Awareness

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Part 1

Part 2

We are so thankful that after all we went through the doctors have confirmed that I do not have PCOS.  But going through that whole process was definitely emotional.

I thought about how embarrassing it would be to continually be un-pregnant…especially as I know several people are expecting us to have a honeymoon baby.  I thought about what people would think about us if we went one, two…three years without getting pregnant.  I thought about watching others getting pregnant when I could not.  I watched the sweet Awana Cubbies and my heart ached as I longed to see such joy and delight on the faces of our own children.  I felt like it would be so unfair to my wonderful husband…he chose one person for life..he chose me…and perhaps I may not be able to give him a family. My body physically ached when I longed to feel a baby…our baby…growing and moving inside me.  I so wanted to have a little one that was an expression of the love and relationship I have with my husband….and I wanted to see what a perfect blend of Michael and I would look like in our baby.  I knew that most people wouldn’t understand, because most people don’t experience infertility.

I have two sweet friends with PCOS.  My two dear sisters both recently suffered miscarriages.  My cousin is also going through an “uncertain stage” as they are looking into possible infertility.

I thought about all the people I don’t even know who struggle with infertility.  I thought about our friend who recently lost their 7 month old son.

Heartache, pain, longing, desire, embarrassment, discouragement, depression, jealousy…so many emotions a person facing infertility or the loss of a child can experience.

Even though, as far as we know, I do not have fertility issues…over the past several months I have experienced a small taste of it.

Most people have no idea.

Most people….can get pregnant pretty quickly when they are not actively trying to prevent it.

Most people….can even get pregnant because of “accidents.”

Most people…when they find out they are pregnant, carry their baby full term and deliver a healthy baby.

Most people…do not fully understand the miracle of getting pregnant, or having a baby.

Most people…take their children’s lives and milestones for granted.

And then there are countless teenage girls who get pregnant…and choose to have their baby killed.  That boggles my mind.  That hurts my heart.  As I was crying and aching while waiting to see what God had for us…desperately desiring to be a mother….there were mothers who had a gift and a miracle…and they chose to get rid of it.

I guess I would just say a few things……

  1. If you are pregnant, or have already had children, don’t take your pregnancy or baby or child/ren for granted.  There are women who would give almost anything to be in your shoes.
  2. Be aware of those around you.  Did you know that April is National Infertility Awareness Month?  Did you know that October 15 is National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day?  Be sensitive, kind, and loving to those you know who are going through these things.  These women are not alone and they are not forgotten.  Babies that are lost are not forgotten.  I know.  I have two nieces/nephews with Jesus right now.  They are still loved and still in our hearts.
  3. Even with everything I’ve said in this series of posts…don’t assume that every woman going through infertility or pregnancy/infant loss is an emotional mess.  I definitely had an emotional time of it at the beginning.  I think that most women going through these things would for sure.  But these are also very strong women.  Not every woman is called to live with such strength, trust, and grace as is required from women going through these things.
  4. Don’t expect or ask them to get over their grief.  In the case of a miscarriage…we are talking about their child that is gone.  Their precious baby that they already loved.  In the case of infertility/possible infertility…we are talking about month after month reminders that they are unable to conceive a precious child.  In both cases…there is definitely a process.  And you never truly “get over” these things.
  5. Be careful with your comments.  So many people who are honestly well-meaning can say some very insensitive things.  In general, please stay away from, “You’re still young.”  “You’ll have another.”  “You don’t know for sure….don’t worry about it.” “You can always adopt.”  “Well, at least he wasn’t born yet, so you didn’t get too attached.”  Yes, people really say things like that.  Crazy, I know.  Or, what is sometimes worse…they ignore the situation.  Obviously, all women are different in how they cope emotionally…but when it comes down to it…just be there for the woman or couple you are talking to.  Be there in their situation.  Don’t try to come up with some sage advice, especially if you have no experience of what they are going through.  Don’t attempt to “console” with one of these comments in an attempt to open their eyes and bring them out of their grief.  Maybe you just need to be quiet, give a hug, shed a tear, and/or just say a genuine “I’m sorry.”  Be there for the person you are trying to comfort.
  6. Don’t compare.  Yes, there might be a woman who miscarried later in the pregnancy.  Or a woman who has been trying longer to get pregnant.  Or a whole host of other situations.  But that doesn’t minimize the real-life situation of the woman you are currently talking to.
  7. After drafting most of this post, I saw a link my sister posted on Facebook.  This article is very informative.  If you know anyone who has gone through a miscarriage, infant loss, or fertility issues, definitely read this.  There are more words/questions to stay away from…as well as a host of ideas of what you can do.  Several of them resonated with me.

Babies are such a precious, precious gift from God.  I have learned so much during the past couple of years.  I have learned about trust, peace, joy, contentment, surrender, and rejoicing with others.  I have shared a brief snippet of that in these three posts.  I have opened up here in blog land and shared some very personal things.

Please just take away from this a joy for your life…a trust in where God has you right now…and a deep deep love for the miracle of a baby.

-Bonnie

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9 thoughts on “Awareness

  1. I appreciated reading this, Bonnie. It is just not a topic I have had to face much. My own little guy was not a purposeful pregnancy and as excited as I was, I wasn’t sure I was ready to be a mommy quite yet. Of course I am so thankful for him now, and he has completely changed my perspective about children (not that I was at all against, or even indifferent to them before.) I have a better grasp of what the pain would be like when I think what life would be like without Miles. I cannot imagine.
    My sister-in-law miscarried for the 4th time the day after we brought Miles home from the hospital. She asked to come over and hold him as she tried to cope. I had been around for her last two miscarriages but this time I couldn’t stop the tears as I imagined what it must be like. I was thankful we could help in just that little way. It was so amazing to see our little son giving the love and comfort of God even at 4 days old. I am so thankful that I am more aware of the struggle of so many women and I wish there was more I could do to be an encouragement.

  2. Wow, thank you for sharing this! I am one of those people that has had each pregnancy result from an “accident.” Sometimes, I will admit that I resent getting pregnant so easy. Not that I don’t think children are a blessing or anything, but it is me wanting to control when it happens and such. After reading this, I feel so convicted over my downright selfishness! I love my daughter and love the little one that is growing inside me right now. I can’t imagine the agony of possibly not being able to have had a baby or much less experience pregnancy. I also love how you wove the pro-life message into your post in such a beautiful way! Anyways, once again, thank you for sharing.

  3. Thank for writing all of that, Bonnie Nicole. It speaks to the exact feelings many of us have felt while dealing with the possibility of infertility or things such as miscarriage. I appreciate your honesty and transparency tremendously! I just want to again tell you how much I love you, how thankful I am to be of support for you and have you as support for me during this time in our lives, and that I am continually praying for you and Michael!! May God continue to bless you both and give you peace that passes understanding.

  4. Hi Bonnie. Truely I don’t know what to say, and I don’t want to say anything wrong. Your words made me think about the great gift of life. My life, the life of my wife Elaine, our friends (of which you are one) and of course our two wonderful daughters. I hope that I do appreciate all these lives as much as I should, each and everyone is a wonderful gift from God.

  5. Thank you for sharing Bonnie! This very well sums up many of my emotions and thoughts over the past 2 years… and I would hope that no one ever had to go through this! I love your honestly that you were at peace with cancer but PCOS terrified you! Im sorry that you went through this, but how interesting that He has put so many people in your life with these “thorns in the flesh” that you may may be rom 12:15 for them and truely understand!

    I remember both before Emmeline and before this pregnancy having a complete breakdown… we were in the attic organizing boxes and John said “where should we store the maternity clothes?” and I said “somewhere far away im sure I wont need them” and burst into tears… it is a rough road for sure… and yo are SO right about choosing your words! Even kind words and Bible verses can be hard to hear… yes, God know what is best, I believe that and know it as truth, that does not mean that it is not hard!

    I would say to anyone that has friends who are going through infertility or miscarriage to hide this verse in their heart; this is what your friends need when they are hurting:
    Romans 12:15 New King James Version (NKJV)
    15 Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep.

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  7. Thank you all so much for your comments. I am truly blown away by you all. These posts sat in our drafts folder for about three weeks as I debated whether or not to post them. Thank you for your kind words and encouragement. It has been an interesting journey, but I hope that our story can be used by God in the lives of others.

    Anastasia, you are so right! Romans 12:15 is a perfect verse. That is something God has been working in my life and I pray that it will not be a lesson quickly forgotten. I desire my life to be that for others! Thank you for sharing a bit of your story. I can’t wait to meet your new little one!

    -Bonnie

  8. Beautiful post, Bonnie. I have friends who’ve had miscarriages and struggled with infertility and I know that as a friend, it’s hard to know what to say to them. My husband and I fall into that category of people who can have children without trying – we didn’t plan either of our daughters – but I am constantly reminded that they are still a gift to us. Thank you for this reminder to appreciate them.

  9. Bonnie and Michael,
    This post is , I don’t even know how to describe it. Heart wrenching. I am so sorry you two are going through this. However believe me when I say I believe it will happen for you. Look at your past post about how you met. God was there he passionately brought you two together he has to have a plan for this. Thank you so much for sharing this post. I have three beautiful daughters and as much as I am aware of women not being able to Conceive, I never put myself in their shoes. Until now of course. I guess I have always taken it for granted me being able to get pregnant. I haven’t thought a lot about not being able to, and when I did I just blew it off and thought “oh well if that happened I would just adopt”. There are so many children needing tender love from wonderful people. I guess I just turned straight to that because I have grown up with many cousins who were adopted because of my cousin not being able to conceive. But after patently waiting and 10 years later she got pregnant and then again. The doctor told her she could never have kids. Just keep your faith God will bless you I know it. I will keep you both in my prayers.

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