Table Talk: A Pep Talk to My Infertile Self

Infertility. It’s feels kinda like strep throat of the soul.

Things can look fine on the outside, and inside, deep pain that surfaces almost every one of the 600 times a day you subconsciously swallow.

The school bus makes you sob.

An innocent trip to a fast food restaurant with a playplace of preciousheads sends your heart spinning out of control.

Your newsfeed feels like a death trap.

As do holidays.

And baby showers.

And church. Especially church. “Oh no you didn’t” just ask us to work the nursery. Again.

And don’t forget the genuinely valid parenting complaints from all the well-meaning mom friends to whom you internally scream “at LEAST you have kids to complain about” followed by you irrationally wanting to give all your best friends a high five. In the face. With a chair. But then you’re afraid that since it has legs and you will have touched it, then it too will get pregnant. (Mostly joking. Mostly. Wink wink. #blogpostsneedemojis )

I feel like I have felt all.the.emotions. Especially the dark ugly ones. Lots of them have turned me into a depressed victim with a pet pain to stroke. Others have brought me to the heart of hope in God, because, HE TOO, EVEN HE, ESPECIALLY HE has children He longs to have as His own.

Two priceless children later, so many of my desires have been fulfilled. He has gently anointed, bandaged and healed so many of my wounds with His sovereign hand. We can even take care of the nursery with joy at this point! Yet there are quiet aches.walking

Less like strep, more like a low-grade fever that you can easily push through. So easily that you can grow distant from feeling those emotions because you’re too weary to do the work of walking through the pain. Yet pushing away the emotions also means pushing away the places where God wants to meet us most deeply.

Thankfully, He will still meet us and deal tenderly with our hearts because He’s bigger than our pain. He’s better than our pain (even the pain that almost feels good?) and he’s got beautiful plans for our pain.

So, if you find yourself at a table caring for a friend whose hope is still deferred and who’s struggling to see the goodness of God in the land of the living, just seeing them and honoring their pain will be a gift. Listen. Be present. Ask them what they need from you today and if they need to hear the gentle truth, remind them of God’s character like I have to remind myself…

You may not ever feel the swell of life or the flutter of that first movement, but your God will supply all your needs according to His riches and glory. 

You may not have the fun of that family photo of when, right before the timer snaps the picture you say, “Everyone say ‘We are having a baby!'” and you capture the family’s reaction on film (because you still think that’s the coolest way to share the news) but as for God, His way is perfect: the Lord’s word is flawless; He shields all who take refuge in Him. And He has plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

You may quietly opt out of all the horrific birthing stories and lactation talk that fills every one of your social gatherings.

You will from time to time still park in the “Expectant Mother’s” parking spot at Target, because, well, there’s an inkling of you that’s still expectant. Because those who wait on the Lord will renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint…and sue me, they shall also get a closer parking spot.

You may not have need for that jogging stroller that STILL brings you to tears, but you will have lessons learned at the school of hard-knocks where you gain greater compassion and sensitive awareness of people’s unmet longings. Little by little you will judge less and love more.  

You may never change a diaper, but you’ll still get to change a life. Or two. 

Take heart. He is good even when and especially when He doesn’t feel good.lam

If you would find it helpful to read more about our journey with infertility, here are some additional posts:

chair1

Breaking Radio Silence 

Feeling Understood

Following Him Through Infertility

Following Him & Loving Them When You Feel Blah

I Pressed the Restart Button

***Also, in November, I will be hosting an online book club for women walking through any stage of infertility. If you or a friend would be interested in this type of support, hit the little envelope button in the upper right-hand corner of my sidebar or email me at kitty(dot)hurdle(at)cru(dot)org for details. Feel free to sensitively pass this along.***

9 thoughts on “Table Talk: A Pep Talk to My Infertile Self”

  1. I just love you……painful journey and rich with depth (and pissed off-ness) that leads us deeper into the Father heart of God.

  2. What a true post. Even 13 years after I was not considered infertile any longer, I still remember the feelings and emotions as if it were yesterday. My eyes pour when I read blogs or posts of women who are struggling with the same thing. I remember church…it was not a happy place to be…on Mother’s Day especially. I still cringe on Mother’s Day as I stand to be “honored” as a mother because as I look out at the sea of faces I wonder which woman it is that is struggling to remain composed or wondering which woman isn’t at church today because they just can’t sit through it again. I prayed many of those verses you posted in blue…every morning…before work and then sometimes in the first bathroom stall of the second floor bathroom of the law firm. I have since taken my children into that same bathroom just so they could see my “prayer stall”. I loved reading your words.

  3. Dear sweet niece, Kitty,
    As Uncle Bill and I have walked through 40 years of infertility, one would think the pain would ease away into oblivion. Not so. Thank you for your precious words of your “journey through infertility.” The constant state of infertility continues to drive our hearts’ desires back to God and His Sovereignty for our lives. Our walk through the effects of infertility continue through each stage of life. Sometimes we see God’s greater plan for our lives, other times we sorrow deeply by the continued losses we bear. The one constant that parallels infertility is the strength we encounter from God’s Word, God’s Presence, God’s Spirit, and God’s People.
    Love, Uncle Bill and Aunt Norma

  4. Thank you for this post. I’m not going through infertility, but while trying to have a baby earlier this year I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I am fortunate in that my husband and I were able to freeze four beautiful embryos but it will be 4-5 years before my doctor clears me to have a baby. It’s so hard to think of all the “plans” I had for our family that will have to wait. And even though I am genuinely happy when my friends announce a pregnancy, it usually takes a while for me to recover emotionally from the announcement. I know that God has a reason for everything and I have so much to be thankful for.

  5. Thank you for these words today and for being open and honest and vulnerable. It’s inspiring! Count me in on the book club too!

  6. I grew up in a very tumultuous household. God placed very loving and kind women in my life that in some ways really helped save my life. I call them my “surrogates.” A lot of them are technically infertile, but I see them as my mothers in so many ways. They love and nurture me, they encourage me, they give me business advice, they let me vent, they let me rant, and they cook me my favorite treats. Thank God for their mothering. I haven’t walked the infertility journey, but I would encourage women who are in the midst of the journey or have walked through it to take a look around and consider their “surrogate children” as proof of their motherhood.

  7. What a lovely post, Kitty! Target parking spot made me laugh, and think of that CS Lewis quote about the beauty of longing. We’re all expectant, all longing.

  8. Once again I treasure the peek your blog gives me of your heart and mind. Thank you for articulating your thoughts, as exhausting as that may be. I deeply appreciate your manner of concluding with God’s hopeful truths.
    I am glad I was not infertile, as the Lord blessed us and multitudes of others with you and Kemble. But may the Lord continue to develop my understanding of other’s journeys. Thanks for helping me with that.
    Hugs,
    Momma Bear

  9. This crossed my feed days ago and I just couldn’t read it. I sat down tonight with expectation of your always-on-point words regarding this subject. I don’t even know if I am infertile (my all time biggest fear) but the unmet longing feels like a tinge of infertility. Please don’t hear me comparing my pain to yours. I KNOW it is different. But what you said? I get it all – in a different way. A year ago last weekend when my best friend since first grade said, “I just thought you didn’t want to have kids.” What’s the balance between spilling your guts and not annoying all around you?

    Just Friday night on my way home at dusk as the trick-or-treaters were starting to appear, I ran in to a neighbor in the street. She was on the verge of tears. Who knew it? Halloween is her hardest day next to Mother’s Day to not be a mom. Mine is Easter.

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