Wednesday, December 15, 2010

What I would tell Infertile Me

I got an email from a friend dealing with infertility today. She asked me a question.

"If you could go back in time and tell infertile Wendi one thing, what would it be?"

It's funny she asked that. It's a question I've thought about many times. And I've formulated many different answers.

But here's the one that resonates most within me.

I would tell myself to try my hardest to enjoy my life. To try to embrace where I am at currently instead of wishing the months and years to speed ahead until our next treatment or the next holiday that maybe I would be a mom. I would tell myself to sleep in as often as I could. I would tell myself to take more naps. Lie in bed and watch movies and don't get up just for the sheer relaxation of lying around Wendi! I would tell myself to go on as many dates with my husband as I could. Go for runs whenever you want Wendi. Take long walks in the park for no reason at all. Travel. Travel. Travel some more. Volunteer. Embrace your hobbies. Sit on the kitchen counter and drink a coke and stay up way too late talking with a girlfriend. Don't worry so much about becoming a mom. Try to remember that God doesn't promise us tomorrow. Children won't solve your fears of being alone Wendi. And then travel some more gosh darn it!

There's more. But you get the general idea.

What I find interesting is that this is the first place I have lived where people did not know me "before" kids. I had someone mention to me that they have trouble picturing me as anything but a "mom." Yikes! Really? This is so foreign to me since I spent from ages 21-31 as a married wife with no children at all.

But seriously. I was that woman. I was the woman that people would have bet money on would not have biological children. Ever. When we got pregnant with Elijah my doctor said to me that if I would have asked her if I thought I would ever bear a child she would have had to be honest with me. It just was not going to happen. Not ever. Three clomid cycles, five failed IUI's, and four failed IVF's didn't leave a hope left floating around.

It only left God.

I think we have this idea that if we "just get married" or if we "just have kids" or if we "just get this job" or if we "could just pay off this debt" or ... well, the list could go on and on, that then things will be perfect.

But they won't. We will never arrive. There will always be something we are seeking. There will always be sadness and disappointments. Only a relationship with our Heavenly Father can bring us the complete peace we think a certain thing will.

When we pulled away from the hospital with little two-day-old Isaac strapped into his car seat on May 9, 2008 ... with the lawyer and nurse waving at us and feeling like we had no idea what we were doing ... I realized that I was now, nearly officially, a mom. (His five month court hearing would solidify it.) But I didn't really feel different. Something could happen to Isaac the next day. Something could happen to all of us on the way home. Isaac was the child we always hoped to have. But he was not the answer to the hole in our life we often try to fill with things other than Christ.

I pray for those of you today praying for answer to your prayers. For many of you it is a child. For others of you it is something else. A spouse. A job. Reconciliation.

Whatever it is, I hope I can encourage you with three main tidbits of hope:

1. Embrace, as best you can, where you are today.
2. Believe that miracles are possible.
3. Remember that only Christ will bring you the peace you seek.

I always seem to have a group of about 5-10 women in my life that are in my "infertility group" of the moment. Women that I am watching walk the walk I walked just a few years ago. Please know that you are at the forefront of my mind all the time. Really. I am thinking of you by name while I write this. When I see you. When I email you. When I talk to you. I am thinking of you. I am wanting to fix it. And I am praying for the answer to your prayer.

P.S. Happy birthday to my "unofficial" goddaughter Raylee and my cousin Sarah.

14 comments:

Nancy, Jeremy, and Jack said...

Great post Wendi. You are right- so many times in life we are seeking instead of just soaking in, enjoying, and filling our life with Christ.

Anonymous said...

Great post, Wendi. Your words to the "infertile Wendi" are good words for all of us to hear. It's so easy to tell yourself, "If only I had..., then I would be fulfilled." Truly we will never be fulfilled until Christ returns. Tracye (a reader in Texas)

Anonymous said...

Well put, Wendi, you're a sweet thing (as your father-in-law would say):)

Anonymous said...

Amen to what we all need to be reminded of!! Thank you for writing and sharing your heart with all of us. Wendi, You are a blessing to me!! Merry CHRISTmas, sweet friend!
Tracy Nipper

Nick and Kenzie said...

This was really helpful. We are currently walking the "infertile" road and are debating our next step after 3 failed clomid attempts. It is alway helpful to have someone say - have fun, even when you can think of nothing more than having children and becoming a mother. It is a good reminder.

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Wendi. I know your words weren't specifically for me, but praise God that you posted this, because I know that He used you today to post this for me. It's hard to enjoy even the simple things in life when I'm feeling sad and depressed because we haven't been able to get pregnant. It's hard to stay positive and just live life "normally" as if we weren't trying. Your words are encouraging, but please continue to pray for those of us that haven't been successful yet to be content and at peace with God's plan.

Willy's Auntie said...

Wendi,

I agree. I don't have children and probably never will due to infertility and age, but I was single until 41 y/o and the grass isn't greener on the other side of the fence necessarily. Enjoy and embrace life and where you are..........AMEN!

Jess said...

You know, I think it depends on where you are in your faith journey though, too. Perhaps you have the God void filled because you have a very deep relationship already (though always evolving hopefully) and really DO lack "just" the child/husband/etc. Perhaps you are called BY GOD to be a mother, but can't figure out how He wants to fulfill that, and the child/husband that will bring that child to you really IS the last piece of the puzzle for you, making your journey with the Lord even deeper because that's where He's been calling you.

I felt, myself, that while strong in my faith, that God was calling me to be a mother. I never REALLY WANTED to be anything else. Sure, I said I'd be a optometrist, or a vet, or a computer programmer, and ended up becoming an insurance agent with her own agency... but none of it DID fulfill what I felt God wanted for me. For me, it was linked...God and motherhood, but also did not make my relationship with God suffer (though I asked many an angry question as we talked...hey, I say He can handle it!), thankfully.

It isn't perfect, it isn't even CLOSE to perfect. And it's always evolving, but my kids DID fulfill in me something that God started.

Anonymous said...

We miss you guys so much it makes us sick. You are right about enjoying life. Sarah and I always talk about the good ole days in Franklin, KY.
P.S. Sarah had a great birthday!

Josh

Janelle Keller said...

Wendi,
Thank you for your sweet words of wisdom. My husband and I try to remind ourselves of how THIS time of waiting is precious too.

we are closer... we cry together whenever we need to... we really understand each other and can feeel each other's emotion without saying it.

I hope that we look back on this time together and feel that we lived it to the fullest. His mom reminded him the other day, how truly awesome it is to hear about our random trips to Costa Rica, Jamaica, DC, etc... His mom never got this time to spend with just his dad. They were blessed with child in the first month of marriage and haven't taken a trip together (alone) since!

So, in this sense, we are very blessed! I will try to practice the virtue of patience...and until then we'll take lots of trips! :)

Thank you for taking the time to counsel a bleeding heart :)

~God Bless and Merry Christmas!
Janelle
p.s. Send me your email address, so we I can add you to my Private Blog list. janellenicolekeller@yahoo.com

cbrueggie said...

wendi, i totally agree! in my opinion, i did not learn to be content with where i was, even the waiting needed more contentment.

someone i know recently brought up that having the kids (or the husband) can bring as much, or MORE, pain than the waiting. i had not truly realized that. now i do :P not that it's not WORTH it, but having a husband, or kids, does not make everything all rosy and tip toeing through the tulips.

Anonymous said...

This was beautiful.(as is the one after it about Isaac growing up. I so love your writing and your heart...I appreciate your friends' comments because they help those of us who haven't experienced it to realize the pain and choices it takes to do what you write in your advice...there is grief to walk thru even as you choose joy....tante jan

Anonymous said...

Wendi, thank you for sharing your insight from experience!

It is so nice to know that you understand the un-understandable sometimes.

From your friend, LT

TLA said...

wonderful words, wendi!! someday i won't be known as "that single girl" :)