Tuesday, November 23, 2010
My Talk-In-Front-of-Church Thingy
My prayer was that I wouldn't cry and wouldn't cough. Neither of those are majorly life-threatening (in fact, I highly support crying) but I just knew it would be good for me (i.e. prevent mind block up on stage) in this case if I didn't. Thank God that it all went smoothly and I managed to hold of the crazy coughing for later.
Here's what I said:
Are you where you thought you would be a few years ago?
I'm sure many of you can understand what it is like to be on an unexpected journey.
I’m S. My husband J and I got married six years ago. In our third year into marriage we decided to start trying for a baby, little did we know what lay ahead.
These past three years we have undergone eight rounds of fertility treatment, I have had two surgeries, we have gone on holiday, we have tried to relax, we have had less caffeine, we have taken more vitamins, we have lost weight, gained weight, exercised, not exercised, tried alternative methods, basically tried different things to get pregnant. [Managed to get a few laughs here...]
In this time we have conceived and sadly we have lost four little lives early on in pregnancy.
Where this journey is hardest, is all the unknowns... naive as it may sound, some days we feel like yelling, this is not what I signed up for!
Questions that we sometimes ask are: How long will we wait? Will we ever have children? What treatment should we pursue? How many rounds?
Should we even pursue treatment? How do we trust God to provide? When do we consider other options? How do we cope with this rollercoaster of hope and disappointment?
I acknowledge that J and I have been fortunate enough to get pregnant, but for us, the question is also, will we carry a baby to term?
As you can imagine infertility and pregnancy loss impacts marriage. Jason and I deal with these issues so differently, that it can be very difficult to be on the same page.
There is also a deep sense of grief and depression that exists when dealing with infertility and pregnancy loss. With infertility, you mourn the child you dreamt of having, the thought of having a family.
With miscarriage, you mourn the child you carried for a time but won't get to meet in this lifetime and the things you longed to experience with them... and for some couples you ache to provide a sibling to an existing child.
It is a hard one to escape as there are so many reminders around us of what we miss or don’t have. Events like Christmas, Easter, Mother's Day and Father's Day can be met with such mixed feelings for those of us on this journey. J and I are full of joy for loved ones around us but we also feel the pain of yet another year celebrating it without kids.
I share this with you because infertility or loss is real for many couples around us. They may be your friends, family or colleagues. They may be open with their journey or they may be more private.
If you and your spouse are going through this, [our church] would just like to let you know that we want to care for you.
We’re not sure what this looks like yet, but we would definitely like to pray for you and support you. We understand that this is a difficult journey so we want to provide a place where you feel you can feel safe about it. This may be in the shape of a group, meeting up for a coffee or maybe even just a regular email.
You can contact me blahblah, etc...
I was shaking when I did it and I shook even after I sat down next to the husband. I hope no one noticed haha.
It was especially neat because the message was on community and how to be caring for each other in a deeper and real way (Galatians um... somewhere in there... I obviously wasn't paying enough attention!) so my bit served as an introduction to the message. Felt pretty special!
Doing this meant so much to me. It also occured very strongly to me how cared for I am by people around me, and how supported I am by the church with this whole idea to set up a kind of support network for others dealing with infertility, pregnancy loss or related issues.
I'm praying that wherever you are and whatever stage you're at, that you will also have someone you can talk to or feel safe with on this journey, as it can just be such a peculiar one to understand.