infertility. a burden you don't see. a term not limited to those who can't have any children, but sometime also applying to those who can't have anymore children.
i am a mother of two beautiful boys, the result of my husband looking at me. ok, that's not how it works, but that's how easy it felt. and oh, how blessed we were to have children at a young age!
because while we waited for the second boy to enter our lives... cancer.
i won't hash up the details here (though i'm happy to tell you of our blessing of cancer in person if you like). after 2 major surgeries and 4 rounds of chemo therapy i was so thankful that God chose to remove this disease from my husband and give us (Lord willing) many more years together.
but the side effect of all that life saving treatment? infertility.
flash back: when Nick and i were first married, we talked about kids. he wanted 12. i agreed to hit 6 and reevaluate. seriously. now, that silly conversation was just that. silly.
it was out of our hands and in His huge, loving, all knowing hands. where it had been all along. really, there was no change. only a change of mind on our parts.
i would not be receiving 6 or 12 or anything greater than 2. and i am blessed! i am blessed to have two beautiful boys who are best friends. i am blessed to be past diapers and potty training and (mostly past) nap times. i am blessed to be able to be a part of many ministries at church because i don't have a nursling or curious toddler in tow. i am blessed to get a little extra time with my hubby most days.
but it's still hard.
yes, i have 2. that's so much more than the woman who has none. but i also know the immense joy of carrying a child, the love that seems to instantaneously multiply when you bring home a new family member, the happiness and laughter of watching them grow and learn and giggle. i know, first hand, what i will never again experience.
it's strange how emotions that we are taught are "opposites" can exist and blend together in our heart at the exact same time. there is joy from the blessings, but also sorrow over the loss.
when a friend announces a baby on the way, my heart nearly bursts with joy for them! and yet, there is a thorn of grief that pricks. i praise God that He has seen fit to bless and grow their family. even more, as many of my friends who waited so long for children have received answers to that prayer. i rejoice... and i then run to Him and cry out and He holds my heart together as it breaks again, just a little, but a fresh wound none the less. yet, that sorrow in no way diminishes my happiness for my beloved sisters and brothers. it is a strange concoction of emotions.
stop and note! this is in no way saying i don't want to hear when you are blessed with child. not in the least! i pray often for those seeking to have a baby. and i love to thank my Lord for answered prayer.
but, may i ask, please stop hinting. stop suggesting. stop teasing.
because you don't know who lives that the long, quiet trial that is infertility.
i know you are just kidding, but that little 'hint hint, nudge nudge' feels more like a hammering on my chest. i laugh along, i smile and nod, but later i will retreat to a private place and run headfirst into my Fathers arms.
sometimes i will share with you how we can't have more. and you tell me the funny stories of those who gave away all their baby things and then suddenly they were pregnant. yes, it's a funny story. but it's not my story.
God has different things in store for my and Nick's lives than we expected. and while i pray for help with the heartache and peace with the desire for more children, i don't pray for another baby. i trust that He knows my heart, and also what is best. i have peace that i have asked enough and He knows my longing even better than i do. so, i don't ask for more.
and really, i don't need you to pray for more for me. again, He knows what is best.
if you desire to pray, pray for wise words in my mouth when others don't know the heartache their comments bring. pray for healing of my body, that i would no longer have these symptoms that feel like pregnancy, but really are not. pray for my dear friends who are up all night with their newborns, my sisters in Christ battling nausea and heartburn and bedrest, and pray for my beloved friends whose hands are full and schedules are busy because of the many arrows in their quivers.
and pray that our Savior comes back quickly! because when He comes, when He sets the world right, there will be no more sorrow or pain or tears.
i look forward to that day.
yet i hope i always remember what this long, quiet trial has taught me. that He is good and wise. that He knows what is best.
"Seek the Lord and His strength; Seek His face continually. Remember His wonders which He has done, His marvels and the judgements uttered by His mouth."
i'm sorry that this post is a little all over the place. as you maybe can tell, this subject carries with it a crazy mix of emotions and thoughts. but these are things that have been rattling around in my mind, things that i have wanted to write about for quite some time. i hope that they are an encouragement to you. that you will look to use grace in your speech when you really don't know why someone hasn't had another baby. and that maybe, if you too are sharing this heartache, that you will draw courage that you are not alone and that God is, indeed, very good!