How To Survive Infertility

infertility

Infertility feels like a deep dark shameful word that we like to keep secret, but infertility does NOT define you.  I know first hand that it can feel like you are all alone in this battle, but according to the 2006-2010 National Survey of Family Growth CDC, 1 in 6 couples have trouble getting pregnant or sustaining a pregnancy.  

  • There is a Way Out of This Dark Tunnel We Call Infertility

My husband and I battled infertility for 6 long years.  Infertility is not just something women go through, it affects our husbands just as much.  In my case, I thought it was all my fault, and I blamed myself.  Then a few years down the road we found out my husband had fertility issues.  This did help take a ton of stress off my shoulders and allowed him to know what I was going through but it also caused him an enormous amount of pain and devastation.  Through our experience, the outcome did not change, it was God’s grace that changed us.  

I would like to share with you how you too can be changed and begin to come out of the dark and into the light again, so that you can feel all of the joy and blessings that are meant for you. 

I dreaded taking pregnancy tests.  I would take at least 3 tests a month, 12 months a year for 6 years.  That’s 216 of these which adds up to $2,000 -$4,000 depending on which kind you buy.  Infertility is not cheap, especially after trying every infertility treatment available, countless Dr. appointments, invasive exams, medications, injections, and countless quantities of pregnancy tests.  I know first hand this journey is devastating, heartbreaking, overwhelming and exhausting, but believe me there is a way out of this dark tunnel.  Whether you conceive or not, there really is a way out, and as a couple you need to get through it together.  Psalm 34:18  The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit. (ESV)

Here are some steps I would like to share in hopes that it may help you along your journey.  I am in the process of writing an e-book on infertility which will be more in-depth in getting through this struggle.

  • Focus On Today and What You Do Have 

It is so easy to get sucked into the pit of hopelessness and despair when all of our focus is on what we do not have.  Infertility can literally suck the life out of you.  It will not work to try not to think about it because you are still thinking about how you are not going to think about ‘IT’.  What you need to do is focus on all the amazing things you do have today at this very moment.  The past is over and we have no idea what the future has in store for us, but we can choose to make this very moment our best moment ever.  Therefore we need to make today the best day ever.  

Do not allow yourself to lose anymore hours, days or years lost in what you do not have.  Instead, be joyful for what you do have, be thankful for everything and everyone you have in your life today.  Psalm 118:24  This is the day the Lord has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it. (ESV)

  • Letting Go Does not Mean Your Life is Over

This is definitely a hard one but this is what changed my life.  There is nothing wrong with trying, but when trying becomes overwhelming, and hopeless and life becomes defined by infertility, it may be time to let go.  If you feel like you have reached the bottom of the pit and there is no way out, this might be the time to consider that God may have another plan for you.  In several infertility support groups I joined, one question I heard often was, “When is it time to let go?”   I know how scary that sounds.  This is one of the scariest question to ask when going through infertility, but the answer can save your life and save your marriage. 

If you have read my blog on How to Have a Lasting Intimate Marriageyou should be enjoying everyday with your spouse and having lots of sexy time.  But when that time is filled with a roller coaster of emotions, it is going to be very hard to enjoy it.  When trying to conceive is specifically timed, that sexy time feels pretty un-sexy and starts to become a chore.  Eventually you lose the romance, the passion and the spontaneity.  At that point are you still enjoying life in the moment?  Are you still making this day the best day ever?  Or are you focusing on what you do not have instead of what is right in front of you?  

When my husband and I made the decision to fully let God lead us, we realized that his plan for us may be completely different from what we thought it should be.  Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.(ESV)  Our lives significantly changed for the better.  We started living in the moment again and started living like this day was all we had.  We finally allowed ourselves to feel the peace of the Lord.  John 14:27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you.  Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.(ESV)

  • Turn Your Pain into Purpose

How do you turn your pain into purpose?  By helping others.  Acts 20:35  In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.”  

Talk to other couples who are going through infertility and help lift them up. Do not take on the identity of an infertile couple, instead take on the identity of being Christ like.  In serving others we not only help them heal, but we begin to heal as well.        

Do not forget that your spouse may be hurting just as much as you are.  They may just not know how to show it.  In my case, my husband was so concerned about my pain he did not want to add to it so he pretended he was fine.  This miscommunication caused me to think he did not care, which could not have been further from the truth.  Ask your spouse if they feel your support.  Ask them if there is anything you can do to ease their pain. Pray with your spouse.  Show your spouse that this moment is what is important.  Show them that he/she is a blessing that you are going to enjoy today and start enjoying them.  

If you have other children, let them know how much of a blessing they are. Teach them to focus on all the blessings they have in this moment.  They too can be confused and hurt as to why the focus is on what you do not have instead of them.  So enjoy every moment you have with them.  Enjoy life again. Proverbs 17:22 A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones. (ESV)

  • Enjoy Your Life and Allow New Doors to Open

There is so much we can enjoy in life, but we need to consciously choose to.  My husband and I enjoy every minute with each other.  We enjoy traveling, spontaneous day trips, having a drink (sometimes several) and talking and laughing for hours and sleeping in late.  Since we let go and let God, so many doors have opened that we never would have expected.  

Some amazing friends of my husband introduced us to a church based organization called  AZ 1.27 .  Their approach is to train local churches on how to best recruit and care for the members of their church who are engaged in the ministry of foster care/adoption.  This is done all through faith training. They prepare and tie together families through a biblical call to this ministry of fostering and adoption.  There are over 20,000 children in Arizona in need of foster care/adoption.  The majority of these children are under 5 yrs of age. I am not saying fostering/adoption is for everyone, but for some it may be.  

What makes you joyful, excited, passionate and moved with compassion? When you discover these things you can set out on your journey to your God-given purpose and start serving others.  You will begin to live again with pure intent, purpose and passion for life.  Romans 12:12  Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.(ESV)

Remember, we are not defined by what we do not have, but by how we make each day the best it can be and by impacting others.  Philippians 2:3-5  Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus (NIV)

Thank you for reading my blog, I hope that this helps you or someone you know in their journey.  One book that I highly recommend because it has helped me so much and has helped so many other women and couples struggling and comes with a personal study guide is called Pain Redeemed: {when our deepest sorrows meet God}.  You can click on this link to learn more about the book or to get your copy today. 

Please feel free to comment or contact me.  I love hearing from my readers!  Blessings to you all.

 

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2 thoughts on “How To Survive Infertility

  1. Great blog! Very inspiring for those of us struggling with all sorts of issues.
    I loved what you said: …turn your pain into purpose by helping others.
    One day I was praying the rosary (a prayer that focuses on different moments in Jesus’ life and that of his mother) when I felt clarity about how to overcome grief.
    I was praying the Hail Mary while meditating on the crucifixion and specifically the words Jesus spoke to his mother from the cross, “Woman, this is your son.”

    Imagine seeing your son this way? Imagine your innocent son being brutally tortured and left for dead hanging from a cross; His body bloody, ravaged and pierced. How would YOU deal with that?

    I, for one, would curl up and want to die! I would take to my bed and never rise again, too devastated and full of self pity at the injustice of it all.

    Jesus knows that. And He knows what we need: to turn our “pain into purpose by helping others.” He gave His mother a purpose: look after your son. Catholics believe in that moment He was referring to all people and that’s how she became our mother as well. What a purpose! We need as much help as we can get! He helped her out of her pain and grief by giving her a purpose of serving others.

    Eva, you are so right! Serving others helps us take the focus off of ourselves and direct it to God and others.

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