When we think of infertility, we often think of the woman’s plight. Next to that woman, there is a man with inconspicuous grief and pangs of fatherhood. He may not experience the physical pain of infertility, but his pain is just as real.
My husband is an amazing human being. Oftentimes, he has silenced his own grief in order to take care of mine. I see the hurt in his eyes and I know that he always wants to ensure that I am okay first. I’m thankful for him.
In this picture, he is holding our firstborn son. We did a private adoption. We were able to meet our son at just a few hours old. We were able to spend all three days in the hospital with our son and his amazing birth mom. This is one of my favorite pictures of my husband. He has always longed to be a father and this picture was the first one he took as one.
As we are near the end of NIAW 2021, I am praying for the families still waiting to bring a baby home, still waiting to announce that they are expecting, still waiting for the double pink lines on the pregnancy test. I have been there… waiting.. not knowing… still hoping through all the pain and wondering if I should give up.
I pray He will restore the years of shame and sorrow with double the joy. “Instead of shame, there should be a double portion.” Isaiah 61:7
I pray that God will restore what you have lost. Deuteronomy 30:3 God, your God, will restore everything you lost; he’ll have compassion on you; he’ll come back and pick up the pieces from all the places where you were scattered.”
I pray That you will have more children. Deuteronomy 30:9 God, your God, will outdo himself in making things go well for you: you’ll have babies, get calves, grow crops, and enjoy an all-around good life.”
One of my favorite scriptures is Ephesians 3:20-21, “Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us.” I can’t help but think about the song, “He’s Able” by Deitrick Haddon & Voices of Unity inspired by this scripture, “don’t give up on God, cause He won’t give up on you. HE’S ABLE!” ”
The scripture Jeremiah 29:11 says, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” We may never know why God allowed infertility and loss in our lives. I still struggle with the ‘why.’ Yet, I’m learning to trust God despite the unknown.
I know that He is good. He is same God that restored Job’s family. He still the same God that opened Sarah and Rachel’s womb. He didn’t forget about them. He didn’t forget about numerous other women in this world. He didn’t forget about me. He hasn’t forgot about you.
Infertility is often a lonely road. Sharing every experience, whether positive or negative, becomes a rollercoaster of added stress and emotion. It seems the fewer people who know the details, the easier it is to grieve, process, and plan. The easier it is to make the best decision for your family without the comments and opinions of others. Yet, the small circle of family and friends privy to the intimate details are often plagued with how to be supportive in a world unfathomable, especially if they have children of their own. Though there isn’t a playbook for grief of any kind, there are common ways to be supportive, even when you cannot relate.
How do you support your friend experiencing infertility?
I found a great article that articulates the answer to the question perfectly.
Anybody can experience challenges while building their family. What you don’t know is families who have dealt with some form of infertility are often surprised by their diagnosis. Even if you have an underlining condition, you never expect infertility will impact you.
Today marks the beginning of National Infertility Awareness Week 2021.
The reality is “1 in 8 couples are impacted by infertility.” Now, this week is not meant to stir fear without reason but rather spark important conversations, increase public awareness/understanding, provide guidelines for families, and more.
Too often, we suffer from this unimaginable diagnosis in secret, plagued with the stigma behind it.
We conceal our shame and turmoil with responses such as, we aren’t ready for kids right now, we are just enjoying life, when it happens, it will happen. Yet, every time we hear the dreaded questions:
When are you planning to have kids?
Are you pregnant yet?
Are you going to have any more?
A piece of us dies inside. For many, the questions are a reminder of the negative pregnancy test that haunts us each month, the stale quietness of our homes, the children we never got to meet, the keepsake box filled with belongings from the preterm and stillborn babies we mourn.
I never imagined on my worst day that infertility would be part of my story.
The keyword is “part” because this was not the end of the road for me, and it is not the end of the road for your family and friends either.
There is hope. There are answers. There are solutions. Most importantly, you are not alone.
My prayer is that this week will be about empowerment, increased understanding/awareness, and renewed faith.
What do you want to know about infertility?
Let me know in the comments Leave in an orange heart to show your support. -Ebby
Prayer: If you are reading this now and suffer from infertility, I am praying especially hard for you this week. I pray for healing of your mind and body. I pray that God will give you answers to the hard questions. I pray that God will give you guidance. I pray for renewed faith and unfailing hope. I pray that God will give you peace that surpasses all understanding.