Saturday, February 15, 2014

white-knuckling hope

Here we are at three years. I can't believe it has been three years! It often feels like that, but that is a really long time to have tried to get pregnant with no "success." Trying to have a baby has now become part of everyday life. In some ways it has become easier, in some ways not. You go through the motions being acutely aware of every little detail of what your body is doing on every day of the month and some times every hour of the day. Some people say just don't think about it or relax or take a vacation and it will happen. First of all, don't ever say that. You saying that gives me stress, so if you are suggesting that I need to have less stress about the whole thing, refrain from saying that. The thing is, despite the acute awareness, I am relaxed about it. It's just part of the routine such as buying groceries on Wednesdays because it is double coupon day .... I mean, I am not uptight about that, and neither am I unrelaxed about the monthly process of trying to get pregnant. I just can't be after three years. But of course that doesn't mean I don't have a deep desire for it to happen.

I read a good article on fertility the other day. While our story isn't the same, the author captured some feelings regarding hope well.

Infertility is a brutal cycle that steps on hands gripping hope. The cycle begins each month with hope only to be followed by disappointment

At any point in this cycle you are constantly reminded of what you cannot do by running into countless pregnant women in the grocery story, at church, or at the gym.
Church is a good place to find support, but it isn’t always a tower of refuge. The American church is one place in our culture where marriage and kids is an expectation.... Young married’s are bombarded about when they will start having kids, as if their marriage doesn’t really matter until a child validates it.
Around church, having kids is talked about as if it is like scheduling a tune-up for your car. “Isn’t it time the two of you start having kids?” is one of the most painful questions a couple dealing with infertility can hear. Because thats exactly how they feel! It is time for them to start having kids. They’ve been hoping and praying and wanting and waiting for a long time for God to respond to their request. So yes, it is time, but no, kids don’t show up on a time table.
- See more at:

It is difficult to hear people talk about when they are going to have children (a conversation I participated in before I realized how out of our control this process really is). As if it is simply a decision. The thing is, I don't think most people really really understand everything that has to happen in order for them to get pregnant .... knowing this, it is actually incredible that anyone gets pregnant. Our journey has forced us at a very deep level to understand the incredible miracle a child is, at a level we wouldn't have otherwise. Having our own children is not a right, not something we are promised, but rather it is an incredible gift that some are fortunate to receive.

I shared about our struggle publicly on this blog for the first time last year. And now as we have begun year four I am at a crossroads. Something needs to change. As I talk to different doctors and such I find myself feeling a sense of shame as I answer their question of how long we have been trying - three years. Like it is somehow my fault, that I did something wrong. I am exhausted from fighting to hold on to hope. Hope is starting to slip away. I want to keep holding on to it, but I just don't know if I can.

We are praying about what next steps God has for us. I know God loves us and wants the best for us. Our prayer is that His will be done, and in His timing. He knows more than we do and we are going to trust Him with whatever path we end up taking. Even though I often feel like I am white-knuckling hope, I feel a sense of comfort and trust in what God's plan ultimately is. For that, I am thankful.