I’ve always been hesitant to post about our infertility on my blog, careful not to go too deep or share too much when I do mention it. It’s an extremely personal journey — one that we’re still in the throes of coping with and that for the most part, I prefer to keep private.
But the more glimpses of my experience I share, the more women reach out to me saying “me too” and “I feel so alone.” I remember the bloggers I followed early in our infertility journey (s/o to The Road Home!) and how much reading about their lives helped me through difficult times, so going forward I’m going to share a bit more.
Some days I’m my own greatest enemy as an infertile woman. I tell myself lies that wound my confidence and create turmoil in my heart. I’m grateful to have a support system that squashes these lies more quickly than I can think them, but I know not everyone is so lucky. Below are 3 common lies infertile people tell themselves and some thoughts I use to punch those lies in the face.
We aren’t getting pregnant because we’d be terrible parents.
If you watch the news, you’ve observed parents who abuse and even murder their children, yet you still find yourself questioning whether or not God is withholding this gift from you because you would be bad parents. Having the capacity to be a good parent is not a prerequisite for getting pregnant!
Maybe there are ways the Lord is preparing your heart for children while you wait, but that doesn’t mean you are waiting because you aren’t going to be good parents.
A book I’ve been reading about adoption, Labor of the Heart, talks about using the time you’re waiting to grow your family to prepare yourself to be the best parent you can be. Learn coping techniques for the big emotions you feel and address unresolved issues so you can be the healthiest parent possible. Big, tragic events are likely to come up again in the course of your life. After successfully coping with infertility, you’ll be more equipped to model how to process them in a healthy way for your kids.
“Have patience with all things but first with yourself. Never confuse your mistakes with your value as a human being. You are perfectly valuable, creative, worthwhile person simply because you exist. And no amount of triumphs or tribulations can ever change that.”
― Saint Frances de Sales
My spouse would be better off if he or she married someone else.
Maybe you noticed via social media that your spouse’s ex has 3 kids. You feel inadequate and wonder if your spouse would have all the kids he or she wanted if they had married anyone but you. Friends, this lie comes straight from the devil! Marriage is a good and holy relationship that shows the world Christ’s love and the devil will stop at nothing to try to tear down the love you’ve built. If your spouse wanted to be with an ex, he or she never would have married you. Your spouse chose YOU.
The Lord knew you would experience infertility and he brought you and your spouse together anyway. Regardless of whether you have male or female factor infertility or both, you are infertile together as a couple. Operate accordingly and be vigilant about strengthening and protecting your marriage.
“It’s hard to be happy when someone is mean to you all the time. Be nice to yourself.”
Parents are in an exclusive club, and I’m not welcome.
Most of my friends have children, and it’s tough not to feel left out when conversations revolve around their kids. Even when meeting new people, ‘Do you have kids?’ is one of the first questions people bond over. In these moments, I remind myself that I’m *feeling* left out, but I’m not *being* left out. 99% of the time, the unwelcomeness I feel is not coming from my friends, but from my own insecurities and sadness about not being a parent.
Maybe you can’t contribute anything meaningful to discussion about birth, pregnancy, staying up all night with a sick kid, etc. But you can be a good listener. You can excuse yourself from the conversation when you’re feeling upset. You can be honest about how you’re feeling and change the subject. You can babysit. You can help a parent who is struggling to make it through the week by volunteering to do the dishes or laundry. You can host fun night out to give them a reason to get a babysitter and relax.
Bottom line: If they’re good friends, you can maintain these friendships and it’s worth it.
“There is nothing on this earth more to be prized than true friendship.”
– St. Thomas Aquinas
I could’ve written 20 lies, but dinner isn’t going to make itself. 😉 What are some other lies you’ve told yourself about infertility and how do you overcome them?