A Letter to the Woman Who Just Received an Infertility Diagnosis
To the woman who just received an infertility diagnosis,
I am so sorry. So very sorry. I still remember how crushing it was 5 years ago for me. Not just one phone call with test results, but call after call. Devastating. Heartbreaking. Confusing. Whether you saw it coming or not, it’s hard. Give yourself grace to grieve and know that you have every reason to be upset and hurt.
Whether you waited years before meeting with a doctor or got diagnosed after one year of trying and whether you talked with your regular family doctor or already met with the reproductive endocrinologist, the initial news will leave you frustrated and discouraged. Please know that you aren’t alone. 1 in 8 couples have also received the same diagnosis as you; infertility. Women all over the world have been and currently are in your shoes.
And so your journey is just beginning. My advice to you? Breathe. Before settling into complete panic and giving up on your hopes and dreams, know that you have every reason to be full of hope. Don’t jump to conclusions, but instead take some time to process first. Know that you will be okay and that you will get through this. If you haven’t already, start praying. After taking some time to process, if you feel led to take the next steps whether a natural approach, treatments, adoptions or whatever path you feel led to take, make the decision that is best for your husband and yourself, even if that means disappointing your friends, family and doctor. What is most important on this journey is that you take care of yourself and that you continue to make your marriage a priority, instead of putting it on hold. I can say with confidence that life still goes on in the waiting, even though it might feel like it came to a screeching halt.
I don’t know what the doctors told you and frankly, I don’t need to know, but I do know how overwhelming the options given can be. From what I have heard, more often than not, the doctor tells every couple that the only way they will become parents is by doing medical treatments. While there is nothing wrong with that option, know that it’s not the only option for you and the doctors don’t have the final say, God does. I hate that there is a high chance your doctor used some of those heartbreaking statements like “you are past childbearing age” or “you are running out of time.” I wouldn’t be surprised if he told you your odds of ever being a mother, too. While it’s important to listen to your doctor, please know that it’s important that you feel comfortable with the next steps and advocate for yourself, too.
Don’t isolate yourself. Tell you family. Tell your friends. Look for a support group. Meet with a counselor. Confide in those at church. Whatever you do, don’t walk this journey alone, because you weren’t meant to. As comments come your way telling you to “just relax” or “take a vacation” brush them off. Don’t surround yourself with negative people, instead choose those friends who will listen to you and encourage you, even if it’s not something they can understand. And, don’t expect everyone to understand, because most won’t.
You get to choose your attitude on this journey. I can say from experience that it’s much better to enjoy this season. Choose joy. Choose hope. Choose peace. Don’t let your diagnosis define who you are, because you are NOT infertility. You are much more than that. You have no reason to feel ashamed. You aren’t broken. You aren’t a failure. You aren’t any less of a woman. You are strong and brave and most importantly, you are a child of God!
Remember not to torture yourself over certain diets or ways of living. It’s not you that will make the baby, it’s God. You can’t earn it and working hard won’t bring your baby either. Surrender control to God and let him do what he loves to do – create life out of dead and hopeless looking situations. Know that first and foremost he wants you to trust him.
You will constantly be surrounded by babies, but don’t let bitterness overtake you. Remember, babies are a beautiful, God-given desire of your heart! Each and every one is a miracle. Choose to speak blessings over others and yourself. Celebrate those around you and when it’s your turn, you will be celebrated too. Don’t let division come between you and those who didn’t have to wait.
Even though you are just beginning your journey, there will be an end to it. It might be 1 year and it might be 10, but know that God is in the waiting. Don’t give up. Although I don’t know myself, I have been told that once you get to hold your babies, you will realize that they were worth every day you had to wait so know that your tears and your pain will be redeemed. Know that more than anything, from me to you, I hope that your wait ends as quickly as it might have started and that sooner rather than later, you are holding your babies in your arms.
My Prior Letters:
PS. Looking for support during your journey? Join Moms in the Making
PPS. Have you purchased a copy of #induetimedevotional yet?