I’m not a negative person, or so I like to tell myself. Sadly, I am one of those people who tend to internalize everything and somehow find fault in most of what I do. This is one of the reasons infertility was such a struggle for me.
Let me start by explaining a little about myself. I belong to a religious group that strongly believes in, and values, the family. (I obviously feel this way or I wouldn’t have joined this church when I was 16.) I am what some would call a conservative feminist. By this I mean I believe that a woman has the right to choose for herself what to make of her life. For me, I choose to have children, stay home to raise them, and then take a job focused on home and family like teaching. The whole June Cleaver persona wouldn’t be that awful in my opinion.
With that being said, I’m also the person who believes that the Lord has specific plans in store for every person on this earth. I’ve always felt that one of my duties was to be a mother and to raise my children to be respectful, kind, intelligent people. When I found out that I might not get that chance I was devastated. How was I going to come up with the money to be able to pay for the doctors? I’ve always been open to the idea of adoption, but like infertility, I was afraid I’d never be able to afford it.
Then it happened; my “friend” doubt started in on me. I started thinking that maybe I was doing something that was making me not fit to be a mother. Maybe God didn’t want to give me a child because I was awful and was going to be an awful mother. He knows the past, present, and future of our lives. I truly thought that he knew what kind of mother I would become and it disgusted him.
I would become so consumed with grief that I would break down and cry randomly. Then I’d sob to my husband and ask him how I could make myself a better person. With a sincere voice he’d always tell me that I was perfect but I had a hard time believing him. He would tell me that everyone has their own trials and ours was to wait to start our family. He always sounded so sure and it drove me insane. I wanted to be that confident. Was my problem just that? Was I not faithful enough to KNOW, like my husband seemed to, that one day a child would be given to us? You can see how this easily became a very twisted circle of frustration and stress in my life.
One day I was reading my scriptures and I came across a scripture that seemed to speak to me. It states, “For behold, again I say unto you that if ye will enter in by the way, and receive the Holy Ghost, it will show unto you all things what ye should do.” In more modern words, listen to what God is telling you and everything WILL turn out. I prayed like I’ve never prayed before and the answer I got was to just let it go. Stop my treatments; focus on finishing school and starting a career, and then it’ll happen for us.
Even though this was the exact opposite of what I wanted to hear I figured I’d listen. If God wanted to see me show faith I was going to do it. I graduated college and immediately started working as a severe intervention special education teacher. (That’s the government’s fancy way of saying I taught child with severe emotional, intellectual, and/or physical handicaps.) I went to work daily filled with more love than the day before. If the only mothering I would be able to do in this life was to work with children who needed all the extra love they could get, then so be it.
When I started to get comfortable in my job and lose myself in the work is when we were able to conceive my daughter. Was it the lack of stress about having a child? Was this the miracle I felt I was promised? I’d like to say yes to both.
Photo credit: http://www.sxc.hu/photo/933783