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March 17, 2015

Warning: This Might be Too Much for You to Handle

Culture has this way of saying that things can be too personal to share. TMI... too much information, if you will. TMI leads me to where I am now. When it is "appropriate" to keep experiences private to meet cultural expectations, we tell others that their feelings, their experiences, their pain can't be shared. It's no wonder our society includes so many individuals suffering from depression. Holding everything inside is painful and extremely lonely.

This post won't conform to those standards.

If you don't want to confront the dark and ugly parts of life, stop reading now. I mean it. This is about to get really personal.

I have been struggling emotionally regarding a medical situation that happened in December and our journey of trying to conceive another child. Timothy and I began trying for Baby #2 a while ago (details not important). I went to the doctor in November to seek advice and to get medicine to help jump start my menstrual cycle, which was still was absent since Levi's birth. I was given a three-month supply of progesterone to help regulate it. In December, I had a really nasty period. (Again, details aren't important). One week before this period, I had a questionable pregnancy test. Ironically, the signs of a miscarriage and the first postpartum period are identical. When I mentioned my concerns to my doctor, I was dismissed.

So, Baby #2 could have already been part of our family, even if only briefly. But I will never know. The only way to medically distinguish what happened in December would have been to test the hormone levels in my blood or to test some of the tissue. Since my doctor didn't think that it was a concern, it wasn't done. So I will never know. And that was (and is) still really hard for me to accept. I don't know how to process what happened, to make sense of it, to know how to feel.

Since December, I have read several negative pregnancy tests. Timothy and I have become discouraged. Levi was our happy accident. Proof that once is all it takes. We weren't expecting this journey while trying for Baby #2. It's gotten harder as we've celebrated with friends who are expecting new babies in their families.

While I am walking this journey of infertility, I have fielded several questions of when will we be welcoming the next child to our family. I never know how to respond. These questions, which are asked from the kindest intentions, cut my soul to pieces. Usually I say "We'll see" or stumble for an answer. It would be TMI for me to say "I don't know. We have been trying for a while." Infertility is not a culturally acceptable topic, especially to those kind people who are just trying to make conversation. It's an issue to look past.

And it's not like you could know what is going on with me. When you see me, I smile. I chit-chat about random things. I don't let on that anything is wrong. I don't look sick. I simply look like a young mom of a toddler. Maybe I'm a little tired and a little sticky. Maybe there's jelly in my hair and dirt on my shirt. That way you know it's been one of "those days" at home. Nothing appears out of the ordinary.

I don't blame anyone for what has happened. I don't hold grudges. I haven't sunk into a depression because of my circumstances. But my heart is heavy. I am grieving for the unknowns in my life. I rejoice with you when you are happy, even though I hurt. But the next time you see me, I would appreciate a hug. I wish it was a little more culturally acceptable for women to say: "I am dealing with infertility and it sucks."

1 comment:

  1. Thank you so much for sharing this, My own mother went through years of infertility. This is helping me understand her so much more, How do you suggest that people ( Like myself) Who really do not understand anything about the emotional and physical grief this causes help?

    ReplyDelete

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