Monday, January 16, 2012

All or Nothing

I am worried that I have taken a somewhat unhealthy approach to how I am dealing with INFERTILITY.  That is what we're dealing with.  Difficult to admit, but true.  The approach I have taken is one of ALL or NOTHING.  I either don't think about any of this at all, going about my daily responsibilities without really thinking of it, or I decide it's time to really face it, make some decisions, and move forward.

A dear friend asked me about the entire situation last weekend, which made me pause.  I paused and thought a few different things: 1) "This is a good friend.  Thank you God for good friends who aren't afraid to bring things up that may explode into a volcano of ickiness."  2) "Am I NOT dealing with this?  Am I just ignoring it?   What should I be doing?"  3) (Later in the day,) "Maybe it's time to bite the bullet.  We should just go ahead and go to the doctor and do what he says."

Thankfully, I guess, I landed somewhere in the middle of all of that.  I brought it up with J and we talked about it some.  I had a terrible dream about having a horrible argument with the dear friend.  I had trouble sleeping.  So today I decided I would try to do some more reading about infertility, to try once again to find some information, some encouragement, from people who have been through what I have that wasn't all in "infertility terms."  (If you don't know what I'm talking about, visit an infertility support website.  Everyone is speaking in a foreign code containing things like "Lupron, BCP's, e2 levels, just to name a few.)

Here are some examples of what I found:

"Are you interested in or planning IVF?  Ask about our multi-cycle discounts!"

"Most women simply don’t realize that at 30, a healthy woman has about a 20 percent chance of conceiving per month and by the time she reaches 40, her odds drop to about 5 percent, Collura said."

Wow.  The first item makes me feel like Wal-Mart has gotten into the infertility business and wants to sell me IVF (In-Vitro Fertilization) at their "Roll-Back Price."  Or they're running a specials at Sam's.  The second item blew every positive thought I had about trying to find encouragement right out of my head.  According to it, I maybe have a 10-12% chance of having a baby, even without our infertility issues.  Both of these items were found on websites for actual fertility clinics, by the way, not quacks selling drugs on the internet.

I am sitting here realizing that infertility has become a massive marketing market:  Conceive NOW before it's too late!  Don't miss this ONE TIME OFFER!*

*Offer may be hazardous to your physical, spiritual, and emotional health.  May cause damaging side effects to your marriage.  Side effects may include, but are not limited to: adversely affecting your body now and in the future, going bankrupt, being convinced that your body is not your own and that you MUST do these things because if you don't then there is 0 chance of a baby, and increased stress in every aspect of your life, including your marriage.  No guarantees, no refunds.

AND THIS MAKES ME MAD!!!!  Mad, mad, MAD.  Why do I have to listen to these people?  Why do I think I have to listen to these people?  They don't know me.  They don't know J.  They don't know our bodies or our lives or the home we've built or anything else about us, but by golly, they will sell us the opportunity to put ourselves through hell and MAYBE, just maybe get a baby out of it.  Maybe.  Maybe not.  They get paid either way.

And then I realize, I don't have to listen to them.  I don't have to submit my body to their will, to what they say will make my body and J's body and our bodies together cooperate to have a child.  The ONE I do have to listen to DOES know me.  He knows J.  He knows our hopes and our struggles and the things we cry about in the middle of the night.  He knows our bodies from head to toe.  He knows every hair on our heads.  And he LOVES us.  He's not trying to sell us something.  He loves us, even in our sin, our darkest moments that we don't want anyone else to know about.

And HE has a plan for us.  A plan that may or may not include children.  Who am I to mess with that plan?  Sarah messed with the plan, and though God made good things happen out of her impatience and disobedience, He would have preferred that she didn't mess with the plan.  Elizabeth resigned herself to the stigma and sting of being barren, and she got to parent John the Baptist!  Mary believed the COMPLETELY IMPOSSIBLE could happen with her fertility (a virgin had a baby!) and she had the incredible honor of bringing our Savior into the world as a baby and being entrusted by God to raise Him.  The Bible is full of people who were obedient and disobedient with their fertility. (Remember the two women in the Old Testament who got their dad drunk on different nights and had sex with him.  That wasn't God's plan!)  I pray that I would be obedient to Him with my body, with my fertility, that J and I would listen and obey, no matter how hard it gets.  That obedience may take us somewhere I haven't thought of and to places I am not comfortable in.  But HE will be there, and that is what matters.  I choose to TRUST the author of my life, to place it ALL in His hands, give Him ALL the glory, and REJOICE in His plan for me, for us.  Giving Him my ALL may leave me with NOTHING, but NOTHING with Him is better than it ALL with the world.