For the next two weeks, When at Home is going to be the platform from which several amazing and courageous women will be sharing their stories with the world. Infertility affects over 10% of women in the US and yet for some reason, is talked about in whispers in quiet rooms. These stories deserve to be told and if you are currently fighting the infertility batter, I hope these stories bring comfort and hope to your heart. I’m so glad you’re here to read along. Please share your kind words of love and encouragement in the comment section. We’d love to hear from you.
If you’re new around the When at Home community, you might not know anything about my struggle to conceive my children. It’s not something I’ve written about that much, as I always felt like my story wasn’t worth sharing because it has a happy ending. I have two beautiful little boys and my walk through infertility was a short one in comparison to others. But our struggle was nonetheless terrible and heart breaking and maybe my happy ending will encourage you to keep your head up for one more day.
I just always assumed it would be easy to make a baby. It’s not rocket science. Man. Woman. Sex. Baby. That’s how it works. My mom had trouble not getting pregnant. All the women in family seemed to sneeze and get pregnant. After three months of marriage, Zach and I were like…Oh. Well, we don’t like these latex things, we’re ready for a baby. If it happens, it happens right? Well that laid back attitude is just a front because when you decide to just “let things happen” and those certain things (like creating a human) don’t happen, your heart doesn’t take it as easily as your brain thinks it should. Things didn’t happen. And they kept not happening.
It was a strain on our marriage. Not being able to conceive a baby was this dark cloud over both of our heads. I didn’t want to talk about it and he didn’t want to upset me. Zach didn’t understand my pain, and I didn’t understand his. He always says that the pain of watching my heart break every month overshadowed the pain of every negative pregnancy test. He couldn’t stand to see me hurting, so I stopped letting him.
I bought pregnancy tests and took them in secret. When the test would turn negative, I would turn on the shower, curl up in the fetal position on our bathroom floor and sob into the rug so he wouldn’t hear me. Just. Sadness. There’s no other word for that time in our lives. So much sadness. After almost two years of trying, we gave up. Sex had become a chore and it wasn’t fun anymore and I started dreading being alone in a room with him. It was awful and I was terrified it was going to destroy our marriage. So I resigned in my heart and in my mind that I would be content with whatever cup God gave me and if that cup was childlessness, I would be thankful and I refused to let my heart grow bitter and cold.
But then magic happened.
The test turned positive.
You would have never believed the screams coming from our house that day. The tears. The completely intoxicating joy. A baby. We were going to have a baby. It was the best day of our lives. The first few months of pregnancy kicked my butt and I swore I’d never want another baby again ever. And then I had a terrible birth experience and swore I’d never want another baby again ever. But then Jonah turned 6 months old and I got the itch. The let’s have a baby itch and and we threw
those latex things caution to the wind. I think we’d almost forgotten about our struggle to conceive Jonah. Because when it didn’t happen, the pain was familiar and raw. Month after month after month after month. It was like ripping a scab off a wound that never healed properly. I watched with a broken heart as seemingly every person in my life (my sister in law, two of my best friends, several family members, college friends, church friends) experienced the joy and miracle of pregnancy and welcome their second or first or third babies in their lives. I was green with envy.
I distanced myself from my closest friends because I just didn’t know how to act around them. They knew that we’d been trying for another baby for over a year and I knew that they hadn’t been trying and had just had “oops”s all around. It was hard not to judge, and even harder to be happy for them. Not being able to have a second baby was an entirely different struggle than the first time around. It was worse. So much worse. I can’t explain why or how. It just was. It was a darker place for me emotionally and I kept my pain even closer to my heart than before. I didn’t want anyone to know. I was embarrassed.
But eventually I came to a good place with it all and just accepted that maybe I would never have another baby. Maybe we’d be a one kid family. I would look at Jonah and my heart would fill with contentment and joy. How could I think things would be better with another kid when the one I had was so amazing? I was totally OK with the idea that Jonah could’ve been our only child, but my heart still ached desperately.
Both times I’ve struggled to conceive, it’s been more than just a physical battle. My relationship with Christ struggled immensely. You go through these times of questioning, of anger, of resentment. But just like the first time around, as soon as I released the death grasp I had on what I wanted for my life and just let Christ write my story…
And now here I am, blessed beyond measure with my two little boys. I still don’t have a diagnosis (other than ovarian cysts) as to why it’s so difficult for us to grow our family. I’m not sure if we’ll ever know and I’m ok with not knowing. I’m so thankful for the way our story has been written because it’s changed everything about me. It’s brought Zach and I together in a way I never thought possible. Struggling to conceive a baby is such a deep and private pain and when two people walk through it together … well … it could make or break your relationship. As you can probably guess, our relationship survived and thrived and we’re loving this crazy adventure our family is on.