Friday, January 25, 2013

To Share or Not to Share

I've been thinking about this a lot lately, this whole business of how, when, and to what extent do we share our struggles with infertility. When we first began recognizing that there was something wrong, we told no one. It all felt too personal, too intimate, and too unclear. People may have guessed, but as far as directly telling friends and family that we were struggling, that came much later.

Things are different now. It may not be the first thing I tell a new acquaintance, but those who love us and are involved in our lives know about our struggle. It is simply part of us. Infertility impacts us daily and affects everything, and so for me, it makes sense for people to know.

But I understand couples who choose not to share. Opening up to others about our struggle makes us feel vulnerable. There were times when I immediately regretted sharing and wished I could take it back. Openness also brings more comments and questions, and on the days when you feel you're barely keeping it together, a question or comment--even if it is kind and loving--can be hard to receive. Being open can in a strange way bring a sense of loss: we lose the opportunity to be "normal" and share a pregnancy like other couples get to do.

For us, though, sharing our struggle has been rewarding and is worth some of the loss and vulnerability that has come. I don't mean that every couple needs to let every person in their life know about their infertility. But having our pastor, leaders at church, family members, and close friends aware and involved is a step toward healing. It also brings more knowledge to those who may not know anything about infertility. They will become people who are much more sensitive to couples who are not able to have a baby, and they may become an encouragement not only to you but to others as well.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

An exciting letter

Last week, we received this letter in the mail:
If you've been wondering what our next steps are, then, the letter says it all! (And it seems I have no shame anymore -- "menses," "birth control," "eggs" -- it's all out there.) We actually had already scheduled our Protocol appointment, and it's coming up soon. If all goes well, we should be having an IVF in March.

A lot has gone on in the last couple of months. Finding out about my DOR condition was difficult, but it also gave us the confirmation we needed to continue with IVF. We thought about having the IVF in January, but I felt too rushed and overwhelmed. I needed a little time to process everything, and I wanted to enjoy Christmas without the stress of medications and doctor's appointments. We used that time to pursue God in prayer, and we know others have been praying on our behalf, as well. We feel peace and excitement about pursuing our IVF this spring! And we're so grateful for the financial gifts we received over the last month. That has relieved a major stressor with this process.

The end of a year and the beginning of a new year always brings a mix of emotions. Without fail, I feel sadness at the end of another year. We of course always hope that "this will be the year" for us. The holidays can be especially difficult, as well. But there is always hope.  The new year brought a freshness in my heart, especially with this exciting adventure just around the corner. I know that no matter what, God has good things in store for our life. And I'm ready for it.