Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Infertile Myrtle: The Pain of Infertility

Just a little note to start: It was very difficult for me to write this post. For someone who writes a very public blog, it has been hard for me to talk about infertility. I am not going to speak for all women who struggle for infertility. This has been my experience...

When I was a little girl and dreamed of marriage and family there wasn’t ever any doubt. I would find the man of my dreams and fill our lovely home with kids. I didn’t have a number in mind….Just more than 2 and less than 10. 

Imagine my indignation when it was discovered that conceiving even one child would be a problem for me.I wasn't exactly Fertile Myrtle.

I am not going into the whole hairy story (at least right now). But I want to encourage those of you who are walking down this path right now. 

For me, infertility could never really be a private pain. The questions always came. "When are you guys going to start a family." We were always more or less in the public eye (he is a minister). I don't know about some of you, but I almost thought it would be easier to just a wear a t-shirt that said, "I can't ovulate..don't ask."

At least, I didn't ovulate very often.

I spent a semester of college in the bathroom. I was taking a class that specifically dealt with infant development. I had to do hours of observations. And. I had just miscarried my baby weeks before. We had been married for 10 years and this had been my first pregnancy. 

I tried not to let my anguish show. Which resulted to numerous trips to the bathroom where I could let my tears flow in private. 

I almost had to separate myself from the reality of my life.  

It was just too painful.  

A woman who struggles with infertility feels let down in many regards. I felt like my body betrayed me. I felt that every conversation with women of my own age started and ended with pregnancy and childbirth. I am pretty sure that it wasn’t the case…but in my heightened emotional state all roads led to my lack. I had a few well-meaning people tell me that I just needed to trust God. 

“Uh. Excuse me. I think we all need to trust God.” (I said to my snarky self). 

I want to share with you something my mom told me that eased some of my guilt.  This might be offensive to some, but you need to hear my heart. 

My mom said, “Rebekah, even rabbits can have babies.” 

What did she mean by that? 

Here it goes. The biology of birth is an instinctive part of creation. Even animals bear young. It has nothing to do with their worth or how much God loves them. Often a woman who is struggling with infertility looks around her. She sees teenage pregnancy, abortion statistics, parents who for some reason cannot raise their children. I know there was many times, I cried out, “What is wrong with me? Does God not love me? Even those who don’t want to get pregnant can!”

We have seem to have gotten caught up in this “blessings” culture. Have you heard any of these?

“I am blessed because I have a comfortable home and therefore God loves me.”

“I am following God’s commandments therefore he has blessed me with this nice new car.”

“I am doing exactly what God is telling me to do…and he has provided me with a beautiful family and a comfortable home and a nice new car.”

These things  (as nice as they are) do not measure God's love for us. They have nothing to do with the true blessings of life.

I am blessed  because God loves me. I am blessed because He sent His only Son to die on a cross for my sins. Those blessings  He has given me have nothing to do with my stellar Christian skills. In fact, I don’t deserve anything I’ve been given.

I want to encourage you. God loves you. He has a plan. What He is going to do in your life is for His glory. Think of this time as a preparation time. Remember that one day you will have a testimony to share. Don’t waste the opportunity.

It was 10 years before our little miracle showed up. 10 years. 1 miscarriage and 1 adoption attempt failure. 

And then Josiah came along. 

Still there were some who didn’t think before they spoke.

“Don’t you want one of your own?” 

 “I don’t think I would tell anybody he’s adopted.”

“Aren’t you worried about what might happen once he’s older and comes to resent you?”

I am only mentioning this because I think it's very important not to consider adoption to be the second option. A sweet friend commented on the fact that someone had referred to the adoption of their son as Plan B. God doesn't have a Plan B. Her son was intended from the beginning of time to be her son. It just happened in an unique (and in my opinion) and miraculous way.

God knew in His infinite wisdom that Josiah was the child of my heart. Do you know that when Troy and I got married his birth mother was only 5 years old? I think adoption rocks. Troy and I would do it again in a heartbeat if the opportunity presented itself. Josiah’s birth mother made a very brave and selfless decision. I thank God for her every day. 

Also, please remember this. Not everyone who gushes about their pregnancies and childbirth and gorgeous babies are purposefully being insensitive. I recognize that sometimes it’s just too hard to hear sometimes. Rejoice with them. Love on their babies. Don’t waste a minute of your precious life spent in  hurt. 

It might not turn out the way you might have planned. It’s possible that it will be even better. 


  1. Oh Rebekah, this was beautiful. I loved this..

    "God doesn't have a Plan B."

    So true. His plan, which included your precious son Josiah, is the perfect one. Sometimes it can be so hard to rest in His providence! Thank you, my friend, for opening your heart in this way. ((HUGS))

    Wish I knew you in real life. :-)

    1. Thanks, Charlotte! California is so far away. If you ever feel the need to come wander our Ozark hills you can come stay with me :<)

    2. That would be so fun!! Someday...and the offer is open of you ever come out this way too. :-)

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  3. Beautiful Rebekah! Thank you for sharing something so private. You are truly "redeeming your storm." God will bless you as a result touching many for Him. Love you friend! Julie

  4. What beautiful insight! "These things don't (as nice as they are) do not measure God's love for us. They have nothing to do with the true blessings of life." We are all blessed because He loves us, not because of what we have or do not have. Thank you. :)

    1. Thanks, Cristy. His love is immeasurable, isn't it?


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