Sunday, September 4, 2011

Infertility Questions

Last month I posted these questions about infertility. I would love it if a few more of you would consider answering them and sending them to me or Rebekah. I said I would share my answers....

1. Did you share your infertility struggle with your family members? How did they react? What did they say?

Because we announced our first pregnancy to our family, they were aware of our miscarriage and the following years of trying to conceive again. They were very supportive, although I don't think anyone can truly understand the difficulty and pain related to infertility unless you've walked the journey yourself. They didn't always know what to say and we didn't necessarily know what we needed or wanted them to say. I am very glad we did not keep it private - that would have been incredibly difficult.

2. How did it affect your family and friend relationships?

It was tough at times when family members and friends announced their pregnancies. Sometimes I cried for days over an announcement. It definitely led to some tense and awkward moments. I am so glad looking back that I didn’t do anything to permanently ruin those relationships. Some pregnancy announcements are still hard for me when people talk about planning exactly when to get pregnant so their children are spaced apart just right and they don’t have to be pregnant during summer or deliver around Christmas. That's just not a luxury we had so it's a sensitive spot.

3. Did anyone ever tell you to "just relax and it will happen"?

Yes people did tell me that. It’s terrible advice for a number of reasons, but it usually comes from a place of naivety. Someone who has walked the road of loss or waiting to conceive, would never utter those words. So that’s when we have to remind ourselves of that and extend grace. And you know what? When I didn’t have a job and was enjoying summer and remodeling our new home, I got pregnant and lost the baby. When I was stressed out with a newborn, short on sleep, trying to finish up the adoption paperwork and try to figure out how to be a mom, I got pregnant and had a healthy pregnancy. It’s not about relaxing…it’s about God’s timing and God's perfect plan (whether that's biological or adopted children).

4. Are there any specific reactions from others that have stuck in your mind? What was the best thing anyone every told you? What was the worst?

Someone said, “You’ll get pregnant again soon.” I have never forgotten that comment because I remember thinking, “how do you know that?” Unless God has directly told you that, don’t say something you can’t be sure of. I remember my aunt saying to me at our family Christmas get together in January one year: “I am sorry for your pain.” She looked me straight in the eyes when she said it and I burst into tears. That’s what I needed and wanted to hear: someone acknowledging my pain as we waited.

5. How did your infertility struggle affect your marriage relationship? How did it impact your sex life and intimacy with your husband?

It was very hard for my husband to not be able to make this better for me and it was difficult to see me hurting so bad and not be able to fix it. But it drew us closer. We didn’t fight about it. Instead we grieved the loss of the family we were longing for. While my husband enjoyed the frequency of intimacy as we strived to conceive, there is added stress when we are trying to time it just right. There were months when he traveled a lot and we had one shot otherwise we had to wait until next month. Monthly cycles don’t care if we are tired, busy, crabby, etc.

6. In what ways has your faith been impacted?

I questioned God. I doubted him. I wondered if he heard me. It was my darkest days. Both the years of waiting and the moments when I lost my babies. I wondered how a God who created the Heavens couldn’t create a healthy baby to grow in my womb. I knew he could, but he had chosen not to and that hurt. It hurt that in the blink of an eye he could help me conceive and yet he was choosing not to. I learned that he was able, but he was saying no. And that reality was a very painful one. God also showed me during this time and it wasn’t about getting answers. It wasn’t about knowing why. It was about trusting him and believing he was in control and had something beautiful in store for my family. Sometimes I cried out daily to Him and other times I didn’t pray because I didn’t know what to pray. God understood my heart and my pain.

7. How did you learn to discern the Lord's Will in the midst of everything?

We had a lot of people praying for us and we petitioned the Lord faithfully for answers and for guidance. When our testing came back that everything was fine, we felt deep in our hearts that God was calling us to wait on Him. I read an article in a Infertility support newsletter (Stepping Stones) that I shared with our family so they could understand the path we had chosen – to wait. I believe God led me to that article which affirmed the feeling we had to wait on God and not pursue further medical treatment. When people talk about that still, small voice...that’s exactly the voice we heard.

8. What types of fertility treatment have you sought out? Were they of any help to you? Please elaborate.

I had a hysterosalpingogram and found my tubes were open. Ryan was tested for sperm count. We talked with our doctor about Clomid and IUI. I had gotten pregnant once and we didn’t believe I had a problem ovulating so we decided not to pursue any other tests/treatments. I did pursue natural, holistic treatment from two chiropractors. I used herbal supplements and got regular adjustments. I changed my diet to eat more healthy and address some imbalances in my hormone levels.

9. What was the most frustrating part of your entire infertility struggle (aside from not achieving)?

The waiting and not understand why it was happening. I was diagnosed with unexplained infertility so there was nothing to fix. No surgery. No medication. Nothing to do but wait on God each month. I almost wanted there to be something wrong so we could put our efforts into fixing it. But that’s not what God had in mind for us.

10. And perhaps, if he wouldn't mind, does your husband have any advice or insight from the husband perspective? Is there anything that he would like other husbands to know about struggling with infertility?

I have not asked my husband....


"His Perfect Timing" said...

You have such good answers! I also did this interview. I hope Rebekah's research and our answers can help someone in the future.

Wendi Kitsteiner said...

I am way behind the game, but can you tell me how to PM Rebekah with my answers?