Monday, March 3, 2014

Without infertility

You know how sometimes people who have been divorced will say they wish they'd never met their ex, except then they wouldn't have their children so... well, they can't really regret it ever happening?

I have decided that's how I feel about infertility.

I really hate infertility. Despise it. I didn't like a second of it while it was happening, and I don't like looking back on it now. It makes me angry when I find out other women I know are going through it and my heart breaks for those who know the pain of it firsthand.

But, for me, without it - without that annoying, manipulating, demoralizing, cruel, soul-crushing monster (did I go too far?) - I wouldn't have my babies.


So I can't really wish it never happened.

In fact, I have to embrace it with open arms and even thank God for it.


I'd love to say we would have adopted even if I hadn't been infertile. But I'm going to be honest. I just don't see us conceiving every couple of years, working to feed all those mouths, trying (and probably failing) to save a buck or two for college, a bigger home, savings...and then, on top of it all, saying, "Hey, I know a great use for those tens of thousands of dollars we don't have - let's adopt!"

I know us, and I know we would have thought we couldn't afford it. We wouldn't have had a reason to take a risk and trust that God would provide.


And even if we had adopted, who knows if we would have done it at exactly the time necessary to adopt Clara and Esther?

I can't even think about that for too long.


And, if I had been fertile, who knows if everything would have led up to me conceiving Luke exactly when I did? That timeline probably would have been thrown way off by other pregnancies.


So I thank God (and infertility) that it worked out just so, leading us to know these precious souls, who were always coming into the world right when they did. And that we were there, ready and willing, to catch them upon entry.


Infertility also brought me closer to God, strengthened my marriage and toughened me up. And I know I was supposed to find joy in suffering, but I don't know if I ever got quite that far.

Joy aside, it did teach me more than I ever hoped to know about suffering. And crying. And jealousy. And confession. And redemption. And grace. And miracles. And God's ability - and desire - to make all things new.


All of our stories lead us to today. And, in our case, it's a sad chapter that is forever a part of us, that made us who we are, that allowed God to fashion our family just so.

We wouldn't be here without infertility. Not here, at least. Not with these three kids who we adore beyond all imagination asleep in their rooms, with a baby gate shutting off the kitchen, number flashcards hanging from our mantel.


So, like that divorcee, I can't wish a second of it away.


Darn you, infertility. I really wanted to wish we'd never met.

21 comments:

  1. Sigh. How did you just convince me that I liked my infertility?! Ha! Jk, mostly.

    Hoping John and I have a family as adorable as yours some day! :)

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  2. This is really beautiful! Thanks for sharing your heart with us Karey!

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  3. I really enjoy your writing. You really tell it like it is and aren't afraid to air your less than holy thoughts and weaknesses. I suffered from infertility before having my son, and I often think the same thing, if I had conceived easily, I never would have had this particular boy, who is so meant to be. I'm currently experiencing secondary infertilty, and I truly hope that I will be able to look back on this time and be able to appreciate that things worked out the way they were supposed to. But darnit, why are some people able to have the children they are meant to have on their own timeline? I'll just never understand why it has to be such a struggle for some of us.

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  4. I just happened to stop by your blog and going through infertility myself made me cry . We have thought about adopting and have been thinking about it but have not taken any steps. Initial research seems daunting :( Having one biological child, i always worry if I adopt , will I ever love the adopted one as much , will I be fair? Your blog has been so refreshing and honest . Thank you for sharing with the world and for the ones weeping silently like me showing there is hope!

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  5. I agree with you so much here... I've been thinking a LOT lately about our miscarried baby (s/he'd be two this month), because I'm pregnant now with a little girl due in May and that leaves plenty of time in between to have had both babies... so why couldn't I just have them both? But, number one was a honeymoon baby, and I know we would have had such a different marriage if we had had a child right away. And I'd be such a different person if not for those two years of infertility. So, I have to be thankful for it too. (Although I'm already begging to not have to deal with secondary IF...)

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    1. Katie, your comment made me realize that while it works out nicely to explain how infertility led me to my three kids, it may not be as neat and tidy a story to explain how my miscarriage works in when I look back at it down the road. And that's why I think I can't look at it as if it's this nice little explanation to make me feel better. It's messy.. it's very imperfect.. there was a lot of heartbreak involved. And I shouldn't view it as trying to make sense of the senseless, because we can't. But sometimes there are just facts, and the fact is I wouldn't have these three kids if not for infertility...whether that makes sense or not. And, likewise, you can't know if you'd have this second baby. And if we can find some amount of comfort in that, then so be it. Anyway.. just thinking out loud here, thanks to your insights :)

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  6. Beautifully said. I think your story is a great example of how God will take something as ugly as infertility (and miscarriage, too) and turn it into something good. It is just so hard to believe that when we're in the middle of it. But if we give Him time and keep our hearts open, He will bless our suffering in a way that we probably never could have predicted.

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  7. Beautiful children! Beautifully written post!

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  8. Thanks for this post. This and other things you have written make me want to live my days of infertility well....or at least try to. Seeing the hope that can come out of suck a dark place is inspiring. It's clear that Our Lord brought good from your suffering and it's beautiful to see. I know He doesn't have the exact same plans for all of us dealing with IF but seeing your witness makes me see that it's possible for so much redemption in ways I wouldn't expect.

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  9. Beautiful! God can bring so much good out of suffering, even if we fight it the whole way. :)

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  10. Beautiful K! And all the photos are so gorgeous…you need a whole wall to frame them all! :)

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  11. I love this whole post and each of your little blessings!

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  12. I love this post. I try to remind myself of this often when I feel jealous of many friends who effortlessly conceive perfectly-spaced kids every 2 years (... or so it seems). Our daughter who we adopted 21 months ago is perfectly meant to be ours. She was worth every hopeless month of TTC on our own. It was quite the journey to get to her, but we wouldn't change things. Beautiful post.

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  13. Beautifully stated.

    Last year, at the most amazing retreat (Created for Care-- a Christian adoptive moms retreat--- you should join us next year!) I had that same "aha" moment. I am an adoptive mom because of my cruel and complicated history of cancer. I was diagnosed my first year of college and I held a lot of anger about cancer changing my life.

    Suddenly, while on retreat, I had my "aha" moment that I finally came to a place of peace and was able to thank God for my journey. Without cancer in my life, I would not be the mom I am today to my three sweeties. And I know that these three little ones are meant to call me mom. They make our family what it is- and for that I am thankful every day.

    I also thank God that my adoption journey wasn't smooth... that we waited and waited. That we had broken matches which tore at my heart. These things drew me closer to God and my husband. I know I am a more mindful and loving mom because my journey hasn't been easy.

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  14. I just tweeted a link to your beautiful story @kinformationusa. Your lovely family will inspire many people stuck in the pain and hopelessness of infertility to open their hearts and minds to new possibilities. I think of adoptive families as "the lucky ones", children and parents whose struggles allowed them to find each other.

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  15. As a woman who still suffers, I can't be as thankful for infertility. Perhaps if I had three beautiful children, I too would feel differently. Infertility is odd that way. There is no doubt you suffered from infertility, but once you've had a child, it's some type of a status change, but I don't know what it's called. I'm happy for you. I understand what you are saying. You are truly blessed.

    I just don't feel the same way. It's a grief I still carry and suspect I always will. I'm glad you are on the other side of it.

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    1. Rebecca, I'm so sorry, and I totally understand. I hate infertility, believe me. I'm not looking back on it with rose-colored glasses; it was terrible and it's still a grief I carry. All I'm saying is that it changed the trajectory of my life, and I can't wish it away (however theoretically that is) because the things that came from it are things that I wouldn't want to lose. And while my blessings that came from it are obvious (my children), I believe God can bring good from infertility in other ways too, like a stronger marriage, a closer relationship with God, a changed career, or dear friends that you wouldn't have met if not for your shared struggles. Although I fully admit that it's very easy for me to feel this way now that I'm on the other side. I'm sorry you are suffering, and I will be praying for you.

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  16. I had similar thoughts to yours at one point and blogged about them here: http://www.eccefiat11.blogspot.com/2013/05/what-would-you-give-up.html My main takeaway was that the bad and good in my life (infertility definitely being in the "bad" category) are so mixed together and intertwined that "getting rid of" a bad thing (as if we could even do that!) would mean getting rid of a lot of good too. I think that's kind of what you're saying? Anyway, thanks for the reflections and beautiful pictures!

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    1. Yes, that's exactly what I'm saying! I loved your post. That's exactly how I feel.

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  17. Hi There! I have been following your blog for awhile and thought you would be a good person to share this with. Though, I hate to comment this on your blog but I thought you might see it sooner if it came as a comment rather than email. I wanted to share with you a baby that is in need of adoption. I'm just trying to share anywhere I can think of in case someone knows of someone who might be interested in this sweet baby girl. I just received an email about her this morning. She is 4 weeks old with special needs and in desperate need of a family. More info can be found about her here: http://www.onloanfromheaven.com/2014/03/baby-v-draft.html?m=1

    I appreciate you sharing this with others :)

    God bless!

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