Hope & Fertility
Hi. Well, I’m not even sure where to start, or how to start, or truly even what I want to say, so I’m just going to give it a whirl and see where this goes. Sound good?
Also, I wrote this post at the beginning of July in a coffee shop after what felt like my zillionth doctor appointment and I’ve just been sitting on it ever since. To be honest, I’ve been nervous to share for so many reasons, and every time I thought about it my heart would race and I’d get suuuuper sweaty, ha! But I figured I might as well rip the bandaid off and see how it goes… so here goes nothing….
“Don’t you want babies?”
“You need your own baby.”
“Don’t you want kids?”
“When are you going to have kids?”
“It’s never going to be the right time, just have a baby.”
These are all things that have been said straight to my face and over the internet. And by far my most frequently asked question in my DMs is: “When are you going to have kids?”
A few years ago, these comments would hurt so deeply. They’d take my breath away every time and often I’d end up in tears. But now, not so much. I get it, I do. I’ve invited you into our story, our battles, and everything in between, so why wouldn’t you want to know?!
I’ve come to truly think of it as a complement now. You care, and that means the world. For those of you who have babies, they are the greatest thing to ever happen to you. So it’s only natural to hope that for others, and I’m truly honored you even think of me at all.
But for us, it hasn’t been that easy.
He has made everything beautiful in its time. – Ecc. 3:11
Let me preface this with saying that we are hopeful and at peace with our story. We know that we will have a family one way or another and are open to all the things, fertility to adoption. Yes, our journey to little ones looks different than most, but not different than many. And if you too are on the long winding of a road to starting a family, just know we are walking right alongside you, and have been for many years.
Also, it would be a major mistake on my part not to mention that we are happy, actually very happy. Do we long for family? YES, so much. But do we spend the majority of our days marveling in the pure goodness of our reality? More than anything.
I got a second chance at love, and a love story that has surpassed anything I could have ever dreamt of. God has been and is good.
And we got yet another second chance after Ryan won his battle against cancer. We’d be insane not to rejoice in that reality every single day. Like I said, God has been and is *very* good.
All of that to say, I don’t subscribe to the notion that “everything happens for a reason”.
But what I do subscribe to is that our God is in the business of redemption and if my story isn’t proof of that, then I don’t know what is. He has redeemed so much of my life, and it feels absurd to start doubting Him now.
That doesn’t mean I’m expecting to get everything I want, it just means, I’m clearly not in control here, and I’ve made peace with it and hopeful for what the future holds, while rejoicing in our “now”.
Over the past many years as our hearts have ached for a baby we have watched many of our siblings, best friends, and neighbors bring into the world and into their homes the sweetest, squishiest, and most precious babies, and have loved every second of it. I’ve seen some of my best friends become moms for the first time and 3x’s over. I’ve watched my sister completely SHINE in her new role as a mom and it has truly been a joy to be part of.
Just because we long for what they have doesn’t mean I don’t want it for my people as well. I don’t want to miss this season of genuinely celebrating new life all around us just because it’s not happening for Ryan and me in the exact the same way. It’s hard, but fighting for peace is worth it because I have enjoyed all of these babies to the fullest.
I’ve said this for YEARS and I mean it when I say it, I really want to be EXACTLY where my feet are.
To do whatever my season is well, even if it’s a season of waiting. It’s my life’s motto. All I want is to be able to look back while I’m rocking a baby to sleep one day and know that we didn’t waste the years away getting to that point by living daily in disappointment and frustration.
Although TRUST ME when I say we are human. There are plenty of days where we feel utterly helpless, frustrated, and defeated. Where we cry on the bathroom floor not understanding why it’s seemingly so easy for everyone else. Living this out daily and actively choosing joy can sometimes feel impossible, but we get through those days, we let ourselves feel all the feelings and then we get back up and keep going forward.
I saw a quote a few months ago (can’t remember where, let me know if you know!) that has stuck with me and went something like “you are currently living out at least one answered prayer”. It just gave me so much peace, and again, perspective. Because ain’t that the truth. So yes, we have our moments of devastation and then we remember the good, and when you really start breaking down the good, it’s overwhelming. This quote just resonated with me because when you are going through something like fertility that makes you feel so invisible, this thought has made me feel *so* seen and cared for because it’s true.
“You are currently living out at least one answered prayer”
For us, the ins and out of our journey have been fairly complicated with a lot of starts and stops for lots of reasons that have been out of our control. We have always, ALWAYS, dreamt of having a family of our own and it has never been something we weren’t thinking about. We started actively trying years ago and I thought I was pregnant (and took a pregnancy test!) while in Nantucket just hours before Ryan called to tell me he had been diagnosed with cancer. Our life changed in an instant, but I was not pregnant.
So for us this has been quite the unique ride.
We obviously QUICKLY shifted our priorities to his treatment and dove headfirst into a season of chemo, surgeries, and radiation. Once we had finally completed his treatment (praise the Lord!) our (wonderful) oncologist highly recommended us to wait a full year after Ryan’s last radiation treatment to begin trying again for a family.
Like I said, it’s been a lot of starts and stops and waiting and then…more waiting.
I’m not going to get into the ins and outs of our fertility journey/treatment because, eh, I’m not sure I want to. The needles (!!!), the appointments, the tests, the procedures, the everything… it’s exhausting. But if you are also in the thick of it, I see you.
A few weeks ago, Ryan and I were sitting in our doctor’s office in our usual spot and while we were there handful of women came and went. Once we were back in our car on our way home Ryan said, “isn’t it crazy that everyone in there has the same exact goal, to create new life.” And I said “It is. And similarly to when we were in the chemo room, we all had the same goal, to save life.” It’s true, and quite a beautiful thought. We are all in this together.
Anyway, this feels extremely long winded and I’m not sure how we got here or if any of this makes sense. But here we are.
My prayer is that you don’t read this and feel anything other than hope. That maybe you forward it to a friend who is going through something similar or that it gives you validation for your own journey, whatever that may be, because the truth is we are all on some sort of adventure. Each just looking a little different.