When I began writing about my fertility challenges a few months ago, I was completely consumed by my emotions. It was almost as if, at that time, I felt as though I would never have another baby.
In a blog titled “Healed by faith,” I actually wrote, “Even if he (Elliot) is the only child I have in life, I am infinitely blessed.”
While that blog represented a turning point in my thinking – I actually was beginning to believe that I was healed and that the Lord would indeed bless us with another baby – I still felt the need to accept it was OK if Elliot was my only child.
A couple weeks after I posted that entry, I began praying about and contemplating starting a support group for women dealing with infertility, in any form, and/or miscarriage. I felt as though the Lord was calling me to help other women simply by getting them together in one room and relating. Support groups are awesome for that.
However, I started to have thoughts like “What if I get pregnant, say, right after I start this group?” In an email to my friend, I wrote, “One of my biggest concerns is that I’ll get pregnant and the women in the group will resent me.”
Her response to that was simple: “You have to trust God on this one.”
Well, I prayed some more, did some research via the Stepping Stones website and even emailed someone at my church to see if the potential group could meet in the building. I never got a reply to that email, and I began to feel as though the Lord was holding me back.
Six days later, I got a positive pregnancy test.
For days – OK, weeks – I was in disbelief. I had blood tests done to confirm the pregnancy and to monitor my hormone levels, which had previously been a wreck for a little more than a year. All the test results were deemed “normal.” After three long weeks, I had an ultrasound that revealed a strong heartbeat and a 7-week-old pregnancy.
Finally! My heart’s desires had come true. We will have a new baby in spring 2012.
But, at the forefront of my mind were the thoughts with which I had struggled for almost a year and a half. It was still so fresh in my mind – being the girl who desperately wants another baby while nearly everyone around her is pregnant.
“Other women who want to be pregnant are going to cry when they hear my news,” I thought.
This is still a reality for me. I know there are women, who are currently in the position I was in for many months, reading this post and thinking, “Another pregnancy I have to hear about. It’ll never happen for me.”
I have the deepest empathy for those women. Trust me, I have been there. The few friends with whom I shared our news have encouraged me, noting, “People are going to be doubly happy for you because they know what you’ve been through.” Excellent point.
That said, I am now extremely sensitive to ignorant comments such as, “There must be something in the water at the office.” I am the fourth woman at my workplace to get pregnant in the past eight months. While I do not truly understand why people say something that is so ridiculous, I do know it’s not meant to be hurtful. The problem is it can be extremely painful for a woman – who works in the same office or goes to the same church – struggling to conceive to hear someone say something along those lines.
I know because I’ve been that woman. A few months ago, a lady at church actually said to me, “You better watch out. This place is pregnant!” I was incredulous.
Having dealt with infertility challenges, albeit never severe, I have a new perspective on pregnancy.
I almost feel as though I’m ready to stand up for any woman who’s gone through something similar. And, you can bet that if someone makes a “there-must-be-something-in-the-water” comment while I’m in earshot, I will speak up.
Right now may not be the time to start an infertility support group, but there is always room for education. Even though my dream has come true, I plan to keep raising awareness. You are all welcome to join me.