Infertility is a word that brings fear and heartache to women struggling to start a family. It can mean endless doctors appointments, tests, and medicines. It is a word that is heartbreaking and overwhelming. But there are also unimaginable blessings in infertility. I know firsthand because that word, that fear, was my life for many years. But so were the blessings that came from the journey.
It’s frustrating and rage-inducing when you are in the middle of your own personal hell and someone, probably with good intentions, chimes in that it is important to stay positive and focus on the blessings in life. It makes you want to reach out and strangle someone, doesn’t it? However, is it possible that there are underlying blessings in infertility? To anyone walking or having walked this road of bumps and heartache, the answer is yes.
Blessings In Disguise
I did not come to this conclusion easily. I can vividly remember the screaming, yelling, and crumbling into a ball of tears every time one of my sisters or sisters-in-law was expecting another baby. I remember it all, and the memories still clench my heart and clog my throat. So, I do not say there are blessings in infertility lightly or because I no longer remember or feel that pain. I can say there are blessings in infertility because I have walked the journey and experienced them.
My infertility journey began almost 20 years ago, and throughout those years, it pruned me hard. It sharpened me in ways I never expected and never wanted. Looking back there were countless times I was convinced I would never recover from the pain. But I did. And I know that it sounds cliché to say, but I count infertility as a real blessing.
Infertility Changed Me, For the Better
I am forever changed by my IF journey. It taught me that I am stronger than I ever imagined. That I can withstand some of the worst physical and emotional pain. And I discovered the blessings in accepting that I cannot have everything I set my heart on because some things are just out of my control. Some might wonder what could be the blessing in all of that. The beautiful truth is, even in the heartache, there can still be joy, and there can still be happiness. There is healing.
As a Christian and a pastor, I believe in healing and in miracles. But I also know that sometimes our plans and expectations do not match our hopes and reality. The reality is my body was damaged beyond repair, and what I was facing was not childbirth, but a hysterectomy. I felt broken and had no idea how I was ever going to fully heal. Then I realized that what I wanted was to be a mom. That dream did not have to end because infertility took my body’s ability to give birth.
And when I realized that truth, my healing and miracle came. It wasn’t a flash or burst of light that suddenly changed the journey ahead of me. It came, slowly and over time, in the ever-present gentle reminders from the people that mattered the most. It was whispered from above that I was going to be ok. It came in the small signs of love and hope that happened, one after another when I needed it the most. It was there in the tiny moments of light and hope that broke through the shadows surrounding me, growing brighter until the path once darkened before me, was no longer dark. Those moments continued until I came to the part in my journey where I found my healing; where I found my hope again. And in that, I found the blessings in infertility.
Healing in Unexpected Places
While removing my ability to have a child, my surgery saved my life and I felt better than I had in years. I found healing in the friends who did not offer empty platitudes, but support and love when I was at my lowest. I was reminded that some things do not happen the way we want them, but blessings come even in the pain and darkness of lost hope and dreams. And I found healing in the face of the little boy entrusted to me to be my son by his birth mom who would never have been mine had I not gone through this journey. The blessings where there, I just had to find them.
Ultimately my healing came from knowing that while infertility nearly broke me, in the end, it made me stronger. The blessing is being able to say I am now happy and whole. The world might think I lost the battle because I never gave birth. But I can say with 100% certainty I won the war because when the struggle ended, I was and am, still standing. That is the light of hope that brought me through.
I Love The Woman I Became
I would never change my story, even if given that option. Not just because of the beautiful little boy I get to call mine, but because I love the woman I became. In my healing came the truth that the brightness of blessings breaks through the shadow of darkness. I just had to be willing to look for and accept them when they showed up. Because even if a blessing looks different from what you imagined, blessings are all around us.