The water was trickling down my face all the way to my feet. I was in the shower where I could escape, and ultimately, let my array of emotions out like a loose cannon without anyone even knowing the stormy cloud of my empty womb that covered my heart.
We were away for the weekend celebrating my Father-in-laws Birthday. I married into an amazing family and I was overjoyed to spend the weekend with people I love. However, unfortunately, the weekend turned out to be more of struggle for me than anything else. Considering our circumstances, I battled being around my family and I was tired of fighting the journey. I had just had my second IUI and was eagerly awaiting my positive pregnancy test. It was a Sunday morning and I was up before anyone. I kept thinking “how special would it be if it was positive and we could surprise everyone while we are here.” I grabbed my, one of many, purchased pregnancy tests and went into the bathroom. I was so nervous, but I HAD to test…
I stood in the bathroom and waited and waited. Waiting for pregnancy test results can feel like a lifetime. My heart was beating fast and my hands were clammy. More than enough time had passed. Sadly, one single line stared back at me. My pregnancy test was negative. There wasn’t even a faint line. I know it was still early to test and I didn’t want this experience to effect the rest of my day, but it did. I went back to bed and laid with Ryan. “The test was negative.” I told him. He pulled me in close and cradled me in his arms. We said nothing to each other, but sometimes silence is more powerful than words.
Eventually, we got up and started about our morning with our family. I tried desperately to cover the ache that was burning within my soul. My husband was playing with our nephew and giving him the greatest giggles ever. It brought my heart great joy to see Ryan show so much love to our nephew. We have always loved him as our own. However, in that particular moment, if I am being honest, my heart also was consumed by jealousy and pain wondering when I would be able to give him that.
I have been blessed with two nephews and a niece. God has used all three of them to fill the void that once existed in my heart for my own children. However, on this particular day I struggled. I, suddenly, found myself in the midst of a panic attack because I had nothing to offer to conversations because my womb was empty. I didn’t have any good tips on parenting or could share what it’s like to be a Mom because I wasn’t a Mom. My anxiety was stirring wildly. I was breathing so heavy that I needed to leave. I excused myself to shower. I wept and wept as the warm water dripped over my body. My heart grieved for my babies. My heart grieved that I wasn’t a Mother. Sometimes we don’t understand God’s ways. And on that day, in that moment, I didn’t understand His ways. I finally came out of the shower. I had no composure of myself and felt this urgency to go home. I whispered to Ryan, “I need to leave. We need to leave. I can’t be here.” I was terrified of losing control of my emotions in front of my family. My anxiety from my infertility struggles had never been so bad to the point where I needed to leave, but on this particular day, all I wanted was to be home with Ryan. Our family knew my heart was hurting and fragile from our journey, but my emotions felt ugly that day and I was afraid of what would come out of me if I exposed what I was really feeling in the pit of my heart.
“Desi…” Nicole, my sister-in-law, who has walked so closely with us through our journey and knows me all to well, asked in a whisper, “Are you okay?”
That was all it took for me to completely loose it. Suddenly, I was a raging hot mess of emotions. The tears came pouring in like a flood. My heart was a loose cannon. I was deeply saddened, jealous, tired, and grieving. I couldn’t control what I was feeling or the cries that were coming out. I was feeling so many things in one exact moment. Infertility is hard and my heart was deeply overwhelmed with sadness.
The beautiful thing about Nicole is that from day one of our infertility journey she immersed herself into my heart and did all she could to understand what I was feeling and how she could be there for me. That day, when my heart was clouded by the darkness of my barren womb, she held me in her arms as tears flowed down both of our cheeks. Her heart, broke too. She loved on me, prayed for me, encouraged me, and validated my wide range of feelings. She even made me smile: “You know you are a Mom to Brayden, so I say we co-parent.” The truth is I do love her son as if he was my own and He will always have a piece my heart as a Mother. Her love for me that day was exactly what I needed. It would have been easy for me to go home and sometimes that is the answer to these particular situations. However, if I did go home, I would have missed out on a moment where God used His unwavering love through Nicole to show me grace, truth, and hope. It was in this kind of moment where I was vulnerable with my family–letting them into my world of infertility that even allowed them to see the reality of the really hard days of this journey.
That’s why grace was so important for me when walking through the daily battles of my walk to parenthood. I had to learn to have grace for myself and grace for others. Grace is one of God’s most beautiful gifts to humankind. I don’t think I ever knew what God’s grace really was until my bitter heart came face to face with Jesus. On that particular day I was embarrassed. Embarrassed that my anxiety was so bad that I wanted, and needed, to leave. Embarrassed that I couldn’t control the agony and heartache I truly felt in the pit of my being. I was disappointed in myself for the panic that kicked in when we were sharing stories about my nephews and niece. I wanted to be stronger, but like any battle sometimes you walk through some weak, dark, lonely days. The truth is, when you fully understand the grace God has given you, it gives you such a better understanding of His love for you and shows you how to ultimately walk through your journey with grace. This wasn’t the first time I had a full blown melt down over my infertility struggles, there were many, but eventually, I recognized the beauty in God’s grace that He continually ravished over my soul no matter what. I learned it was okay for me to grieve, feel sad, jealous, lonely, etc. God showed me how to have grace for others, as well. I never wanted people to feel like they were walking on egg shells around me. However, this journey is hard and sometimes things are said and done that trigger all kinds of emotions within. Ultimately, it is God’s matchless love that allowed me to endure my journey with grace which gave me strength and hope to conquer infertility.