Friday, January 27, 2012


As I stated in a previous post, the stress of dealing with infertility has put me into a deep depression. Through therapy and some soul searching I have realized some of the reasons that dealing with infertility has been such a challenge for me, and some of the negative feelings that infertility has instilled in me. In is post I want to talk about self esteem in general, and the effect that infertility has had on my self esteem. 

I already had a shaky grip on my self esteem. I think most young women do. Infertility sent my poor self image over the edge. I once said to my therapist that I truly feel like I have failed at everything. About a week ago I said out-loud to myself all  the things that I feel I have failed at. This is what I came up with: 

1)  I am not the skinny, perfect version of myself that the media tells me I should be. 

2)  I am not a successful business woman. In fact, I'm still not sure what career path I want for my life. 

3) I have failed my parents and my husband by letting this depression get the best of me.

4)  I don't have a family.

Then I asked myself, "Are these beliefs true?"

True, I am not physically perfect, but I am okay with that as long as I am healthy and happy. I also think that it is okay for a twenty-four year old to still question what they want for their future. I am still very young. How many people do I know who had it all figured out at my age? I can't name any.

As for the statement that I've failed my family, it is just that. A statement. It is an untrue belief that I have about myself. The fact that I believe it doesn't make it true. I can believe that the sky is green all that I want to, but that doesn't make it true. If you asked my parents or my husband to describe me I think some of these words would pop up: loving, compassionate, honest, smart, funny, and even strong. THAT is how I should view myself. Those who know me best probably have a much more clear view of who I am than I do in my current depressed state. 

I stopped on that last statement and said it again to myself, "I don't have a family." Then it came to me, YES I DO! I may not be a mother, but I DO have a family. My husband and I are a family. We are not a couple waiting to become a family. We already are a family. We also have our two darling fur babies that complete our happy family. While we do long for a child, we are still a happy family. I am now working on redefining my definition of the word family.

Realizing these things have taken a huge load off of my shoulders. I don't have to be perfect. I don't have to have everything figured out. I need to redefine my idea of success as well as family.

How is your self esteem? The view that you have of yourself may not be true. How would those closest to you describe you? Does your idea of success and what makes a family need a rewrite?

P.S. I do intend on writing Faith and Infertility - Part 3 (My Story). I just need the time to be right. It will be a deeply personal post and I'm not ready yet.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Faith and Infertility - Part Two

The biggest question that I have asked through infertility has been, "Why me?" Why can a crackhead get pregnant over and over again and I can't? Why do teenagers have babies all the time but not me? Have I done something wrong? Am I not good enough to deserve a child? 

I think all infertile women and men ask themselves these questions. I can't even begin to answer the question, "Why me?" I honestly have no clue. I also do not understand why crackheads and teenagers have babies all the time that they have no means of caring for (and instead of lovingly placing them for adoption they keep them anyway). As for the questions of, "Have I done something wrong?" or, "Am I not good enough to deserve a child?" I have come to some conclusions.

"Have I done something wrong to deserve this?" In my opinion, the Bible says no. Let's look at a couple women from the Bible who struggled with infertility.

Elizabeth, the mother of John the Baptist. 

Elizabeth was righteous in the sight God and was infertile. Her infertility had nothing to do with her lack of goodness. I venture to guess that maybe her infertility was for a bigger purpose. If Elizabeth and Zechariah had been successful in conceiving earlier in life maybe they would never have had John the Baptist. John was meant to be born at a very specific time and to a very specific set of parents. John prepared people for the coming of Jesus. He baptized Jesus. Perhaps the pain that Elizabeth suffered all those years of childlessness prepared her to love John in the way that he needed to become the amazing man that he was.

In the time of Herod king of Judea there was a priest named Zechariah, who belonged to the priestly division of Abijah; his wife Elizabeth was also a descendant of Aaron. Both of them were righteous in the sight of God, observing all the Lord's commands and decrees blamelessly. But they were childless because Elizabeth was not able to conceive, and they were both very old. (Luke 1:5-7 NIV)

As for the question, "Am I not good enough to deserve a child?" let's look at Sarah.

Sarah, the mother of Isaac.

Oh, how I love Sarah! She is a prime example that God does not withhold fertility because of the mistakes that we have made. God told Abraham that he would give him a son. Sarah didn't believe that it would come from her so she tried to solve the problem her way. She gave her slave, Hagar, to her husband to conceive a child with her. It worked, and of course created a whole host of issues within the family. Sarah screwed up. Still, God told Abraham that Sarah would bear him a son. This was her response:

So Sarah laughed to herself as she thought, "After I am worn out and my lord is old, will I now have this pleasure?" (Genesis 18:12 NIV)

Sarah laughed at God. Still, God blessed her.

Now the Lord was gracious to Sarah as he had said, and the Lord did for Sarah what he had promised. Sarah became pregnant and bore a son to Abraham in his old age, at the very time God had promised him. (Genesis 21:1, 2 NIV)

Sarah made some mistakes. She didn't trust God, she laughed at him, and she prompted her husband to commit adultery. It didn't matter. God wanted her to have Isaac, and she did. God was gracious to Sarah. He loved her. He loves you too, and His love for you has nothing to do with how 'good' you are.

Now I want to present a Biblical story of adoption. The story of Esther.

Esther, adopted by Mordecai.

Esther (Hadassah)  was an orphan. Her uncle took her as his own daughter. He adopted her.

Mordecai had a cousin named Hadassah whom he had brought up because she had neither father nor mother. This young woman, who was also known as Esther, had a lovely figure and was beautiful. Mordecai had taken her as his own daughter when her father and mother died. (Esther 2:7 NIV)

Esther was chosen by king Xerxes of Persia to be his queen. Haman was an advisor to the king. The king gave him way too much power. Using the king's seal, he sent out an edict that named a day of the year in which the Jewish people were to be slaughtered and their goods plundered. 

Mordecai learned of this and got news to Esther. He begged Esther to go to king. The problem with this was that if she went before the king without him beckoning her and he was displeased by it she would be executed. She was scared. When Mordecai heard of her fear he said this:

For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father's family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?" (Esther 4:14 NIV)

Esther went to the king. He was pleased. She invite him and Haman to a banquet. At the banquet she informed King Xerxes of the plot to have her people killed. The king was furious with Haman for issuing this law. He had Haman killed and gave his estate and position to Mordecai. Mordecai sent out an edict informing the Jewish people of what was to happen and giving them permission to assemble, arm, and protect themselves. The Jewish people were saved from genocide. If Mordecai had not adopted Esther the Jewish people might have been ruthlessly slaughtered. Esther was certainly where she was for "such a time as this." She also needed Mordecai, her adoptive father, to help give her the courage to do it

Maybe you have decided that adoption is the right path for you. If so, look closely at the story of Esther. Your child may have been destined to come into your love and care for "such a time as this."


Infertility is not a punishment. You are not infertile because you 'aren't good enough.' Perhaps the child that God has for you needs to be born or adopted at a very specific time so that they an fulfill their God-given destiny. Maybe the painful longing that you feel will give you a love so strong for the child you are given that you will help them become the person that they are meant to be. 

I try my hardest to believe that God is preparing my husband and I to love and treasure our child and give them what they need to become the person that He created them to be. Maybe that is why we are experiencing infertility.

Part Three - My Story, will come soon!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Faith and Infertility - Part One

I have not been super vocal on my blog about my faith for a reason. I want people of all beliefs to be able to read it and relate to it. Today I am going to do something a bit different. I'm going to write about faith and infertility.

I am a Christian, but I hope that most of what I am writing can be encouraging to anyone. Everything I am writing is based on my own personal journey. I do not claim that anything I say is the indisputable word of God or anything like that. 

This is the first part of a three part series. This post is focused on the emotions that accompany infertility. The next will explore the question, "Why?" In the final post of the series I will talk about my own spiritual journey through infertility

I was really hesitant to write a post about my faith. Mainly, because I have questioned so much through my infertility journey. I felt like that made me a 'bad' Christian or thought that God would be angry with me. Quite the opposite is true. John the Baptist doubted. He baptized Jesus and he still doubted. Jesus did not get angry when he questioned him. He calmly reassured him.

When John, who was in prison, heard about the deeds of the Messiah, he sent his disciples to ask him, "Are you the one who is to come, or should we expect someone else?" Jesus replied, "Go back and report to John what you hear and see: The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is proclaimed to the poor. Blessed is anyone who does not stumble on account of me." (Matthew 11:2-6 NIV)

What about anger and bitterness? Are those feelings sinful? Let's look at Hannah. She was infertile. She wept bitterly begging God to give her a child. God did not chastise her for this. He gave her the son that she prayed for.

In her deep anguish Hannah prayed to the Lord, weeping bitterly. (1 Samuel 1:10 NIV)
Early the next morning they arose and worshiped before the Lord and then went back to their home at Ramah. Elkanah made love to his wife Hannah, and the Lord remembered her. (1 Samuel 1:19 NIV)

Anger? Look at Mary, the sister of Lazarus. When Lazarus died she ran to Jesus saying, "If you had been here this wouldn't have happened!" Call me crazy, but I very much doubt that she said this calmly. She probably yelled and maybe even screamed it in her grief. Jesus did not chastise her for this, He was deeply troubled by her sadness and He wept.

When Mary reached the place where Jesus was and saw him, she fell at his feet and said, "Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died." When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come along with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in spirit and troubled. "Where have you laid him?" he asked. "Come and see, Lord," they replied. Jesus wept. (John 11:32-35 NIV)

Anger, doubt, and bitterness. God takes pity on all of it. He also offers comfort.

Though you have made me see troubles,
many and bitter,
you will restore my life again;
from the depths of the earth
you will again bring me up. You will increase my honor
and comfort me once more. (Psalm 71:20, 21 NIV)

More to come...