Patrick and I were together for almost four years before getting married, and after moving into our two bedroom duplex, we decided that we would start trying to grow our family from two to three as soon as we tied the knot. Little did we know on that day that we said “I do” three years ago that we were going to be the 1 in 8… 1 in 8 couples that struggle with infertility. I have learned a great deal these past three years and today I would like to share with anyone who’s on or about to step onto the emotional rollercoaster that is infertility the three major lessons my own struggle with infertility has taught me.
Your infertility does not define you.
Infertility has a way of making you believe that you are less of a woman, a failure of a wife, and completely undeserving of love or happiness. It has a way of convincing you that you need to hide your struggle and pretend that everything is okay as though you should be ashamed of your lack of fertility.
But really, what is there to be shamed of? Infertility is not a choice, it’s a disease that often times cannot be explained. You have infertility, it does not have you. You are not your disease. It does not define you.
Infertility is not a punishment.
God lead us to our church through our struggle with infertility, and it is there that I began to see things more clearly. I often thought I had done something to deserve infertility, that I was not worthy of having a baby or starting a family with Patrick; but through many sermons revolving around how God has created each and every one of us with a purpose, I soon came to realize that my infertility was not a punishment at all. Instead, my plans simply were not aligning with God’s plans for me. As frustrating as it may be, we must acknowledge the fact that God’s plan are not always the same as ours, and sometimes that means having to accept the way things are and putting our trust in Him and His grand plan for our lives.
As I’ve seen many times throughout my life, even when I was not a follower, God always has a reason for what He does. His plans for us are far greater than any plans we could ever conceive on our own, and often times the ugly and painful moments in our lives lead us to beautiful blessings when we just surrender and allow Him to work in our lives.
You are not alone.
1 in 8. 1 in 8 couples struggle with infertility, yet so few of us know this statistic until we become 1 in 8. Due to the embarrassment most women feel about their infertility, many stories go untold until someone else shares their story and opens the door for other women to begin sharing. If you’re feeling alone in your battle, just open that door by putting your story out there and suddenly your tribe will find you.
If you’re struggling with infertility, what has been your greatest lesson thus far?
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