Today kicks off National Infertility Awareness Week. This week has been designated as a time to spread awareness and offer support to those battling infertility.
Unfortunately, I am one of those people.
Today I’m teaming up with Brandy from A Sweet Aroma to offer some encouragement to others battling infertility along with us. Read my letter of encouragement below, then head over to Brandy’s blog to see what she has to say about infertility.
I am so sorry that you are suffering from infertility. It is not an easy battle, but know that you will get through this. My husband and I have been struggling with infertility for over 5 years now, so I hope it’s OK for me to pass on some advice to you.
First of all, I want you to know that you are not alone. There are so many of us fighting the same battle. Do you realize that 1 in 8 couples of reproductive age suffer from infertility? I’ve always hated statistics, especially when I’m one of them, but at least it reminds me that I’m not alone in my struggle. Although it doesn’t take the pain away, it’s comforting to know that someone else out there recognizes and has felt your pain. Most importantly, God is with you every step of the way, and He will be with you always.
Do not be ashamed of your condition. I spent years keeping my infertility a secret because I felt ashamed that I wouldn’t get pregnant. In a world of soccer and homeschooling moms, I felt judged every time someone asked me if we had children and I answered, “No.” I felt inadequate as a wife since I had not provided my husband with a child, and I felt guilty because I had not provided our parents with a grandchild. It took a lot of prayer and healing before I realized that infertility is nothing to be ashamed of because it’s not something you deserve. It just happens.
That is why it is so important for you to understand that this is not your fault. Infertility is not God’s way of punishing you for past sins. It doesn’t mean that you are not meant to be a parent. It doesn’t mean you chose the wrong spouse. God hasn’t made you infertile so you will adopt children or write about infertility. Do not blame yourself or God for what is happening to you. No matter what people will try to tell you, remember that only good things come from God.
Yes, people are going to say some hurtful things to you when they find out about your battle with infertility, many times without even realizing it. People don’t realize they should just listen, and they don’t know what to say, so more than often they say the wrong things. They genuinely think they are helping when they give you ridiculous advice and ask personal questions. I won’t lie, it can deeply hurt your feelings, but over time you will learn to forgive them and understand that they need grace, too.
Enjoy this time with your spouse, and don’t let this battle divide you. I can honestly say that my marriage is stronger because of our struggle with infertility. It has brought us closer together since it’s forced us to communicate our feelings and rely on one another for support. You see, it’s OK to see the silver lining in the clouds. Have fun and appreciate the alone time you have together now, before God changes things and blesses you with your little miracle.
If you have trouble talking about infertility with your spouse, seek support elsewhere. I was in denial for a long time, and it wasn’t until I joined a support group that I took my head out of the sand and faced our challenge head on. I began to grieve and heal, all at once, and it felt so good! After keeping my feelings bottled up, it was a welcome release to speak to someone else that understood my pain and had been there, too. Reading books about coping with infertility helped me a lot, too. Remember, you are not alone, so don’t try to do this alone.
Most importantly, I urge you not to lose hope. I’m reminded of a story from the Bible in I Kings 18:41-46. After a long drought, Elijah prays for rain. He prays and prays, and asks his servant to go look for rain 6 times. Each time the servant returns and says there’s no rain. I imagine Elijah could get discouraged, but he doesn’t. He continues to pray and after his servant returns back the 7th time he reports that he sees a tiny cloud the size of a man’s hand. Elijah responds in faith and tells his servant to get ready for a downpour! All it took was one tiny cloud and Elijah knew God was finally answering his prayer, and the drought ended. Be like Elijah, and keep praying and looking for the tiny cloud in your life. Elijah never gave up hope, and neither should you! It doesn’t matter what the doctor says, what the world says, or what the test results say. The truth is that we serve a God that is in the miracle business. He can bring the rain to the drought in your life. I pray that He does, and blesses you with your heart’s desire.
Praying for you,
Brandy is a sweet person, and I love that her experience with infertility is an open book! I am so happy to have met her and call her one of my cherished blogger friends. Be sure to visit A Sweet Aroma and read Brandy’s letter for more encouragement today!
Click here to learn more about National Infertility Awareness Week.
Aish | pcosindiandiet says
Hi Christie, Thank you for this post. I hope someday I’d also reach that stage where I can deal with the insensitive questions on infertility with grace. I agree with you on this, this struggle of infertility has made the bond stronger between my husband & I as well!! Glad to have stopped by your post… God Bless!
Christie Selken says
It is so nice to meet you, and I’m so glad you stopped by! Yes, giving grace to those who don’t deserve it is never an easy task. I’m so glad you and your husband have a strong marriage, as well. It definitely helps when you’re in a battle like this one. Blessings to you, too!
1 in 8 is a high number. I didn’t realize it was so high.
In this time many opt to not to have children so if a couple doesn’t have a child, I don’t think that it’s not a choice and never question it or comment on it. I have a son who has no children and a grandson who doesn’t want any and I am content with their decision.
I know this is not about how I feel but thought perhaps, you would care to know that not everyone is wondering.
Christie Selken says
Thanks, Charlotte. I wish I were content with the fact that I don’t have children, but I haven’t gotten there yet. I know a lot of couples choose to not have children these days and I really wish that were our choice instead of us not having the choice. It is comforting to know that not everyone wonders about our childless situation, but it still doesn’t shadow the fact that many do and often ask me about it. Thank you so much for your kind words and friendship!