Friday, June 27, 2014

The Trauma of No Baby

I do some of my best thinking in the shower.  This morning, while washing off yesterday's dirt, I was thinking about how J and I have been married for almost 7 years and how I've heard that the 7 year mark is often when people separate or divorce.  Perplexed, I thought, "In some ways, I feel like I am just now getting to know J!"  This was quickly followed by the thought that we haven't experienced a traumatic event, like a major illness or the death of a close family member.  Yes, we've had some bad times, but apparently nothing that my brain equated with"trauma."  And then I thought, "well, there is the whole no baby thing."

The trauma of no baby is a real one.  It is a trauma of absence, of hope unfulfilled.  It is a longing and a struggle, and I have no doubt that it can destroy marriages.  The focus becomes the gaping hole  you imagined would "complete" your family, not on the family you have.  The focus becomes when to be intimate, when not to, and what the medical professionals think you should do next, not enjoying each other, laughing together, and thanking God for modern medicine while realizing that God is still God.

So, if you know a couple who has been dealing with the trauma of no baby, encourage them to reconnect with and enjoy each other.  Maybe you buy them a gift card to restaurant for a date night.  Maybe you offer to dog sit so they can go away for a few days.  Maybe you let them know there's a free concert in the park with some wonderful music that you think they would like.  It can be a gesture large or small in scale, but it will be appreciated.