I hear the words not spoken, assumed, lingering in the air all around me. Are people really saying these things? Are they only imagined assumptions? In my inward state I can't remember...
Six are so many. Why more?
Depression. Is she crazy?
Almost 35. She's not young, anymore.
There's no reason to mourn or be sad. She should be grateful for what she has. Why is she so upset?
I attempt to answer those questions:
Six are so many, yes, they are many, and they are six. More? Because we love our children and feel that more are meant to come to our family. Why? Because we believe in personal revelation and we have asked Heavenly Father, in prayer, whether or not we are to have more children. He has pricked our hearts over the last two years (I remember the first time... 5 weeks after #6 was born... I was overcome with the Spirit telling me to have more children...) and reminded us that we are to have more. We want more. We are capable of loving more and providing for more.
I do have Depression. I have had it for a long time and I'm very aware that my brain is messed up. But because of it, I have learned how to take better care of myself. I've learned how to say, "No," and I've learned how to have faith in Christ. All of the hard things with motherhood and depression have given me more charity, have taught me more about the love of God. It has created a lack of selfishness that I otherwise would have clung to with a fierce independence. I have learned that I cannot do it all, and that I was not meant to do it all. Having more children won't make my depression worse any more than not having children will make it better. This is something I can say with confidence, although I do recognize not everyone will be the same.
Almost 35. Yes, I am. I am not young, and that is why I want to have my babies now! I won't be able to have them in 10-15 years. That time will be over. I want to have babies while I can, and since it's been proven that women can and do have babies into their 40's, I'm not worried about my age. If anything, it has made me more resolved not to wait so long anymore. I will not regret having babies, but I will regret not having babies when I could.
There is definitely a reason to mourn and be sad, but it doesn't mean I'm not grateful for what I have! I have six beautiful and wonderful children! I have a supportive husband who loves them and wants more, too. But I am sad and I am mourning because for one long year I have not been able to conceive. In fact, this is the longest space of time in between children that we've ever had --Since the age of 21, I have been consistently pregnant within 9-21 months after each birth, and this is strange. I'm sad because I want a baby, but I'm also sad because I am very aware that it might not happen.
Just because God has asked us to have more, and just because we desire more, does not mean that we will have more.
See, I have experienced miscarriage, (although not this year). I do understand grief. I do know that things do not always work --they rarely work --the way we want them to.
I know so many willing, righteous, desiring women who have asked God for children and have not been able to have even one. I do not pretend to imagine that grief. But I do have a small understanding of the pain they must feel.
The truth is, I've spent a lot of time being faithful and grateful this year. I've seen how the timing is proving to be a blessing because of our cross-country move. I know I'm overweight and have a lot to do to get my health to where it needs to be (and could be the cause of my infertility), so it's good that I'm focusing on that right now. I haven't spent a lot of time mourning or being sad because I have had a lot of faith that it would happen in God's time.
I still have that faith.
But I'm still truly sad. And today I am feeling it keenly.
I long to feel the movement of a baby inside of me, to smell the sweet newborn head, to nurse a hungry baby... I miss it desperately. I long for it. And with that longing comes a deep sense of peace knowing that I finally understand something that has taken me six children and nearly 13 years to understand... but I'll write about that another time... (sorry if that's too vague or leaves you wanting more...)
Have any of you experienced second infertility? Infertility in general? How do you handle the grief? What has helped you? If you could, will you share your stories?