Browsing Tag

carrying the cross

Infertility, Marriage

Keeping it Real

February 25, 2014

Recently I stumbled across a post from another gal in the infertility blog realm. The entire post, while seemingly sad and discouraging to some, was a breath of fresh air for me.

So often, I feel like I have to “keep it together” with this whole infertility thing. Or that I have to appear like I am handling things well. That I have to bear my cross perfectly and just like saints I’ve read about. Well, I’m not a saint (yet…God can work miracles) and I more or less suck at carrying this cross 99.9% of the time. In this post, I feel the need to just be real for my sake and others. I don’t want to give others the perception that I am a Rock star in carrying this cross or that I am weathering the storm with perfect grace. This is the real glimpse.

I stole a few lines from The Road Home blog because she so succinctly summed up certain emotions/thoughts. So here is me “keeping it real” on infertility:

Infertility sucks.

It attacks everything I am – as a woman, as a wife, in my femininity, in my ability to use my mothering gifts, as a daughter, as a sister. Every. single. thing. is tainted and attacked because my body is broken. It doesn’t work.

I am jealous and devastated over pregnancy announcements…most of which come from brides married seventeen seconds or longer.

I am mad that Sunday Mass is torture for me. Seeing all the happy families and hearing the noises of kids around me is like a constant reminder of what I can’t have.

I have anger, deep-rooted-want-to-yell anger, lots of times, but especially when there is an intention at Mass for “mothers”. When is the last time you heard a prayer for infertile couples?

I see pregnant teenagers and I wonder why God lets them get pregnant and not me.

I see Catholic families having their 7th, 8th, 12th kids…and feel anger that the “rich get richer and the poor get poorer” in some strange fertility economics game I make up.

I see couples who contracepted for years get pregnant easy-peasy and wonder why God grants them their desires so quickly when they abused (often unknowingly or unintentionally) the gift of their sexuality with contraception. We’ve always been open to life, trusting our sexuality to the Lord, and he chooses to stay at a distance and refrain from blessing us with life.

I spend hours crying myself to sleep – asking God “why”. I never ever asked God “why” any other time in my life and I am sad that I am now. I am also sad that I don’t get answers.

I wake up in the middle of the night and forget about infertility for a few moments in a groggy sleep-like state. Then reality smacks me. We don’t have kiddos in the next room. I am not pregnant. I likely will never be pregnant.  I try to go back to sleep as quick as possible so I can escape this depressing reality at least until the morning alarm goes off.

I have moments of insight, moments of reprieve, moments of clarity and understanding, but they don’t last – and they are always replaced with deeper questions, deeper fears. It is the largest onion to be peeled in the world.

I don’t want to be a spiritual mother – I want to be a physical mother. I thank God he allows me to be a spiritual mother but it’s just not the same.

I love adoption and want to pursue it. I am pissed off that it costs $25,000 and involves months of extremely tedious work and other women get pregnant for free without even meaning to sometimes.

I don’t want to have to explain why one does not, in fact, “just adopt.”

I don’t want people to feel sorry for me – or not know what to say to me – or feel like they have to walk on eggshells around me – or talk about me behind my back.

I don’t want to avoid pregnant women.

I don’t want to be the older, wiser, infertile sage.

I don’t want to feel awkward talking to moms.

I don’t want to resent moms who can’t seem to talk about anything but their children.

I don’t want to resent people that don’t “get” infertility and say extremely stupid, hurtful things.

I don’t want to have regular public panic attacks at work when I find out that another couple is expecting….a couple married yet again for seventeen seconds.

I don’t want to ponder how our marriage is fruitful in other ways.

I don’t want to think about working full-time next year. 3 years into marriage, I was NOT supposed to be working full-time. I don’t want to be SO available for work.

I don’t want to feel judged by people who know we are looking at buying a 4-5 bedroom home this Spring. No, I have no freaking clue how it will get filled. I don’t want to consider that it might not be full someday.

I don’t want to dig deep into Church teaching and documents to answer questions about a marriage that is childless being fruitful, and full sacramental.

I feel invisible. Alone. Left behind. Useless.

I feel in my heart that God hates us even though I know in my head he absolutely doesn’t.

I don’t want to have to take 15+ pills per day everyday.

I don’t want to have to pay $3-4,000 per year on medical expenses to treat infertility that never work.

I don’t want to ship my blood across the country every month. Or all the other rigmarole stuff infertility requires me to do.

I don’t want to have to wear a St. Gerard medal, pray a 54-day rosary novena, bless myself with Lourdes holy water, beg a litany of saints for miracles, etc. to even have a chance at pregnancy. I want to simply get pregnant the normal way without crazy amounts of loops spiritually, medically, and physically to jump through.

I don’t want to be such a Negative Nancy. I want to be my happy self.

I want to be holy and I feel like infertility is a way in which I could be made holy but I keep blowing it and destroying any spiritual growth that could be found.

I want God to take away my desires to be a mother so this cross doesn’t hurt so bad. Why would he give me desires he doesn’t want to fulfill?

OK – that is probably enough. I’ve probably scandalized 99% of you but oh well. Now you know I am not perfect. That I question things deeply. That this cross isn’t just some small trial I am casually passing through on my path towards holiness.

It is real.

With all this said – “We are an Easter people and hallelujah is our song.” Blessed JPII

This cross won’t win. I will taste the resurrection. I don’t know when or how but I know firmly I will. Hope refuses to be snuffed out in my heart and soul. By His grace I putter onward each day. At times, I teeter dangerously close to the edge of despair but have yet to fall over that cliff and don’t believe Jesus will let me. Through prayer and the Sacraments He will ward off despair from gripping me for good.

For those going through this gauntlet too – I am sorry. I am here for you and would love to hold one another up in the battle. For those not going through this but caring for people who are – pray and be grateful. Please pray (for REAL and not just one of those “I’ll pray for you” passerby comments you don’t really mean)  for couples going through this. And be crazy grateful for your health and kiddos. Yes, you have other crosses and I won’t deny that but hopefully the above glimpse will give you ideas of how to pray for an infertile couple.

Date Night, Infertility, Marriage

Infertility Blues Redeemed by Movie

September 9, 2013

This date night is actually pretty hard for me to document. It’s fun to put up photos of adventurous things we do as a married couple but let’s be real – our lives aren’t perfect and we aren’t constantly having fun or doing cool things. Don’t be deceived at how things can appear from the outside.

This past Wednesday Jonathan and I got home after work and immediately I set my bag down, went to the bedroom, buried my face in a pillow and began crying. Jonathan came in and for the next hour or so we sat there talking, crying, praying, and eventually laughing. How is this a way to spend date night, you may ask?

It’s really not what we planned for date night but you see, we have been battling infertility for nearly 2 years now, and there are days when the weight of it is absolutely crushing. This was one of those days. They are far and few between, since we are used to this by now, but sometimes I get blasted with a wave of sadness, discouragement, and depression. It’s just part of this cross. It’s silent for the most part, hidden, and lonely. There are days I truly despise and hate it, and other days where I experience gratitude for how God’s grown me in total abandonment through it. This was a day of hating it.

I am so grateful for Jonathan though. He hurts too, which was hard for me to see in the beginning. Even though he has pain, I have never met anyone with a more genuine child-like faith, hopeful outlook, patience, and perseverance in prayer. He keeps us laughing through the valleys of infertility and keeping a healthy perspective with it so I don’t despair.

I’m not looking for sympathy or a pep talk. Ultimately this is the way we are being made holy and I know that. We’re in God’s will and it’s only for our good despite how terrible circumstances may look or feel in the moment. As disciples of Christ, we are called to carry this cross, even if we don’t like it. Does anyone like their crosses? On my bad days I like to think other people’s crosses are easier or that they aren’t carrying any “real” crosses according to my definition. Bad. I know. I am grateful for confession.

Thankfully by God’s grace, I snap out of it and he returns an eternal perspective to my heart and soul – He wills my good. I am his beloved. If it’s his will we have children, we will. If not, we won’t, but we he will still fulfill our hearts desires. He won’t leave us hanging. He hasn’t forgotten us. One day, these sufferings will be gone whether here on earth or in heaven. The grass is never greener on the other side.

After we talked through everything and I was able to finally crawl out of bed, it was really too late to go out to do anything for date night. I needed a pick me up movie, so Jonathan suggested an old classic – You’ve Got Mail. How can you not be in a good mood after watching that movie!?

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