I’ve dreamt of writing this post for a long time. Of experiencing enough healing to share my infertility struggles openly online. And of having hope to share, proof of God’s grace in this difficult area.
Jared and I always talked about starting a family after 2-3 years of marriage. We wanted time to explore life together, and frankly, I thought it would be easy to start when the time came. They always tell you, “don’t have unprotected sex without a contraceptive, or you’ll get pregnant.” Well, they don’t tell you that a healthy couple has about a 20% chance of getting pregnant each month, with most couples conceiving after 6-12 months of trying.
Side note here: The term trying used to gross me out a bit. Like people were telling too much about their sex life. But to couples trying to conceive, trying means much more than intercourse. Temping, tracking, monitoring, taking prenatal vitamins, sperm friendly lube, the list goes on.
After passing the three-year mark of marriage, the disappointment in the first few months of trying was hard to handle. Each month represented a new opportunity … until it didn’t. After 9 months we conceived, only to miscarry our baby at 5 weeks. That was December 2012.
The grieving process was harder to handle than I expected. Mourning not only the loss of our child, but yet another delay of the dream. Hope deferred really does make the heart sick (Proverbs 13:12). We entered the next months holding on to the promise that someday God would entrust us with children to raise. Some months trying, others simply not preventing, as I worked desperately to forget my cycle’s various stages.
Six months of medication worked medically but didn’t result in conception. And then, finally, February 2014, we had peace in the decision to move forward with artificial insemination via an IUI. As many of you know, God blessed us with success and we are now expecting the birth of our baby December 2nd, 2014. Praise God!
But the purpose of this post is far greater than a pregnancy announcement. More than anything, I want to encourage those of you facing your own fertility challenges.
Delayed conception is HARD. I went through all sorts of seasons. Trying to barter with God. Questioning why He withheld children from us. Throwing baby showers while my heart yearned for a baby of our own. But there were also incredible revelations along the way.
Learning to rejoice with those who rejoice.
“Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.” Romans 12:15
During my two years of being a mommy-in-waiting, I’ve had the opportunity to throw, co-host, and attend countless baby showers. God has truly taught me to rejoice with others, even when we’re celebrating gifts I wish God would give me as well. He called out areas of selfishness in my heart and refined my perspectives. I became full of joy at the birth of each child, treasuring the wonder that each parent experienced and knowing that eventually, my time would come.
God’s timing is perfect.
God’s timing is perfect—not just for me, but for my baby. Consider how you met your spouse, landed your job, or connected with your BFF. So many things in life happen based on being in the right/same place at the right/same time. Maybe my child is going to meet their spouse in a class at college, and they wouldn’t meet if I got pregnant a year earlier, putting my baby in a different class or maybe even a different school. God has plans for your baby and His timing for their life, who they will meet, and what they will do, is perfect.
Mothers with temporary infertility in the Bible had extraordinary kids.
I’m not saying kids conceived right away aren’t extraordinary (because they are), but the Bible is full of examples of temporarily barren women who God blesses with children anointed for great things. Hannah had Samuel. Elizabeth had John the Baptist. Rachel had Jacob. Sarah had Isaac. Our children will do mighty things and we have time to pray in gifts, anointing, and blessing while we wait for them.
God is good. All the time.
And all the time, God is good. This season really tested my belief in God’s goodness.
- Truth: children are a blessing from God. (Psalm 127:3-5)
- Truth: God is good and all He does is good. (Psalm 100:5, Romans 8:28)
- Harder truth: in His goodness He withheld our child until the proper time, and the right timing didn’t come until later than I expected.
I don’t know why. But I know it was good of Him to do so. God used this season to solidify my theology with practical application. I learned to prefer His plan over my own. In my mind, conceiving immediately was good. And it would have been, if that’s what God had chosen to bless us with. But God saw it good that our first viable pregnancy came a few years later than I thought. Good as defined by His terms, not mine. He strengthened my trust in Him during the waiting.
There is value to every season.
Would I opt to have things play out differently? Yes! Given the choice I’d rather conceive right away and have a toddler running around my home now. But we found tremendous value in this season as we overcame infertility.
While pregnancy symptoms can be difficult, I rejoice in them because it means I’m pregnant. I have earnestly prayed for my child every day for years before conception. My husband and I sowed seeds of faith and character into the lives of our babies before we’ve ever met, and we’ve had more time to prepare our hearts and minds as parents.
If you’re still on the road to overcoming infertility, I encourage you. God’s promises are real. He is never late. I pray as you read this post that God ministers to your spirit and encourages the dreams of your heart. Whether through unassisted conception, insemination, or adoption, your desire is noble. We serve the God of Psalm 113:9.
“He settles the barren woman in her home as a happy mother of children. Praise the LORD.” Psalm 113:9
Struggling with infertility? Please drop me a line, I’d love to pray for you!