Listen Up: Grieving Infertility While Others Are Pregnant

National Infertility Awareness Week is April 23-29. This guest post was submitted as part NIAW's theme: "Listen Up." For more stories and features on infertility and NIAW, click HERE.
Grieving Infertility When Others Are Pregnant
I hated who I had become: the person people didn’t want to tell they were pregnant.

FaceTime rang on my phone declaring that my sister (in-law) was calling. She is one of my very best friends.

Not knowing why nervousness ensued, my sweaty palm answered the call.

We chatted a bit and I watched her 16-month daughter do what she does best: be wild.

She has short dark thin hair, deep brown eyes, a smile to steal anyone's soul. A fearless sort of girl.

My sister mentioned a doctor visit and a weight of coal dropped in my stomach.

I hated the weight of coal more than I hated my possible-infertility -- it resembled the confusing emotions that made up the mess that was me, it reminded me I was not handling this journey well.

She responded with a “no” when I did my best to enthusiastically and uncomplicatedly ask her if she had any exciting news.

About three minutes after our FaceTime call I received a long text message explaining that she was indeed pregnant and wanted to give me time to process before coming back to the states. I would see her in less than 24 hours. I felt honored she would share with me, loved and well-thought of. And yet, I hurt in the deepest parts of me.

A sob escaped my throat as tears stung my eyes; I felt the ugly cry threatening my trembling lips.

My heart pounded as more blood rushed to my cheeks, teeth clenched, body tense.

I looked in the eyes of my friend and her husband and they clearly knew I need time to myself. But it also felt like their eyes laid into me like an oppressive weight threatening to crush me, begging the question: am I ever going to get passed this?

But they had no idea what this is like, this waiting and trying everything and being completely out of control of conceiving and carrying - how could they?

How could I expect or want them to understand?

I was crumbling beneath the weight of this plague that wasn’t being lifted.

This disease of infertility, desolation, isolation.

This hoping for pregnancy.

The physical pain of endometriosis constantly reminded me that my body is so very broken and I was not handling it beautifully nor what most Christians would deem heroically.

The phrase, “This must be His plan” was bouncing around my head like a beach ball and I wanted to pop it with my sorrow, I wanted to vomit on it, I wanted to blow up the phrase with fiery anger.

The barrenness of my womb and soul threatened any hope, creating in me a hunger, opening me up wide for needing Him.

Barrenness always endangers hope and joy.

But it also creates a space for Him to move, to reside, to become salve for our desolate, tired souls.

I wanted so desperately to be purely and only happy for my brother and best friend, but my wounds were gushing a thickness of sorrow, bloody and hell-like, separating me from pure happiness.

I didn’t know if these wounds would ever heal.

These wounds of waiting and wondering.

Confusing thoughts coursed through me feeling selfish and self-centered, while simultaneously happy for them, but continuing to wonder if I could have permission to honestly grieve my broken body.

Wounded and weeping, unable to even pray, I called my sweet husband.

He suggested we see a fertility specialist and begin low-key interventions.

It was much less expensive than beginning the adoption journey and we still had thousands to add to our adoption savings.

In those moments, I loved him so much more than I ever had.

He was willing to enter an even more pain-filled journey to grow our family and experience the miracle of pregnancy. A place of humiliation and costly interventions.

Nervous and scared, I saw a spark of hope sprouting out of the dirty soil of my weary heart.

I wanted so badly to cling to Jesus, not placing my hope in a baby or a pregnancy.

But I also so desperately wanted to grow our family.
Grieving Infertility When Others Are Pregnant
Natalie lives in Portland, Oregon with her husband Loren. They are privileged to being mama and daddy to two boys by both love (adoption) and blood (biological), not quite 5 months apart. Natalie is a writer, photographer, mom, and wife. This excerpt is from her book which will be released this September. You can download Natalie’s ebook for free: Wholeness Despite the Brokenness

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