Thursday, May 12, 2011

An unsuccessful infertile

The other night we had some new friends over for dinner. They are a couple we have known as acquaintances for quite a while, and when we would greet each other at church we would often say we should get together but never did. The husbands ended up hanging out for quite awhile at a church event recently, and through that discovered a shared bond over our inability to conceive - which led to us having them over for dinner.

The only thing is, they are in the "newly infertile" category. They have been trying for a year, and have done their initial testing which showed no problems so they are "unexplained" at this point. We talked about where they are at in their journey, empathized with them as they vented over the difficulties and frustrations of infertility, and even gave them a whole bunch of vitamins we are no longer taking.

But we did not talk about where DH & I are in our journey. First of all it was too raw and new for me to even talk about. But, really, I didn't want to scare them and show them that you can do all the things you are supposed to do, pray earnestly for years, spend a lot of money, and still come out with no baby at the end. We're the "worst case scenario" they are thinking about, but I wanted to give them encouragement as they begin their infertility journey. Instead, I told them I have talked to a lot of women struggling with infertility, and there is a lot of hope that they WILL conceive. Most people do.

I realized through this that I feel like I have lost my voice in the infertility community. I have read many pregnant/ parenting after infertility (PAIF) blogs where others shared this sentiment - the idea that women still in the trenches of infertility can feel hurt by comments by those who made it to the other side, don't want to read PAIF blogs because it is too painful, or don't feel like they can relate anymore now that the PAIFers are basking in the joy of pregnancy and parenting. For very different reasons, I feel like I am limited in how much I can reach out to those "in the trenches" because I feel like I have a big fat red "F" for failure marking me as one who will not provide encouragement, but will instead remind them of what they have to be scared of. They are scared they will be me one day. I actually think I am worse than those in PAIF land because at least they offer hope that people DO make it to the other side.

This is probably a temporary state. I can imagine that hopefully someday when we are parents through adoption the red "F" will disappear and we will simply be a family that was created a different way - which I think will be a little more hopeful to those in the trenches. But, today, I feel like I am in some limbo land that nobody wants to be in (including me).

And, selfishly, I know they will probably conceive. I want them to conceive, but I honestly don't really want to befriend them as fellow infertiles and then have to watch as they go on to achieve what I could only dream about.

15 comments:

Molly said...

I could see how you might feel that way, but as an infertile still "in the trenches" I am so grateful for the perspective you provide. I have been lurking on your blog for over a year and am so moved by the ways that God is using you and changing you.

Thank you for showing me that it is possible to go on living and breathing after failing to conceive a child. That it doesn't have to ruin marriages or friendships. That becoming bitter and withdrawn is not inevitable. And that, in spite of all the pain, our God is good and He loves us. I'm sure you would much rather have a baby than a stranger's gratitude, but, still, thank you. You are in my prayers.

Melissa G said...

Sending Hugs, friend.

Britney said...

As always, i love your honesty. it resonates.

tanyaslifejourney said...

You are not a failure. God just hasn't revealed His plan for you yet. But He will...In His time and it's gonna be good. Sorry you are hurting right now. Praying for you...

Life Happens said...

You are still an example of faith and following your heart. One day when you look back on this journey, the Lord will make it all clear for you and you will have a better understanding why He chose this path for you.

Holly said...

Wow, what a difficult position to be in. :(

Jessica R said...

Hillary, first - you have been on my heart the past few weeks. Wish I could give you a hug in person.

I think you have an even more important voice in the IF community now. Many people - myself included - tend to lose focus on everything else, including God, when in the trenches of IF. Your voice can be the one to remind them that above all else, they are seeking God and His plan. Your faith has been an absolutely huge example for me as we have gone through this, and I think you can be an inspiration to others who are going through this as well. This might sound like an odd thing to say, but if you were ever (one day in the future, when things are not so raw) to write a book about your experiences, I can already say that I would read it and would buy copies for friends who are experiencing IF because you somehow know how to cling to God through trials that made many of us put Him on the back burner. You can play a really important and meaningful role in the IF community - please don't underestimate what you have to say, because I think it has a ton of value. ,

Indy said...

You can't imagine how much joy I felt reading that you and your hubby are waiting to adopt. It's been a while since I've caught up with your posts but this is definitely good news.

I am praying for your heart...may the Lord give you peace and contentment with what He has called you to do and use you for His glory.

Indy said...

P.S. - You are not the "worst case" scenario...God has greater plans for you that He is slowly unraveling before your eyes.

Amber said...

I couldn't disagree more. I think your story is even more important to say aloud so that others in your shoes know they aren't alone. It's easy to be the lucky one who had a baby, and yeah, maybe it gives others hope. But your story has such strength and is so honest. The way you've handled things is admirable. And you will be a wonderful mom, no matter how it happens.

Annastiina said...

Thank you for your honesty. I recently found your blog, and have been reading it ever since. I know so well what you are going through, after 7 years of trying, treatments and many many dissapointments we have decided to stop. I know so well your feelings about being the "worst case scenario", because the truth is that MOST couples eventually get their baby, but me and my husband have to face the fact that we are in that little percentage that don´t. I´m sorry for you and your husband, but it comforts me to read thoughts of some one who is dealing with the same situation as I am. I´m from Finland, and haven´t found a single blog about the situation I´m in now. Of course I could write, but I don´t have the words, it feels. Thank you for sharing, and all the best to you and your husband.
Anna

aliciamarie911 said...

I love how honest you are. It is refreshing to hear. A lot of people try to mask their emotions and we are not allowed to see how they really feel, but by this post it seems that you are not that way. That's a great thing. I'm sorry that you're feeling as if you're in limbo. :(

The Swann's said...

First, I just want to give you the biggest hug ever! My heart aches for you.

You write with such rawness. Such openness. It's beautiful yet heart wrenching.

I think of you often and pray for you even more. I do not know what to say other than God will continue to guide you and I pray for peace beyond all understanding be granted upon you.

NLY said...

I totally feel the same way, infertile amongst the infertiles. I also have a friend who is just starting her IF journey. I feel jaded in the "help" I am offering her because look where I ended up.....I have no hope to offer, only that since she is not me, statistically her chances are already improved :)

Anonymous said...

I am still praying for you. May God give you the desire of your heart. I can't even imagine how hard this is for you. God Bless you! Thank you for being so real and honest. I know you are not alone!