Infertility | Anna Grace: Infertility

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Infertility

I always seem to find myself in this place. 
It's been so long since I've even written a blog post that I hardly know where to begin. 
I've put off writing for so long because my heart has been so full, and I wasn't ready to wrestle through my thoughts, sharing them openly here and making myself vulnerable to the judgement of others.
2013 was a beautiful year.  I think I cried more in the last twelve months than in all the rest of my life combined; but the Lord blesses us even in the midst of tears. 
He is the one who makes beautiful things out of ashes. 
My life has been so richly blessed, and I am filled with joy.

Dealing with Infertility


On our wedding day over a year ago, my head was filled with visions of myself waddling around, pregnant and glowing; knitting baby booties and sweaters, and indulging in crazy cravings. 
I never doubted that within a year we would be overjoyed to be the proud parents of our first child.  
We wanted to start trying for a baby right from day one. 
Happily, our honeymoon was in perfect sync with my cycle, 
and I fully expected to be announcing my pregnancy soon.
As the first few months of our marriage flew by, I was disappointing that I wasn't pregnant but confident that I would be in the next cycle.  Soon three months had passed, then four, six, eight, a whole year. 
 Sometimes I felt consumed by grief.  How unfair and cruel it seemed to me that I was caught up in this vicious rhythm of dashed hopes and crushing disappointment. 
Each month I would hope again, and the higher my hopes rose, the farther I fell. 


"Hope deferred makes the heart sick." Proverbs 13:12


Time and time again I obsessed over symptoms. 
One month I couldn't stand to eat spinach because it tasted fermented and moldy to me, my husband laughed, "You must be pregnant!" 
Other times I could have sworn I was overly tired and a little queasy.
Sometimes my period would come three, even four or five days late. I would take test after test, telling myself that my HCG levels just weren't high enough to detect yet.
Then reality would hit with searing pain (Literally!) and I would be devastated. 



Several months ago I carefully studied nine women called "barren" in the bible.

Sarah (Genesis 16) 
Rebekah (Genesis 25:21)
Leah and Rachel (Genesis 30)
Monah's Wife (Judges 13)
Hannah (1 Samuel 1)
Michal (2 Samuel 6)
The Shunammite Woman (2 Kings 4)
 Elisabeth (Luke 1)

Only Michal, the wife of David, never became pregnant. 
2 Samuel says that she "despised him in her heart" and "had no children to the day of her death."
Every other woman listed here eventually had children.  
Some waited longer than others, but the Lord was faithful to each of them.

One thing that stood out to me as I studied these women: their prayers were vastly different than mine.  
As I read the words these women spoke to the Lord, my heart resonated with their pain. 
Some phrases were repeated by several different women, such as "When will You remember me?" or "When will You remove this reproach?" 
1 Samuel 1:10 says: "And she was in bitterness of soul, and prayed to the Lord and wept in anguish."
Hannah's silent prayer was so passionate that Eli rebuked her for being intoxicated.
In verse 15 Hannah replies

"No, my lord, I am a woman of sorrowful spirit. 
I have drunk neither wine nor intoxicating drink, 
but have poured out my soul before the Lord.
 Do not consider your maidservant a wicked woman,
 for out of the abundance of my complaint and grief I have spoken until now."
 (My emphasis)

This woman POURED OUT her heart before the Lord. There are no flowery phrases and eloquent words here, only raw honest pain and grief, even anger.

This idea was revolutionary to my prayer life.  
God knows my heart. He already sees the anger and bitterness there, He knows of my longings.

The book I am currently reading, 
When Empty Arms Become a Heavy Burden by Sandra Glahn and William Cutrer, MD, 
has an  EXCELLENT chapter on anger. (Actually, the whole book is just wonderful!)
This chapter lists scripture after scripture written in anger.
 The authors point out that while we are prone to believe that God only accepts pretty polite prayers, prophets and psalmists often prayed in indignation, accusing God of deception, forgetfulness and negligence. They railed against Him for being silent in response to their pleadings. 
They expressed frustration and rage.  Yet there were no lightning bolts, no thunders of displeasure; instead, the Lord gently reassured and comforted them. 

This has often been the case for me. 
When there is a storm raging inside my soul and I pour out my anger and sorrow to the Lord, 
sometimes with clenched fists and chest heaving with sobs, 
 I always experience the sweet calm peace of being close to my heavenly Father.
After all my tears are spent and I'm finished with my ranting, it is then that I can be joyful, even thankful.

If you are in the midst of this journey too, I encourage you to plead honestly with the Lord. 
You are His child, and His heart breaks for you. 
Tell Him of your pain and frustration, and then allow Him to comfort you.

I know that the Lord has a plan for me, 
I know that He is for me, not against me, 
and I know that He loves me. 
 I don't know if or when He will open this womb of mine. 
But I trust Him.
I know that He is refining me in the fire.


I would love to hear your thoughts and comments. Please be kind! Some remarks made with good intentions can inflict great pain. 
There is so much more in my heart on this subject, 
so if you are interested, keep an eye out for future posts along the same lines. :)

May the Lord encourage and comfort you.
May your day be blessed.
And for all you TTCers out there, may the lines be ever in your favor!



11 comments:

  1. Anna ,I will be praying that God will bless you with a baby. I have not been in your shoes BUT I feel for you,I too wanted to be a mother after I married . This was my hearts desire and sometimes it did take longer than what I even wanted but God did come thru.Just keep the faith and I will keep you in my heart and prayers! Im here for you if you ever need to talk.Me and my family are military and we have four children.My husband and I are Christians and have been married for eighteen years this August. Feel free to email anytime! May God bless you and your husband!

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  2. My mother had to wait four years before she had me and even then, there is a seven year gap between my younger sister and younger brother, so while I have not personally experienced this pain, it is close enough to me that I understand. Empty arms are painful, especially when there are new mothers all around you.

    But not being a mother doesn't make you any less a woman than not being married. Yes, continue to pray to the Lord that he will fill your empty nest, but remember that God will make all things perfect in his time. Every one of those women, because they had to wait, were blessed tenfold when they finally had children - most of whom became very important in the Lord's work. For now, make the most of this time when you don't have another life to demand your constant attention to grow in the Lord and care for those around you.

    I'll keep you in my prayers!

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  3. As the Lord brings you to mind, Anna, I will pray! He is good and He knows the plans He has for us. For your good, to give you a future and a hope!

    Blessings!
    Deanna

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  4. Dear Anna,
    God bless you and keep you and your husband. I will pray for God to bless you with a babe and for your continued patience for His perfect timing.
    Lyn
    (A woman who has known the same feeling)

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  5. You are in God's thoughts. He knows right where you are. My children are 25,20,16,(14 in heaven), 11, and 8. When I "worried" about getting pregnant it took many years of not getting pregnant. When I enjoyed my days with my husband and my life, it seemed I was pregnant, again! I know how you feel. We waited 5 years between some of our children. Just give it to God and enjoy where you are now. You will never be where you are today again in life. Trust in Him!
    By Grace Alone,
    Kim

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  6. I do not know why a man keeps coming back to a blog for women, it beats me but i have been checking up on this blog since September last year.

    God cares.

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  7. Anna,
    I know you're experiencing great pain right now, and will keep you in my prayers. Try to be patient and not give up; the Lord does things in His own good time.

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  8. Dear Anna,

    as my sister is struggling with infertility, too, I can relate to the pain you're experiencing.
    Please don't give up and don't beat yourself up - I'll keep you in my thoughts!

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  9. Dear Anna,

    The God who knew you in the womb knows your longing to be blessed with one of His little miracles. I know that it took a great deal of courage and vulnerability to share this with the world. Know that prayer will gather around you and your husband. May you be like Hannah, who was blessed with a child who was truly worth the wait, both in Hannah's eyes and in God's.

    Your sister in Christ,

    Jessica

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  10. Dear Anna,

    I understand. I have felt the longing and the disappoint of a negative test and feeling foolish for taking another one. The hurt after friends and family members announce their pregnancies or make statements regarding how they couldn't take having another one so they tied their tubes or whatever thing folks do to stop the blessing of children.

    You see my husband and I got pregnant right away after our honeymoon and we were overjoyed. "Yeah, a big family, we'll have 1 every year or so!" I thought. Thankfully we had our daughter and we were happy and looked forward to adding another especially since I was already 29.

    But then a year passed, then another. Slowly after 3 years people stopped asking, "Are you gonna have anymore?" I kept praying but I began to accept that my child would be the only one...6 years had passed and I stopped hoping.

    But God is faithful and we just found out we are expecting. We are thankful but I have had to die to dreams of my children playing together as toddlers, having a large family and driving a minivan (as nuts as that sounds).

    People say, "Well at least you have one" but it didn't remove the longing, the hurt and I've had to accept that my dreams aren't what God has for me. I don't want to give you any advice or write a silly platitude because it doesn't help ease the hurt, the longing or disappointment but I will say a prayer for you and your husband and I can hope that he will bless you with a child. Please take care.

    -Amy

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  11. Amy,
    Congratulations!!!! How pleased I am to hear that the Lord has answered your prayers. I know that he has used the years of waiting to sanctify and transform you. May you be blessed among women!
    Thank you for your encouragement.
    Blessings, Anna Grace

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