“‘Tis the season for having babies… If only it were that simple for all of us.
From my earliest memories, I have longed to be a mother. I wanted children and figured by now I’d have already been pregnant and delivered healthy babies. I figured that we’d be knee-deep in diapers, pacifiers, cries, and poop. But as our life continues, we are still childless. Some days are easier than others, but we continue to grieve the loss of fertility.
Never did we imagine that our dreams of conceiving, carrying, and delivering would be erased. Never did we imagine that we wouldn’t be alongside our friends with kids in tow. Never did we imagine that we’d never see if our babies would have my blue eyes or Matt’s thick and luscious hair. Never did we imagine that I would get cancer. Clearly imagining doesn’t always produce results.
Being in our late twenties, nearly all of our peers are either pregnant or have newborns or toddlers. I can think of only a couple of our young and married friends who do not have children yet. Everyone else has a baby bump, a child in their arms, and/or kids running through their home.”
This past weekend, I began to think about this entry. This idea of writing about fertility, or rather, our loss of fertility. In fact, I’ve thought about this post for several months. I actually wrote the above section many weeks ago. Yet, for some reason, I didn’t feel ready to complete my thoughts, nor post them. This entry was originally titled, “Infertility Isolation,” however, as time has passed, my thoughts have transformed, developed, and grown. In no way do I want to come across as bitter, angry, or envious. And seeing my written words, I notice that if I were to finish my original idea, it may leave those whom I love feeling guilty for the blessing of pregnancy and children. Please know, that’s not what I want. That’s not my intention. I am genuinely and deeply happy for those blessed with such a miraculous gift(s). Therefore, as I sat in church yesterday (forgive me Pastor Doug!), I began to journal. The sermon was extremely fitting. In the midst of writing, listening to the Word, and reflecting, I heard our pastor say…”We cannot compare our overflow with anyone else’s overflow.” Meaning, our blessings are incomparable to the blessings of others. We must remember that we are given a special story, unlike anyone else’s. And, truthfully, that’s exciting. Below are my thoughts from yesterday and today…
Are we really happy for other people when they experience favor and blessings? Or do we look at them with a jealous spirit?
After cancer, an unwanted fog has seemed to linger in my life. I am abundantly thankful that I am currently cancer-free (for nearly 9 months now). I am grateful that my energy, health, and body are being restored. I am truly blessed to wake up every single morning with breath in my lungs. I am in no way minimizing any of those miracles, yet sometimes the after-effects from treatment don’t slough off as speedily as I’d prefer. The dust continues to settle, and I feel so far behind. I’m looking out from my eyes on a life that doesn’t appear to be my own. My life is not where I expected it to be.
I’m stating the obvious, right? I mean, I should know that by now. After all, my life forever changed on January 25, 2012 at my diagnosis. Duh. But some days, it hasn’t fully set in. I am a work in progress, and my life continually reflects that.
When we get stuck living life clinging to the past and what we “thought” things would be, bitterness, anger, and envy towards others can evolve. My husband and I both believed that by now we would own a home and have children running through it. Yet, here we are, still living in an apartment, with only “fur babies” to call our own. I am barren—incapable of creating and sustaining life within me. It would be easy to view everyone else with bitter jealousy after being dealt such a crappy hand. It would be simple to think, “Look at the abundant blessings that they have. Babies. Homes. Fabulous Jobs. Wealth.” However, like with most things in life, I am making the choice to not live in envy. No matter how natural those feelings may be, I am making the decision to choose joy. Joy in my own story, and joy for the stories that surround me.
Grief is an inexplicable thing. It ebbs and flows. I’ve spoken about it before HERE. Some days are easier than others. But through grief, wisdom is born. Grief can last for weeks, months, and even years. However, once we work through the sorrowful moments, wisdom, knowledge, and perspective mature.
Seeing my dearest friends with the cutest baby bumps warms my heart. They are adorable. Now that I have moved forward in my journey through grieving my infertility, I am genuinely elated for those with the miracle of life growing within them. I am astounded at the true miracle that occurs… astounded that a human being is developing within another. God never ceases to amaze me. I enjoy celebrating the pregnancies of my friends. I enjoy feeling their baby kick from the outside. I enjoy asking questions; Probably too many questions, in fact. “How does it feel when the baby moves?” “Do you think it’s a boy or a girl?” “Are you choosing natural labor or an epidural?” When I hear the news of another friend expecting a child, I am thrilled for them. Who am I to be angry that God chose to bless them? Blessings are gifts. No matter if the blessings are pouring over my life or onto another’s, we are to celebrate joyfully with those who surround us. My heart is healing, and my joy is overflowing. Now, for those few friends who have yet to be pregnant, I can’t help but ask, “When are you having kids?!” And if I haven’t harassed you yet, beware, your time will come!
God blessings on each of our lives are unique. Not one of His gifts are cloned for multiple people. Sure, the gifts of pregnancy and parenthood are gifted to many, yet the blessing is in the child whom is given to us. And no child is the same. Matt and I will be parents one day, of this I am certain. I am joyfully expectant for the journey in meeting our children for the first time. For now, I am choosing to be happy for those who are receiving their gifts today, for mine will soon come.
Today, I challenge you. Rather than envying those who surround us, take a step back and be thankful for what God has already blessed you with. His never-ending gifts are unique to each of us. If He has placed a dream in your heart, He wants to honor that. Don’t give up hope. Blessings are about to overflow!
Proverbs 14:30 (ESV)
“A tranquil heart gives life to the flesh, but envy makes the bones rot.”