen right away, I assumed it was because he traveled often and we didn’t always have the luxury of being together. At the time, we were stationed at a military base in North Carolina, so we did the best we could between deployments… I held out hope and charted my cycle… oh, and also did all the tricks… handstands and such. (You know what I’m talking about!)

We both waited for that inevitable moment when we would see our “plus sign.”

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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

the producer of offspring

I have always been a high achiever. A constant producer. Someone who gets things done. After being a woman who prided herself in her accomplishments for so long, you can imagine that being literally unable to produce offspring was quite the blow to my ego. Read More

that double war for our souls

There can be a lot of shame around being infertile, even in America, and especially in other countries where the patriarchal systems remain in full force. Willem Ombelet of the Genk Institute for Fertility Technology said, “If you are infertile in some cultures, you are less than a dog.” In the U.S. we can feel shame around infertility because of the stigma or the feeling of “strangeness” that comes with being peripheral to societal norms. Read More

the stigma and the scars

I hate to admit it, but there’s still a stigma attached to infertility in our society. Merriam Webster defines stigma as “a scar; a mark of shame; an identifying characteristic, specifically a diagnostic sign of disease.” The best definition I found for it was a “spoiled identity” (Goffman, 1963). There is often a stigma attached to infertility for us because that which should be a mark of femaleness – the ability to give birth to babies – is “scarred” or “spoiled” in barren women. Read More