Look at my babies. My beautiful, surviving triplets. You would think that I have my happy family; one boy, one girl (plus an angel in heaven to watch over them).
What you don’t see is the three years it took to get them here.
Or the fact that I’m 1 in 8.
Here’s what I would tell my infertile self now… an open letter in honor of National Infertility Awareness Week (Apr. 21-27). To read more about infertility, including facts, resources, and my story, visit my post over on Thirty-One:10.
Dear Infertile Self,
I know it’s hard right now. I know you’re struggling…
You think your body has let you down. It hasn’t. It just may need a little more time. You think you’ll never have kids. You will. Just maybe not the way you think or when you think you should. You wonder why all the people around you are getting pregnant so easily, and you’re not. They may not be, or they may, but you’re really just seeing it more because you want it more, not because it’s happening more. Try being happy for them.
You worry that every time you go to the bathroom, there’ll be blood on the toilet paper and you’ll be miscarrying again. Try not to worry. Find the joy in being pregnant and try not to obsess that it’ll all go wrong again. You stress over every symptom, side-effect, feeling because you ‘just know’ it means bad news. Relax. Let your body do things the way it’s designed to. Sometimes, things happen for a reason. You seclude yourself from friends and family who care because you are too depressed to do anything but read books on how to get and stay pregnant. Spend some time with them, they’ll be the ones throwing your shower and helping you with the baby when it comes, and you’ll need friends to get through motherhood too.
You obsess over every tip and resource out there to help you get pregnant and resort to bad tasting concoctions and weird sex positions to try to achieve pregnancy. These things aren’t proven to work. If they stress you out more, don’t do them. You’ve started to hate sex – it’s a chore now – a means to an end. Try to enjoy sex with your husband. Forget about the timing, the medications, the charts and restrictions, and the awkwardness. Be spontaneous. You’re going to need to get the magic back after your struggle is over, so don’t let it go completely.
You are scared to reach out, to talk about the curse of infertility, to share your troubles or relate to others who are going through the same thing. It’s such a shameful thing, to be childless. LET THAT GO, most of all. There is no shame in difficult situations, only lessons and hope, if you look hard enough. ‘Let your darkness be a light to others so they don’t hit the same rocks you did’, a great man once said.
You think you’re life will be over if you don’t have kids. It won’t. You may just have to learn to live it a different way. Remember, being a mom doesn’t just mean someone who gave birth. Find ways to be motherly – they’re all around you…
Self of Now, Mother and Overcomer
I hope this post has touched you, whether you’ve been affected by infertility or not. If you know someone that’s struggling, please share this post with them and let them be encouraged.
Nikki | Days With Us says
Hi Angela. I read your post with tears streaming down my face. I understand. I’ve been there. These feeling are powerful, and still bring me to my emotional knees when I think about our long and difficult journey. Many people will relate to your post, your experiences, your journey. I know, I did. Thanks for sharing. I’ve written only a little bit about our journey; I should probably write more about it. Someday. Thank you!
You should definitely write about it! It’s so much more common than most people realize. And, these are just the numbers for infertility, not even miscarriage, stillbirth, or infant loss. It’s hard to talk about, but I believe necessary. I’m glad the post touched you. Hugs.
I can relate to so much of this letter. I was told that I would never have a natural child by a doctor. I really couldn’t accept that so I travelled two hours to see a specialist. He was an amazing doctor and long story short, I was pregnant with twins naturally by the end of that summer (about three months after I first saw him). I was able to have a singleton 2 1/2 years after my twins without even having to visit him. It is a very difficult thing to go through.
Hi Pam, Thanks for stopping by! I am so glad to hear that you eventually went on to have children – I know how special that feels. Thank you for sharing your story. 🙂
Another great post!
Amanda Walsh says
I found that at just the right time. I had a daughter in March of 2006, suffered a miscarriage in June of 2008, had a daughter in March of 2010, found out I was pregnant with twins November 8th, 2012 due at the end of May 2013. Went for a normal check up December 6th and found out that their hearts had stopped around November 11th. Right now I am in tears and having a hard time dealing with I should be delivering the babies now. This helped me realize that I am not alone and I need to cherish what God has given me.
I’m so glad you were touched by the article. I know things are hard, whether you’ve had kids or not, when you suffer through a loss beyond infertility. Having lost one of our triplets, I completely understand where you’re at right now. Those anniversaries are very hard. Please know that I’m saying an extra prayer for you tonight. Also, please feel free to reach out at any time. I know of a lot of resources and groups that are there to help loss moms, if you aren’t already a part of these. Hang in there!
Tasha Wells says
I just read this as my sweet Mallie is asleep beside me. I am reminded of the three beautiful blessings I have that I feared I never would. Your post also reminds me of the memories of infertility and the fear I felt of possibly never being a mother, the feeling of failure, anger, and sadness. Looking back I wish I could have been more patient and reminded myself that God’s plan is good and perfect (Jeremiah 29:11). I pray tonight for couples battling infertility. I pray that they will have peace, patience, and comfort only God can give during this difficult time. I also pray that women facing infertility can take your advice and look around for mothering moments and take advantage of the moments.
I love that verse, too! It’s a great reminder. It was so hard to keep the faith during all the infertility, but it sure helped. I couldn’t imagine going through it without God. Thank you for your awesome prayers – I think prayers truly comfort those in trials. 🙂
Angela England says
This is a beautiful letter. Thank you for sharing your journey so openly – I know it isn’t easy but it is a huge blessing to others.