Current Thoughts on Motherhood
So, it’s been awhile since I’ve written anything about infertility and motherhood. To be honest, I haven’t really know what to write about as I don’t have any real updates.
I am not pregnant.
I still have PCOS.
We still want children.
We are not currently pursuing any medical treatments, foster care, or adoption.
I have been asked so many times, but so many loving and dear friends what we’re up to on our family planning journey. How are things going? What’s the plan? Have you heard of this adoption program? What about embryo adoption? I have this friend who got pregnant as soon as they signed their adoption papers! Isn’t that so amazing?
Yes, it’s so amazing. But, it’s not for me right now.
Can that be OK?
Can I still want kids and not be actively pursuing them?
Because infertility is a part of my reality having children is not something that I can just count on. As I think about it, having children is something that no one can just count on. And as I think about it further, there is absolutely nothing in this life that I can absolutely count on, except for God and salvation through Jesus Christ.
There are parts of me that believe that God must not want us to have children since He has not given us children naturally yet. Now, I want to emphasize that I do not believe that fertility treatments are wrong, in any way. And I absolutely love adoption. And yet, my husband and I are not pursuing either path right now.
Could God give us a child through medical means or through adoption? YES. Could He give us a child naturally? YES. Could we remain childless for the rest of our lives? YES.
I have reached such a level of OK-ness with all of these possible paths that I feel that it sometimes makes others, especially other women, feel uncomfortable. How can you say you want children and not be pursuing children? You really must want them less than you once did.
Perhaps that’s true. Maybe I do want children less than I did two years ago. But when I think about what I felt like two years ago the word that comes to mind is desperate. I was desperate to be a mother, at any cost. And now, in hindsight, I can see clearly what I was doing--I was idolizing being a mother, growing our family, having children.
Mark Driscoll defines idolatry as “enslavement to something we love.” I loved the idea of having children, being a mother, having John be a father--and I still love the idea! But, I loved this idea so extensively that it consumed me. My dream to be a mother is not wrong. In fact, I believe that God gave me this dream, planted it inside me, and He knows the ache I feel for motherhood and children. And yet, my loving this dream became wrong. Without realizing it, I let my dream become the most important thing in my life. I let this “good thing become a god thing”.
Somehow there is faith enough to believe that the God that provided me with the dream to be a mother may choose not to make me a mother. I hope and pray that I will one day become a parent, alongside John, and raise children. But I hope even more that if this dream of mine does not come to fruition that I will yet praise Him all the more.
And, to my dear, dear friends and family: don’t stop asking. Don’t stop engaging with me. Don’t stop telling me about your birth announcements, your labor stories, your pregnancy woes, your motherhood dreams. Your joy does not cause me pain. Your children and motherhoodedness will never be a burden for me. My aches in this journey are my own. Your prayers and your sensitivity are always so welcome and so appreciated. Your silence, however, helps neither of us. As children of God, siblings in the faith, let’s choose to share each other’s burdens even when we can’t fully understand, even when it’s painful.
Infertility has shown me how much I value family, children, and community, and that these are wonderful gifts from God. Infertility has also revealed to me that these dreams are not guarantees in life, I am in no way entitled to these dreams, that they are not the most important things in my life as a Christian, and that, ultimately, these dreams may never be realized.
And in the end, that is OK.