On the other side
There’s a stretch of carpet in between my side of our Cal King bed and the entrance to our master bathroom. I remember sliding off of our bed and onto that patch of carpet, tears cascading down my face, gasping for breath in between the sobs, feeling utterly heartbroken. I sat there, my back against the side of the bed, staring into the dark bathroom, hoping John wouldn’t hear me crying.
I wasn’t pregnant again. Another cycle, another year, another Mother’s Day and I wasn’t pregnant. Again. During the day it was a bit easier to put a smile on my face, to try and be strong and hopeful—but at night, in the dark, it was easy to give in to the feelings of despair. I would never get to be a mother, never get to see this dream realized, this ultimate desire would never be fulfilled.
This was Mother’s Day week of 2018, one year ago. All around me my friends and family were having beautiful babies. My social media feeds were filled with gorgeous family photos with cute little shoes and round baby cheeks. Nearly every single one of my lady friends in our hometown friend group had popped out a baby in the last year and I was feeling so left out. I was overjoyed with them, and yet felt so alone in my grief.
Infertility is a weird grief. Grief for a baby you’ve never met, a life you’ve never lived, a great desire unfulfilled. Weird grief, yet grief all the same.
And so, that stretch of carpet and those heavy tears. Of course, John found me. He sat with me, held me. He didn’t say anything, but was just present with me in my pain, which is the very best thing you can do with someone in pain. We so often want to say “the right thing” to make someone feel better, but that’s just not possible. Do you love me enough to sit with me in the painful, awkward, silent, sobbing moments, to just sit with me? John did and I’m so grateful. Little did we know in that-sobbing-on-the-floor-by-the-bathroom-moment that in just over a month’s time we would find out that we were pregnant.
And now, a year later, I’m on the other side. I cannot express in words how grateful I am for my daughter. She’s a miracle, an answer to so many prayers. She is my little light and a constant, daily reminder of God’s faithfulness. And yet, even with my little Lucy-girl in my arms, my journey on the road of infertility is not wiped away. Lucy did not fix my infertility. Don’t get me wrong, she is an absolute answer to prayers, but she isn’t, she wasn’t the solution to my problem. Christ was. Infertility has taught me that all of my longings and desires must be brought to Christ. A baby is not the answer to infertility, Jesus Christ is the answer. Only in Him do we find our true identity. Only in Him are we healed and made whole. A baby, a marriage, a career, a home, a healthy body, a community—all of these things are wonderful gifts, but they cannot save us, they do not define us, and we are not entitled to them.
I’m now on the other side of motherhood. I am so grateful. I am so tired! I am so in love. And I will never forget the longing, the grief, and the emptiness of infertility. It will always be a part of me. My baby girl didn’t fix me, but Christ is making me new. Thanks be to God.