Saturday, May 18

Still Infertile

I realize I'm pregnant. The little thumper kicking away right now reminds me of the fact as she pummels the inside of my body with her little knees, elbows, feet, and fists!

But as mother's day came and went, and as we have heard more news of friends who continue on the road of IVF, infertility and/or adoption, I find an unusual response occurring in me.

I still feel infertile.

I think this makes sense personally:

First, I'm still somewhat in the same emotional place I was 5 or 6 months ago. After all, when you get to the point in the road that we were coming to (acceptance of our situation, acceptance of not having biological kids, years of the same answer, "no"), 5 months of knowing we're no longer on that road is not a particularly long time to change your emotional perspective.

And secondly, the Fear of revisiting the same infertility experiences is real. We have no guarentee that we'll get pregnant again after this one. Statistics are good, but as John Piper writes in his essay, Don't Waste Your Cancer,  "You will waste your cancer if you seek comfort from your odds rather than from God." I thought a lot about this principle as we were going through treatments. After all, Dr. Scotchie gave us about a 5-10% chance of getting pregnant on our own. Odds? Terrible. Christ? Powerful.

And while God is powerful to do as he wills when he wills, he is never manipulated by my desires or my recitation of odds and statistics his direction.

And I think there are two main origins to the feeling.

First is compassion and empathy for my infertile friends: All of this  - the realization that I still feel infertile, still categorize myself as such - came as a friend wrote a letter to me a few months ago. They are beginning the process of infertility testing. She knew I was pregnant and I wanted with all my heart to express to her, "But I'm still with you! I'm still there, in Infertile Land with all it's pain and confusion, even if I have a baby growing in me. It doesn't change it!"

(Of course, it does change it.)

The second origin is a bit more, well, controlling.  I found an author had written a post titled "Pregnancy doesn't cure Infertility."  I deeply appreciate her overall expression of the experience and her final point is the essential one:

I really want control: My shameful secret is that what I most want isn’t another baby, it’s control.   I want to imagine a world where I could pick how many kids I’m going to have and then I could make it happen. I wouldn’t have to wait through times of “trying” or lengthy adoption processes. I could be in charge. Of course, it’s such a false sense of control to imagine that being fertile means you make your children happen. Every conception is an act of God, but I admit I’m envious of those who seem to be able to make it happen (or not happen) at will.
(See more at: A Musing Maralee)

And while I do want more babies, she writes what my heart cries: To have control. To know what the future holds. To be Omniscient and Omnipotent. 

And as I am not God, I am still infertile - infertile to do as I will.

But he calls me to trust. As I was called to trust while going through infertility treatments, as I was called to trust as I wrestled with the fear of losing this pregnancy, as I am called to still trust that through all that life has to hold,  Whate’er my God ordains Is Right.


Laura Ward said...

Thanks for your honesty, friend - your heart is continuing to wrestle through the reality of living in a broken world. It's also a reminder to me that "getting what you want" doesn't always equal peace or contentment(maybe it never does? maybe those things only come through trusting the Lord in the midst of whatever the circumstances are). Praying we'd all lean into the grace He offers us anew each morning.

Maralee Bradley said...

I'm so glad you linked to me so I could find you and these beautiful words. My heart agrees so much with the reality you're experiencing right now. There's so much joy in the pregnancy you've had to wait for, but also this deep hesitancy to really embrace it. Thanks for putting that so perfectly into words.

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