I will never understand why it is that some of us who want children so, so badly have to deal with infertility while women who abuse their children can get pregnant just thinking about it. It is one of those mysteries that I assume will always remain. And I know that it is a frequent thought on the minds of my fellow infertility blogger friends.
So is there any good that can come from infertility? I've asked myself this a million times. As I sit here, now 36 weeks pregnant after a long struggle with infertility, am I better off than if I had gotten pregnant during month one of trying to conceive? I don't know the answer to that, but what I do know is that this is my reality. Infertility, IVF, shots, pain, tears...that is my reality so it really does me no good to think about what ifs and what could have beens.
But what I truly believe from the bottom of my heart is that God took my husband and me through that storm for a reason - and most of the time I have no idea what the reason is - but once in a while I get a glimpse and it makes my heart feel a little lighter.
First, infertility has made my marriage stronger, more loving, more committed and much happier. When it felt like the whole world was a giant storm cloud, my husband and I learned to cling tighter to each other. And, as a consequence, I think we'll be even better parents.
Second, infertility taught me that I do not control my life. Sure, I would like to think I do being a typical Type A personality. What I learned is that I may plan my path but God ultimately determines my steps. And, at times, that is very hard to accept, especially when the steps aren't what I want or had planned.
Third, and probably some other women would get angry at me for saying this...but I truly believe that I will cherish and appreciate my precious little miracle baby more completely, fully, totally than if I had gotten pregnant on the first go-round. I'm by no means saying that you cannot cherish and adore your child unless you obtained him or her through infertility treatments. But I do believe that you appreciate something more when you've actually had to work for it.
Finally, and perhaps one of the greatest blessings, is that I have formed bonds with so many wonderful, beautiful, strong women who have walked the same infertility road as me. And not only online. God has brought into my "for-real" life several wonderful women struggling with infertility and I have been able to share with them my own struggles and to support them through their own storm.
Just yesterday I found out that a good friend is also struggling with infertility and, while pregnant a few weeks ago, has a declining HCG level and is petrified that she's losing her baby. And months ago, I connected with a distant friend (now a good friend) who was going through IVF and we were able to eventually be some of the first people she told when she was expecting. It is such a blessing to me that I can take my own struggles and use them to be a friend, listener and shoulder to cry on.
But it also reminds me of the old friend who resurfaced right before I started my IVF cycle in June who had also been through IVF. God was watching out for me even then making sure I had the needed support. I think one of the lessons for us who have been through infertility is that we shouldn't be surprised when we are given the opportunity to support others who have been through the same storm. It is God using us and we should count ourselves blessed.