Saturday, April 26, 2014

Faces of Infertility: "Shannon's" Story

In celebration of "National Infertility Awareness Week", I am featuring stories of infertility this week. These are all guest posts that I hope will put a real face on this devastating disease. Please spread the word and share these stories!

My husband and I married later in life. He was my first boyfriend. We met when I was 37 and he was 47 and married when I was 38. I lived my life right saving myself for my husband only. 

Now, I waited for God to bless my faithfulness with a child. It should be no problem, every woman on my mom's side of the family had their last child at 40. There were no issues of infertility on either side of my family. 

Except that was not my story.  

Our story is a little different than others because it is complicated with adult step-children. My stepdaughter did not want us to have children and has been very vocal about it. She has also been very deliberate and cruel.Being in a place of forgiveness with her has been constant and hard

My stepson is having twins in a few weeks. I have had one suspected miscarriage and one miscarriage with twins (okay, I count embryos as babies; there is a fertilized egg and active cellular division-to me that is life).

When they told us this my heart broke. I am going to be seeing them with my dreams in their arms. My arms are empty and my heart is broken. I try to put on a big smile for them. 

I have to celebrate for my husband. This a joyous event seeing his son become a man.

For me it is a thorn through the heart. I watched the ultrasound with them; well, okay, I watched the door while everyone else watched the ultrasound. My husband was so excited to be included. I grieve my infertility alone.

The thing that breaks my heart as much as my empty arms is not once has anyone stopped to say, "hey, are you okay?" I know you are happy for them but I cannot imagine how painful at the same time this must be for you. Not my husband. Not my step children.

In the midst of waiting for my stepson's twins to be born we had a failed adoption. An adoption that seemed so solid. A 14 year old rape victim. They wanted a closed adoption, they did not want to hold the baby. They wanted the baby to be placed in home out of state. I got the news 1 week before my birthday and 2 weeks before my step son's ultra sound. I was so excited and it all fell through within 2 days time. They decided to keep the baby.

My friends and family all said, "well, at least you can be a grandma" Yes, I can be. I will love the children but they are not mine. I did not grow up saying I can't wait to be a grandma much less a step-grandma. I grew up saying I want to be a mom. I always wanted to be a mom. 

The truth of the matter is there are times when I am with my step grandchildren that I hurt so much on the inside because I realize that I really would have been a great mom. My step children are not mine. They belong to my husband and his ex-wife. They have two loving parents. They are nice to me and I to them but they have never sought to have a relationship with me. They don't need another mother...and I get I understand their point.

I wonder where is God in all of this...why the cruelty of placing the hope of a precious baby girl in my arms right before my birthday, before my stepson's ultrasound, before Easter and Mother's day. I had stopped asking God for a child. I did not seek this little baby girl out ... they sought me out.

I don't have answers. I just hold to His hand knowing He is a loving Father and no Father could watch His child go through this much pain without a very good reason. A lesson I learned in my single years is that I am not saving my virginity to please my one day to be husband but rather out of obedience to Christ. In my infertility, I have learned that I have not saved my purity with an expectant promise that God will bless me for that event by giving me a child. I serve Him because He loves me and for that reason alone

(Please note that all parts of this article are the opinion of the guest writer and not necessarily viewpoints that I personally share)


Rosanne said...

This is a beautifully written testimonial. Shannon, as a stepparent myself, I know it's not easy - I can't imagine how difficult that must be to know they are not supportive of their Dad having more children. You are such a strong woman to keep a smile on your face even though your heart is breaking. I hope that someone does ask you how you are coping, however, most often people just don't have (what they believe) the right words to say. Your story touched my heart.

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