“Do you know what it is thus to live on the future—to live on expectation—to antedate heaven? It may be all dark now, but it will soon be light; it may be all trial now, but it will soon be all happiness. What matters it though "weeping may endure for a night," when "joy cometh in the morning?" CH Spurgeon
Infertility is mind numbing, soul stabbing, tear inducing pain, particularly when Mother’s Day comes around each year. The one ray of sunshine for me on this day is sending my mom flowers or something sweet out of pure gratefulness for her selfless love and care of us as a stay-at-home mom to 7 kids. Because seriously having me at 17 and the other 6 kids before the age of 35, is also quite a feat! I love and respect Mom for all of the sacrifices she made for us including putting her education and career goals on hold for 20 years. I’m amazed at how utterly thrilled she is that we are finally expecting. Sometimes it seems as though she has more joy and anticipation of her little granddaughter than Nathan and I combined.
It just occured to me the other day that it must be terribly painful to watch your own children endure infertility. Mom has said on multiple occasions that she has a sense of guilt for how easy it was for her to conceive and deliver the seven of us. When she called me in tears 2 years ago to say that my brother and his wife lost their firstborn son (stillborn at 8 months) the hurt and anguish of that lost grandson was beyond measure. “What do I say to them” she asked? Through my flood of tears, I responded that there’s nothing you can say to take this hurt from them, but just listen. Even if you sit on the phone and just cry together, that’s ok. They need to know that we care, that we are mourning their loss and that we are praying for them. Silence and a heart of shared grief and compassion is better than a well intentioned barrage of words that only drive the sharp pain of loss even deeper.
Yes, infertility, miscarriages and the death of our nephew have drastically changed the dynamic of both of our families, but I’m thankful for the hope and joy that waits on the other side—our personal quest to become parents has spanned 4 years, totaled thousands of dollars, included endless tears and a multitude of emotional trials and heartaches—but Lord willing we are on the other side and will treasure the little life that is being entrusted to us as a gift from God. After a stillborn and a miscarriage my brother and his wife are finally pregnant again—she is due 2 months after I am. What joy, sweetness and tears there will be when the two long expected cousins meet for the first time.
While it has been pitch dark and there have been many, many trials on the path to parenthood, the prospect that the future may “be light and happiness” is such an encouragement.