There is one thing about experiencing infertility that is hard to wrap your brain around.
I find that a lot of women wrap their worth as a woman in whether or not they are able to conceive a child. I have been one of those women. I have had my ups and downs with this. At one moment, I was confident that all was well and I was a strong woman standing on her own, regardless of the outcome, I would be OK. Another moment, my hopes got too high and I found my worth wrapped right up in the fact that I was unable to conceive that month.
What I have learned over the last several years is how untrue this is.
I was actually telling my sister in law the other day how much women wrap their worth in the success or failure they experience each month as Aunt Flo comes or doesn’t. It surprised me how lost I got in that thought process at one point. Over the years, I lost sight of my dreams and my goals as I relentlessly tried to get pregnant. I wrapped my thoughts around trying every month to figure it out. I often obsessed over why it wasn't working for me. I tried what another girl did that successfully got her pregnant, but it didn’t work for me like it worked for her. I also don’t have the issues that another girl had and yet, she got pregnant and I didn’t. How does this work? I almost feel like I have to earn it, as if it is some math problem that I am trying to solve.
Part of the math problem equates to our bodies have to be at the right temperature, ovulating at a certain time, have certain hormone levels and NOT be affected by the fact that we don’t use organic deodorant, drink too much soda or don’t eating organically and my stress levels being “too high” from worrying about whether it will work or not. And with all of that, when it doesn’t work, we spend the following few days wondering what we did wrong, wondering if we could’ve changed something and what the magic “recipe” our body needs to get pregnant that we haven’t figured out yet.
This is all SO much. So much to carry around each month. So much to put your worth as a woman into.
What about all the other amazing things you do every single day, day in and day out? I know we are more than this one challenging journey we are on. This infertility experience is one stepping stone in our lives that is shaping and molding us and, depending on if we let it, making us stronger, more sensitive and more capable to endure other challenges that will beset us in our lives.
Our worth IS NOT defined by whether those 2 lines show up or not every month.
It is so important to know and remember that you cannot do anything spiritually to earn a child. To assume you have prayed enough and fasted enough to have gotten pregnant is to assume that those who do not get pregnant aren’t trying hard enough. I can tell you I have tried plenty hard spiritually and I have yet to get my babies physically here. Does that mean I am being punished? No. It seems almost silly to think that we can earn a child in this life. If you are religious, it is easy to confuse your worth with God blessing you with or not blessing you with a child. It somehow makes sense when people use phrases like “I have been blessed with a child”. I can promise you from experience that all that any girl struggling with infertility heard was “I have not been blessed with a child, I am not favored” and in reality it simply isn’t true. It’s hard to comprehend this. It’s hard not to confuse your feelings as you navigate through your fertility journey.
One thing I know for certain, having a child is a beautiful gift AND you are not favored more than another person simply because you were able to have a child and the other person wasn’t. That is so painful. My hope is that as women we can stop looking into each other’s bowls to see who has more blessings than you and let’s start looking into each other’s bowls to make sure we have enough and can share if someone needs more. We are all in this together and we are all worthy.