Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Dear Infertile Women: I've Been There

And I'm STILL there. But I've learned (and am learning) lots of valuable lessons on this journey.

I shared this list with a friend who is struggling today. I hope it helped somehow. But I remember the hopelessness of that pre-baby time period and I don't know what words helped me during that time (if any).

Hang in there, my friends! It gets better. Even if you never have children, it will still get better. You literally can't feel that horrible forever. You'll adapt. You'll learn. You'll heal. Eventually.

* God's timing is always right. There is always a lesson to learn, a bigger picture in the works. Prayer and acceptance of WHATEVER God wants for you is the beginning of healing and letting go of your will and embracing His. He knows your heart and wants you to be happy. Know that.

* Bringing a child into your family is not completely out of your control. God wants to grant us the desires of our hearts and He gives us the freedom to make choices and pursue what we want. And if you want to be a parent, I believe you WILL be a parent eventually. It's not a matter of IF anymore in this day and age. You will either find a way to get pregnant or adopt. It WILL happen. So, take comfort in that. Many women throughout history had to just accept that they were barren. We don't have to do that anymore. All it takes these days is seeking out the right information (having the right doctor, knowing your body and how to make it fertile, making the right connections with adoption), and lots of prayer, patience, and persistence.

* Not everyone is pregnant or having children. A huge percentage of people are considered infertile. A whole heck of a lot of people are struggling silently and you may not even guess it. Infertility is pretty common, so you're not alone. It only seems that way because of the tunnel vision of wanting something and not getting it RIGHT NOW.

* You don't have to birth a child or have a child directly in your care to be a mother. Motherhood is just in our nature as women. "Mother" is who we are, not a headcount of the children in our family. "Mother" the heck out of the new babies in your family! They need extended family to love on them just like they need parents. Before you have kids of your own and become so involved in parenting them, you're in a position to supplement other people's parenting and contribute to the well-being of all the children in your life. Don't rob them of that by not wanting to be around family members who are pregnant and having children "easily."

* Other people's happiness doesn't have to decrease your own. Finding joy in other people's excitement/happiness/successes is very satisfying. Plus, you will want people to celebrate with you when it's your turn to welcome a baby, so celebrate with them now. They shouldn't be expected to not find happiness or be excited about something in their lives. Every new life should be celebrated. Let it give you hope rather than being hurt - look at how happy people are when they find out they're pregnant or when they adopt a baby! Be happy that such an amazing thing happens at all! Look at what you have to look forward to!

* Live in the present. When your babies come, they'll come. But right now, don't waste away the days God has given you. Life is short. Make the best of NOW... right now. You most likely won't be any happier a couple years into having kids (after the newness of it wears off), if you don't know how to make the best of the present. There will always be another stage you can't wait to get to.... and soon your days will be over and how many of them would've been wasted waiting for something?

* Happiness comes from inside of you, not your circumstances. Happiness is a state of mind. And putting all that pressure on a child to BE your happiness for you isn't fair to that child. A baby won't solve all your problems... it will most likely complicate whatever problems you already have... and introduce new ones. Babies are pretty magical, but they won't magically make all your problems go away no matter how badly you wanted them.

* Motherhood is the definition of selflessness, and it is A LOT of work and responsibility. Use the time before you have a baby to really think about what kind of parent you want to be. Practice with other children. Become the person you would need to be to be a good mother. Don't wait until they get here to scramble and figure it out. Time is on your side.

* Make a list of things you'd love to do (by yourself or with your husband) that would be much more difficult with a child, and start checking off the Baby Bucket List. Make the most of this time, because it won't always be just the two of you. Take advantage of that.

* Make plans that don't involve babies coming into the family, so you always have something super exciting to look forward to next. That way, your life doesn't depend on hypothetical future babies. Whenever the babies DO come along, just drop whatever plans you had. Easy peasy.

* Take charge of your health. Eat right, exercise, take vitamins. You want to live a long life and be able to physically take care of children, so get in shape! It will also lift your spirits and give you confidence. It's hard to be sad when you're full of endorphins. Plus, being infertile makes you feel like your body is broken. Working out and pushing your body to be strong and healthy shows you that your body is still amazing... and infertility doesn't define you.
* Lose yourself in the service of others. Infertility and the depression it can cause can make you turn inward and become self-absorbed and selfish. Only your happiness matters. But when we seek out opportunities to serve others and make this a habit, your problems become smaller and more easy to bear.

* Laugh! Laugh at yourself, at your circumstances, at something else entirely. Just find a reason! Laugh at how you're reacting, at the irony of life. Laugh at yourself and life will be so much more enjoyable. When you're done crying, replace it with laughter.

I've learned to love myself on this journey. To take care of myself. To love others and feel their happiness as they've shared in mine. I hope we (as women) can all learn that, no matter where we are in life or what our families currently look like.

I wanted to end this by saying "infertility isn't the end of the world," but actually... technically... infertility could be the end of the world. Sooooooo, yeah. Instead, I'll leave you with a picture I took of the sunset over my house.  Ha ha ha... :)

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Gadgets By Spice Up Your Blog