Brave Church

How Could I Not?

It's National Pregnancy/ Child Loss Month. And I have been invited to guest blog over at Project Pomegranate for the next several weeks about my experiences and writing #Birthed. Recently I offered this post that I'd like to also share with you today:

Since folks have heard that I wrote a memoir about my struggle with infertility, many ask: “How could you write something so painful, so personal?”

The answer I give is “How could I not?”

When my husband, Kevin and I were in the throes (and I really mean the throes) of our deepest pain of miscarriage and failed fertility treatments in 2009, I searched and searched for resources.

Not being the type of person who liked support groups and avid reader . . .

I looked for comfort in books because I could read books at home without having to go anywhere or talk to anyone about my infertility (and at my privacy was a key at that time). In the books I kept buying (and buying) from Amazon each week, I craved good, honest stories like:

I wanted someone to tell me what it felt like to visit the doctor every single morning at 7:30 am.

I wanted someone to tell me what it felt like hear via email that one of your best friends is pregnant the 3rd time without really trying (sigh).

Or, to find that an IVF cycle didn’t work for the 4th time as savings accounts sat drained.

For, when these things happened to me, I crumbled and crumbled hard. Many weeks I didn’t get out of my pajamas for days and some nights I drank too much too. I felt shame for not being able to cope with the loss appropriately (as if not being able to carry a baby successfully was a failure enough!)

Yet most of the books I read at that time fell into one of two categories (in my opinion).

  1. Let me tell you how bad infertility is—a personal memoir, detailing experiences (not spiritual)
  2. Let me fix your infertility—a self-help journey (and if they were spiritual, then the answers often amounted to a lot of trusting God and praying harder)

To my frustration, neither of these approaches seemed congruent with our experiences.

They left me feeling judged for my choices and often feeling more isolated. While sure, it was nice to find solidarity with those who had walked in similar shoes, I hated getting to the end of the book only feeling like there’d been little to no movement on the part of the author.

I wanted a deeper, more reflective memoir.

I wanted someone to tell me how they found God in the mess of so much loss and so much pain.

I wanted to know how I could move from the angry and obsessive cries of “must have baby now” to “there’s hope for me no matter what.” I wanted to know that God hadn’t forgotten me and was just as loved as my “with child” friends.

So, when I sat down to begin to tell our story in Birthed: Finding Grace Through Infertility (which will be released by Chalice Press on December 6th) . . .

I sought to create the memoir I was looking for but never found: a story of hope, a story of wrestling with God, and a story of moving toward healing even when our journey kept not turning out like we expected.

I can’t wait for you to read it and tell me what you think.

If you live in West Virginia, Oklahoma or North Carolina I am coming to you soon. Visit my schedule page to learn more.

Elizabeth HaganBrave Church