Word of the Week

Almost 3 Years Into Motherhood: The Mystery of Infertility

I have been a mother for almost 3 years. Many might say that infertility ancient news for me. That it's in the past. But the thing about it: it never is. It's a mystery.

A while back, I had a scare.

A moment when I thought to myself, "I could be pregnant."

Of course, this sounds foolish.

All our medical reports would call such a pregnancy if it happened a miracle beyond a miracle. (Thanks to 8 years of doctor's visits I know what I am dealing with, really more than anyone should).

But because I'm in the faith business, I have never given up hope.

Not in a longing every day kind of way (that kind of urgency left me years ago). Rather, I am just aware. I don't know how years of ultrasounds and exams wouldn't give you that skill. For the truth is my body is still in that phase of life where pregnancy is not out of the question. I feel both encouraged and taunted by this fact.

And here's where the path gets tricky:

Oh, how folks long to tell the stories. And I listen to them.

You know them. They go like this, "Oh, you know so and so, they adopted and bang they're now pregnant."

"They just needed to relax. Isn't God good?"

But real life is, that while these stories are true for some, they are not always true.

In my journey of sharing my story via the book I wrote, Birthed, I can't tell you how many women (and men) have come up to me with tears in their eyes after a talk saying, "I wish we could have been parents, but it just never happened."

Or, "I always thought we'd have another child. But it wasn't in the cards for us."

Another friend shared with me recently about a similar pregnancy scare, as she hoped for her third child-- a child she knew in her heart needed to be-- only to end in loss and her doctor saying the words "hysterectomy."

Some people never find fulfillment of their particular dreams of parenthood.

And this is REAL LIFE.

There are no amount of cliques that make this reality any better.

So as for me, I sat with some familiar sadness again.

I hated my mind for going there, the "what it would be like if . . ." rabbit trail thoughts that are so easy to get into.

I went back to playing with my miracle child, beaming with joy and so eager to take on life with me as her mom. I counted my blessing that easily could not have been.

And I reminded myself of this bedrock of my faith: life is mystery.

Why do some dreams get fulfilled?

Why do others don't?

Why can't life have an arch of this wonderful thing leading to this?

Why are there so many questions?

I don't know. But just because I don't know, doesn't mean that God isn't present. Or that I might not know one day. Something good beyond all my imagination might be around the corner. Who knows?

And just because I learned these hard lessons once (again see the book Birthed), it doesn't mean I don't have to learn them again.

So I want to say this again today, 3 years after motherhood, infertility is still present.

Not only do you never forget the children that would have been.

But in my case, I know my family isn't complete.

Just because I finally had one child doesn't mean that I can't long for another.

I love being a mom.  It's every bit as wonderful as I imagined it would be.

And I know I can't add to my family in any way that doesn't require a lot of paperwork, time and money. These are all resources of privilege that we do not have right now.

As much as I love the spirit and work of this famous adoptive mom who announced this week that she brought home her second baby, I couldn't help but feel the sting of jealousy.

This is the pain of infertility that goes on. It sneaks up when you are watching the Today Show.

So to all my infertility sisters out there, no matter where you find yourself on the journey:


Not to Motherhood yet.

Longing for more.

Facing new challenges.

Exploring options you never would have dreamed.

Know you aren't alone. And it's ok to feel whatever you feel.

For myself and for you, I cling to the hope of mystery. That all shall be well. All matter of things shall be well.

Even if you wadding deep into mystery right now as you wait on your answer.