What better time during the year to be filled with hope and gratitude than Christmas!? (Perhaps, Easter?) However, I have been filled with hope, indeed!
I know a post about infertility right after a pregnancy announcement may seem a little insensitive, but I've done a lot of thinking about my experience with infertility. It is my sincere hope that other women find strength in their trials.
For months and months, I wanted to get pregnant. But, because I was breastfeeding Bug, my cycles hadn't returned yet. And consequently, my fertility hadn't returned yet. Then, my body started showing signs of returning fertility. Signs...but not reality. Every time my body began another cycle, I was filled with painful emotion. The flowing blood of menstruation is a physical cleanse. The body dumps the old to make room to try again. A clean slate. Another month to temp and chart and record and plan. Another month for hopes to rise. Yet, every time my body would cleanse itself, my spirit was sullied with grief, anger, jealousy and fear.
I always trusted my body, until it didn't do what I wanted it to do. Or what I though it should do. My body had always done what I wanted it to do, before! Finally, I realized that I had a defect. For all I knew, my body could have been aborting a possible baby every cycle. But that was just it, my body didn't understand to keep it, and it would begin the cleansing process before it even knew whether or not it was necessary.
Day and night, I would suckle my needy toddler, with tears in my eyes. Weaning him could be the answer. But I couldn't do it. I knew he needed to nurse. Would it be right to take something away from the child I have to -maybe- get a child I want? *Note: I still have not weaned Bug. In several months, I will probably do a post on nursing during pregnancy.
That child I already have been blessed with brought other questions forward as well. If I already have a young child, did I have a right to mourn my infertility? Did I have a right to claim infertility? I had been wanting to get pregnant for a whole year! By medical standards, I was infertile. Did breastfeeding change that? Maybe. But it didn't change my desires.
I know that there are probably women that are jealous of me and my one child. And I was jealous of women who are expecting or already have two. Did my one child make my sadness any easier? To a woman who strongly desires a(nother) child, but cannot get pregnant, I think there is little solace.
Many women experiencing "true" infertility may not appreciate the difficulty of the situation I was in, just as I could not fully appreciate their difficulties. But, if I am able to get one point across, I wish it to be known that infertility of ANY kind or duration, is difficult if a woman truly desires to get pregnant.
So, every time I began another cycle, I would swallow my pride. Through my grief, anger, jealousy and fear, I would pray for strength, faith, patience, health and hope.
And sometimes, even if it doesn't seem like it, we have a loving Heavenly Father who is watching over us. He knows our desires. He knows our struggles. And He knows the best way to bless us, and the right time to bless us. In hindsight, our struggles always look easier than what they really were. Heavenly Father knows how difficult things are for us. But if we remember Him always, He will bless us in the most unexpected and marvelous ways!