In the Valley…
When my husband and I married, we assumed that someday we would have children of our own and that I would go through the process of conception, development, and birth.
But after 12 years with no children, we began to think differently. We found an infertility center and used a number of methods to try to remedy the situation but with no success. I had what is known as a luteal phase defect where I could get pregnant, but the lining of the uterus was not thick enough to maintain the pregnancy and 6 times in these 12 years, between 6-10 weeks, I would learn that there was no heartbeat and have to undergo a D&C. Each time I learned I was pregnant I was thrilled, only to learn 2-4 weeks later that the pregnancy was not viable – and my hopes were dashed once again.
Though I often wondered what God was doing in my life and why these things were happening to me, I honestly feel that my faith in God was the only thing that got me through these dark, discouraging times. My hope lay in these beliefs: because of evil in this world, death exists and bad things can happen to good people. That doesn’t mean, however, that God allows these things to punish me personally. He grieves along with me; he never leaves my side in my sorrow; he knows what I feel – my discouragement and hopelessness. He comforted me and gave me peace and taught me to put my hopes and dreams in him alone.
He walked beside me, every step of the way. My only comfort was and is that I know that I belong to him in both life and death (Q&A1, Heid. Catechism). In times of grief, I also remembered that God cared more than I did about these little ones, and it gave me comfort to know that as their Creator, he was caring for them in Heaven for me. I believe that one day I will see these children again. Though I did not get to experience life with them here on earth, I will experience eternity with them in the future.
Yes, my faith sustained me, but that does not mean I did not go through deep mourning, sorrow, and grief. These feelings are genuine, and it does not matter at what point after conception that you lose a child; he/she was still a real human being full of potential. I mourned for what could have been, the potential, the death of dreams. My friends and family supported us, constantly prayed for us, and assured us that God had a plan for us.
After 12 years of trying, I basically gave up and felt that this must not be part of God’s plan for our family and resigned myself to the fact that most likely I would never give birth. I gave my dreams to God and asked that his will be done in my life. After some time, we began to look in other directions to build our family and that is a whole other story. More to come…