Today's blog is one I have debated writing for so many reasons. It's a real life, painful one to write... sharing this makes me feel very vulnerable. I have always been a writer. I kept journals my entire childhood and through most of my teenage years but then when things got too rough, I would stop and never pick it up again. But I am a thinker, a talker, a writer. I share my feelings and life with everybody because I love conversation and often need to process things by talking it all out. But this blog is different and even as I type this write down... part of me once to delete the whole thing and keep quiet. I have chosen to share a little bit of this journey with you because I feel I should. I feel like there are many stories just like mine, many who feel they can't talk about it because its awkward and embarrassing. It's not, and it's okay to talk about- but it's also okay to not, if you aren't comfortable with that. This blog is comprised of some journal entries from the past few months all jumbled up into this blog.
It's October 22nd 2018, my 26th birthday! WOW! For some reason that sounds so odd to say out loud... I don't feel 26 and I don't feel like an adult yet haha! There were days when I was 12 or 13 that I wanted nothing more than to fast forward to my twenties... I just wanted to be an adult, married with children! It's funny now to have thought it was going to be easier.
But I am sitting here on my sofa feeling overwhelmed with anatomy and physiology studying and overwhelmed with loss that I have not yet had yet... confused? Let me explain... I grew up like many others, longing to be a Mama... my dream professions came and went but being a Mama was not something I ever had doubts about. I couldn't wait to get married and have babies. I had it all planned out in my head... Married by 20, pregnant by 21. But then I met my wonderful Peter... My sweet, God-fearing, wife loving, strong, fabulous Peter who changed my world for the better! Together he helped me find my way back to God and strengthened me in so many ways the years we dated. I had never dated someone like him and I only wish I had met him even sooner than 17. Once we got married we decided we wanted to travel a little more and just enjoy and 'learn' each other better before starting a family so like many we decided to be very careful as we didn't want anything to come in between our 'us' time. It's also very funny to me how much effort we spend on trying to prevent and then when it comes time to 'try', it feels impossible.
Anyway, we decided to wait a few years- so glad we did that!! I was 21 when we got married and we both had a lot of immaturity still and a lot of learning to do. I wanted a baby from the start but also wanted to wait until we had enjoyed our own time together first. But when it came time to try... our plans failed.
Fast forward to today... my birthday. 26 and childless. I know many are older than that when they had their first, I know some are younger. I also know some have waited sooooo much longer than us for a baby and some less. This is simply our story, my feelings, my heart. I thought I'd have been a Mummy, doing the Mummy things, attending fun weddings with my baby, exploring Ireland with my baby. So... many... things... missed. But unfortunately that did not happen and here we are waiting for our miracle. People constantly ask us when we are going to start having children... and there's nothing more uncomfortable to be asked for those who are struggling with infertility... so a reminder to perhaps not use that line. Some couples choose to not have kids and that's absolutely okay, but some simply cannot and some have a long road to get there.
As I said, I am a very talkative person, I share a lot of myself with others. That's just me, but it's been such a strange journey because for the first time in my life I have such a hard time talking about this. It is one of the very few things that makes me feel so awkward when talking about it- I am usually fine to chat anything and everything ha. I feel unworthy, broken and so far away from the hope of a sweet baby. Infertility is such a long road with more downs than there are ups, it feels unending and is so so hard guys. From the tests, procedures, medicine, blood work, ultrasounds etc to the financial fears it all brings. Nothing about infertility feels normal or comfortable. The tests and procedures are uncomfortable and painful at times, the medicine is scary and has side effects. But it's my birthday and I can't help but keep thinking and wondering if I will ever meet our own baby.
Infertility is also such a hard journey to walk through because it affects every single aspect of life. Friends and family getting pregnant, sometimes so easily- I really have been trying to be joyful for them and be glad they get this awesome gift of Motherhood... but it's hard and if you have ever walked this journey or are currently in it- you know what I mean. It breaks my heart when Mothers complain about this gift they get, when they are so negative. I don't doubt it's difficult but what an incredible gift God has given you- be thankful and ask for help when you need it. :) I am not trying to sound harsh- just honest and trying to put it all out there.
Infertility is hard because nobody can say the right thing and I understand that's hard for others not on this journey. If you know someone going through this, don't keep telling them "it will happen", "just be patient and relax" etc. I know you all try to be helpful and hopeful but to a woman longing for Motherhood who has tried many things and been waiting so long, it doesn't help... at all. Instead, wish your friend the best and tell her you hope this month will be the month, be there for them and know you don't always need to say something. Just check in on them and see how they are at times because this is such a lonely journey which is strange because of how many go through it. Whether it's a miscarriage or infertility, it's an unbelievably personal and lonely walk. The kind where you can feel so alone in a room with tons of family and friends, the lonely that finds you after a long day at work and haunts you with 'what if's', the kind that make you feel so inadequate. I have been struggling so much lately because I am a talker but lately it's felt so difficult because it's been a huge part of Peter and I's life... how do we not talk about it?! Even though we don't often want to talk about it because it makes everything real and raw. We don't like real and raw do we? We'd rather keep things light and sweet- but that's not life all the time.
We had our first appointment with a new doctor last Friday and it's funny how finding the right doctor can change things. She was so sweet, kind and listened well. She explained our options and it really was a good visit. But it was also so intense. Officially seeing a specialist just makes it all feel even more real... we already had tests and procedures done but this felt different. Not sure if it was just my usual overthinking or if others felt that! We are hopeful yet anxious. We have held onto hope each month since last July and every month comes with disappointment and confusion why my body isn't doing what it was literally created to do.
With hard seasons come growth and new life! We have been learning to hold fast and keep our eyes on Jesus through this pain. Praying every day that he will make my body able to conceive and carry a healthy baby. Each day is a new start and an opportunity for us to refocus our eyes on Jesus and I love that because that's how we are getting through this time... one day at a time. Enough friendship each week to keep us going, enough God to help us through. So even though my life is not the way I thought it would look, I am grateful for how God is continually shaping me and my dreams. I am closer to nursing school, barely but a step in the right direction, Peter and I have become so much closer to each other and God. I have developed a really good friendship out of this journey etc. I hope that someday we can have our baby... but for now, in the waiting I will give praise to the Lord because he is STILL GOOD... in the waiting.
Don't let this journey define who you are, let it shape you into a better person but don't let it define you. You are worth, you are loved, you are cherished, you are a treasure regardless of whether or not you have children. Two songs I have been loving through this journey are 'Take Courage' and 'You Say'. I will share them below so you can have a listen but also want to share the lyrics to 'take courage' because they are so powerful and I want to leave it with you.
Thank you world... for letting me share such a personal, special thing. Love to you all xo
"Take courage my heart
Stay steadfast my soul
He's in the waiting
He's in the waiting
Hold onto your hope
As your triumph unfolds
He's never failing
He's never failing
Sing praise my soul
Find strength in joy
Let His Words lead you on
Do not forget
His great faithfulness
He'll finish all He's begun"