Coping with Infertility: How Family and Friends Can Help

To family, friends, and complete strangers…

This is a post I hope everyone… those struggling with infertility, friends and family of those struggling with infertility, those of you with children of your own, and the general public with no tie to infertility… reads.

Infertility is real, and is beyond a battle with doctor visits and test results, but is a battle that stabs at the very core of our existence.  For those of you that do not know someone struggling with infertility, let me be honest… you do.  You may not realize it, you may not have been told, but everyone knows someone dealing with infertility.  If you don’t know the person, then that means they are keeping it to themselves and need you more than they could ever say.  Most people prefer not going public with this battle, and in all honesty it is a very private struggle for every person going through it so I can understand their secrecy.  But that is why I started this blog in the first place.  I’ve been there, struggled with it, and continue to learn and grow from this never ending battle.  I’m here to share my simple story so others can know they aren’t the only ones going through it even if they never tell a single soul outside their spouse.

So I’m writing this for whoever comes across this blog, and I ask that you simply do one thing… read this article:

Coping with Infertility: How Family and Friends Can Help

It is from Resolve: The National Infertility Association, and is a very good glimpse at the reality one faces when struggling to conceive.  I would say it’s the most accurate article I have read about infertility, and is a must read for everyone.

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Note: Resolve offers support groups, informational material, and a number of resources throughout the USA.  You can visit them on Facebook or follow them on Twitter.  I have no affiliation with Resolve, and am simply referring you to them as a resource that I have found valuable.

Blog posts relating revealing my personal journey with infertility will be continue to be posted on Fresh Conceptions.

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2011: Remembering the Past and Trusting God with the Future

Happy New Year, and thanks for sticking around even after the long breaks in writing.  It’s now 2011 which seems so hard to believe.  I hope the holidays were good to you, and you are looking forward to the new year.  Many people look at the new year, and think about all they want to accomplish.  Some of you are probably hoping for a pregnancy, others for a baby through adoption, and others may just be trying to move on.  For me, I’m just wanting to enjoy whatever comes this year without any expectations.

Since my husband and I started trying, each year I looked at the holidays as our last one just the two of us.  I would think about how there was a good chance we’d be adding a baby to our family, and how I couldn’t wait to celebrate the next Thanksgiving or Christmas with a little one in my arms.  In a way, I think I robbed myself of those holidays by fixating on what was missing, or dreaming of what may be rather than enjoying the life I had been given.  This year I had a different approach.  Maybe it’s because we’ve stopped trying, and are still uncertain about adoption, but this year I truly enjoyed Christmas for what it was…a time to reflect on all Christ has done for us, and a time to enjoy what’s really important in life.  My husband and I had almost two weeks off of work together, and I truly treasured every second.  2010 was a very busy and demanding year for us, so having some time to ourselves was simply wonderful.

If there’s anything 2010 has taught me, it would have to be that life is full of uncertainty, and the only joy we can find is by embracing the life we’ve been given.  I’ve learned that barren is the term that defines me now more than infertile, and as hard as it was to admit it, it has helped me to move on.  Coming to grips with reality is hard.  I see a lot of posts from infertiles on Facebook refusing to admit that they are infertile.  Many women go through years of failed infertility treatments and failed adoptions all while refusing to give up.  They allow their struggles to define them and take pride in the difficutlies they find in life.  For me, I was very much like them so by writing this now I’m not telling anyone how to feel… but the truth is facing reality and admitting defeat has felt more like claiming victory than throwing in the towel.  It’s like I finally have my life back.  I know I won’t get pregnant, and I will never give birth to my child, but that doesn’t mean my life can’t go on and God doesn’t have a plan for it.  God can use our strengths and weaknesses to grow us, and by opening my heart to His plans, I can move on from my own.  Adoption may become my reality one day, and if it does, I will love our baby with every breath that I have.  I think that we will be better parents for the time and struggles we’ve been through, and our marriage will be stronger by going through our infertility battle together.  But the urgency to adopt seems to have faded.  Adoption is no longer about me, what I want, or my timing, but it’s more about what God’s plan is for us as a couple and family.  I’ve learned that when I take things into my own hands before it’s time, things usually end up a mess.  But if I wait to see where God leads then the path brings more peace than I could have ever brought about myself.

So this year for me is all about enjoying life.  Doing things I’ve always wanted to do, loving life for the blessings I’ve been given, and allowing God to mold my hopes and dreams however He chooses.  I’m giving each day to Him to reveal His plan, and to make the desires of my heart a better reflection of Him.