Infertility Awareness Week - For the Should-Be Moms

Did you know that April 21-27 is National Infertility Awareness Week?  I didn't either, but thanks to a few of my friends on Facebook, I've been made aware of this, and ever since it came to my knowledge, I can't put it out of my mind.

I know what you're probably thinking.  What does a gal who is pregnant with her fifth child know about infertility?

The answer?  Nothing.  Well, very little.  I know a few families who have had success with fertility treatments and are now the most awesome parents to their little blessings.  What I don't know is how many couples I know have endured these procedures without success, and what they must be going through emotionally as a result.

I think this is how we must fail, as a society, and certainly how I've failed personally at being aware of this condition.

And for this reason, this girl right here, can't stop thinking about what I can do and why I felt compelled to write about it.

To My Dear Friends Whom Have Struggled With Infertility In Any Capacity,

I am sincerely sorry.  In a broken world, where so many moms end the lives of children they don't desire to have before they have a chance to be, where so many children are born to homes where they are seen as  burdens and not blessings, where so many kids are born into families that cannot or do not or fail to care for them, it just isn't right that someone who so desperately desires to be a parent cannot be one.  It just doesn't seem fair that some unworthy men and women are effortlessly gifted with the blessing of children.  I cannot explain this other than to say that we live in an imperfect world.  And to my deepest sorrow, that sometimes affects innocent children and the most amazing should-be parents.

I am sincerely sorry for the times I have have been flippant about my own fertility.  While other people may joke about it, I am quickly learning that it is not something to be tossed around casually.

"He looks at me and I get pregnant."
"All he has to do is hang his shirt on the bedpost."
And anything referencing rabbits and/or the word "prolific"

I can see how these things would be hurtful.  And I will make a conscious effort not to take my fertility for granted.  And certainly not to boast about it.

Just like I get weary of fielding questions about my family size, I will refrain from commenting on yours.  I do not want to be the one who causes you pain by asking, "Aren't you going to have kids already?" or "When are you going to have another?" or "Don't you want kids?"  It's none of my business in the first place, but I will be cognizant of the fact that these types of comments are not acceptable forms of small talk.

I will do my best to keep my pregnancy moans and grumbles to a minimum or at the very least a dull roar.  Obviously, pregnancy is not always a walk in the park, but I bet there are a lot of women who would gladly trade places with a first-trimester mom who is combating waves of nausea, or a second-trimester mom whose biggest problem is finding pants to fit her growing belly, or a third-trimester mom who is tired of wearing out the trail between the bed and the toilet overnight.  And I bet it is especially painful to hear the mom of a newborn complain because she is so tired she can't think or see straight.  The back aches and the sweats and the food cravings and aversions are all part of a blessed thing called growing life that is a gift.  The sleepless nights are a natural side-effect of raising a baby, which is a blessing.  And these things should be counted as such, even when they don't feel much like blessings. 

What can I do?  I don't know.  But I can promise you this much.  I will love my babies because I should, and because I know it's what you would do, and I pray, someday, will do.  I will not take my kids for granted.  I will count my blessings as such.  I will not boast.  And I will pray for those of you who desire with all of your heart to be a mom or to be a dad.  I can't know the depths of the pain you are suffering whether out loud or silently, but I would love to pray for you, if you'll let me.  Email me.  You are loved, dear friends.  And as much as I'm not a hugger, I would love to wrap a big one around you right now. 

Love in Christ,


To be honest, I did not know when I sat down how this was going to go.  But I succumbed to the "itch" that gets me sometimes when I have thoughts in my brain and I need to put them down into words, and this is what came out.  What it lacks in eloquence, I hope I made up for with sincerity.  My heart grieves with you and for you tonight.  I would love to give this up to God on your behalf.  Blessings, always.
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, shall guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7


Debbie said...

Wonderful, Jennie. I'm glad the words in your head made it to the keyboard. I never had a problem with conception, but my older sister did. It nearly devastated her, and I can remember how the words of others would hurt very deeply.

Because of that, I guess, I'm acutely aware of that pain in others. Years ago, our church used to make a big old deal of mothers on Mother's Day. The then pastor would have all the mothers come stand at the front of the church to receive a flower or some such thing. I will never, ever forget standing at the front of the church with all the other moms. I looked out, and I noticed exactly two women left seated. TWO. One was a young woman in my class with whom I was praying for fertility. The look on her face that day impressed on me that the church was WRONG WRONG WRONG to do such things. (Why are we honoring anyone except the LORD in a worship service anyway???)

Anyway, it's the stuff like that that most folks don't think about because they have never worn the shoes, and we should.

Long ramble.
(Which means the blog post was well written and provocative.)

Sharon said...

Yes, Jennie.

A good reminder to never, ever take our children for granted. And, to always remember with kindness and sympathy those who are struggling with infertility issues.

Well said.


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