The Pain of Infertility

“The pain of infertility is not a sharp pain; it is a dull ache that twinges at times, requires your full attention at others, and never fully goes away.”

I wrote that last week during church as I listened to a new mother soothe her crying baby. It isn’t often I envy someone their crying baby—adorable toddlers, yes, screaming infants, not so much—but the pain of infertility hits me at the oddest of times and I found myself feeling angry and bitter.

Travis and I have now been trying to conceive for over two and a half years. To be perfectly honest, most of the time, I’m glad it has happened this way. We’ve had time to adjust to each other, to figure out our own rhythm as a family, and I know that will bless us later.

On the other hand, it is difficult to find rhyme or reason in all of this. Every time I learn a new lesson I can’t help but think, “That must have been it! That’s what God was waiting for me to learn before we could have children.” And then I subconsciously wait for the positive result. When it doesn’t come, I wonder what else I need to learn to finally be ready.

But that can’t be right. I’m not irresponsible, I’m not under the impression that parenting is easy, and while I obviously don’t have much experience, who does when they first have kids!? Sometimes I find myself internally stamping my feet and thinking, “Why does *so&so* get to have kids and I don’t? Am I really that much worse than them?”

But that isn’t right either. Being fertile or infertile really has nothing to do with the caliber of parent you will be. I have to remind myself constantly that just because I cannot have kids right now does not mean that I don’t deserve them. It does not mean that God is withholding them from me because there is some hoop I have to jump through first. It does not mean that I will not be a good mother.

What it does mean is that I get lots of practice learning to be patient. It means that some days I will cry about it, and that’s okay. It means that some days I will be happy about it, and that’s okay too. It means that I have some experiences that other women don’t get to have, even while I’m envying the ones they get.

The best part is knowing that someday that dull ache really will heal, whether it feels that way right now or not. Children will come into our life somehow, whether by pregnancy or adoption. I will get the crying, and the tantrums, and the sweet kisses, and the infinite wisdom that sometimes comes out of children’s mouths.

I’m not sure how I’ll look back on this time once we have children (perhaps with longing?), but until then, I’m living as best as I can, learning as much as I can from those who are parents before me, and cherishing my relationship with Travis. I’m going to make sure that my children come in to the best environment as possible, knowing that they have a father and mother who already love them like crazy, and always will.

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10 thoughts on “The Pain of Infertility

  1. You are already a great mom. Your kids are your top priority and you’re doing all you can now to prepare. I love you so much and all is well.

  2. Last week in church we were behind two sets of friends we have prayed for over the past three years, as they waited and hoped for a baby. One set held their little, dark haired girl. The other couple held their twins. We sang “It is Well With My Soul” and I was just so so thankful. Praying the same for you.

  3. I was captivated by all the different lines of thought you shared, because even though I have not experienced it, I can see myself thinking all those same things and having to remind myself otherwise, over and over again. Prayers and hugs for you!

    • oh my, i have been there also. we struggled for three years before conceiving through ivf… i remember the ob/gyn visits and seeing all the pregnant women (and some teens), wondering why it was so easy for some and not for others. we are now the parents of three children (9,8,4) all biological. often i wonder what i *learned* through that process because like you everytime God brought something to my attention i thought that was the *thing*. God will bring the desires of you heart of this i am confident.

  4. Thanks for sharing this Jennie. I think we all have things that hurt and ache and sometimes feel like they’ll never go away… It’s always good to realize everyone struggles in this life. I love you and admire you!

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