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 name is Tammy, and I would like to share a little of my journey through infertility.
I grew up in a happy, bustling family – the oldest of nine children. Infertility was something I had heard of, but certainly not something I ever gave much thought to! And why would I? Perfect strangers would ask me probing questions about my parents’ birth control measures (seriously, people?) and it just never crossed my mind that having children was something that people struggled with.
Until, that is, my husband and I were struggling with infertility. I viewed our infertility as a closely-guarded secret. Something, which if I didn’t talk about it, maybe people wouldn’t notice. But, people did notice and soon I was getting questions opposite those that I was used to fielding as a young daughter. There was a point in our lives where we were 1 of 8 young couples in our church. We were the 1 who had no children; the other 7 all had children. What are the odds that we would be a living picture of the statistic for infertility? The irony did not escape me.
For many, the hardest years are actually the first few years. However, my husband was busy in school, I was busy with homemaking and a part time job, and life was pretty good for us. I was patient and not too concerned. As the years rolled by, I became increasingly sad and the burden of infertility weighed heavily. Unfortunately, I didn’t reach out to many. I didn’t think anyone would understand or be compassionate. I wasn’t willing to put myself out there, so I built a solid wall around my heart. The problem with such a wall is that it kept everyone out, not just the ones who may have hurt with insensitive comments.
Finally, we sought medical help. Through a Godly doctor and his help (including surgery for me and several months of treatment) we were able to conceive our daughter. This was almost seven years after we had decided to start having children! What a blessing she has been to our lives! Waiting was hard but she was certainly worth the wait. She is now five years old.
When our daughter was just 12 months, we rejoiced to find that we were expecting yet again (with no medical intervention). Our baby, a precious gift from the Lord, and much loved, was born to heaven early in my pregnancy. The graciousness of the Lord to walk through the valley with me is ever so precious to my heart. I miss my wee one so much. There are times that our family feels so incomplete this side of heaven!
Now, over four years after my loss, I have personally experienced infertility for approximately eleven years. I’ve learned much, grown much, and profited much through it all. A little cautiously at first, I started taking down that wall around my heart. Brick by brick, I cast it aside. I’ve been tempted at times to start building it again and even higher than before but then I realize that comments from unsuspecting people should not have the power to hurt me, when in fact they were not meant to hurt in the first place. I seek to live life joyfully. There are times in my life that infertility is not a joyful burden but I know someone Who can carry this burden for me as He carries me down this road – the Lord is ever present and able to help me as I struggle to live joyfully.
You can read more about my life by clicking here.
(Please note that all parts of this article are the opinion of the guest writer and not necessarily viewpoints that I personally share)