Archives for posts with tag: Family

The more I read, the more I’m compared to a tree

The more I notice that my branches aren’t quite ripening

The more I’m told, the more I feel like no one knows

Simple lines of comfort sometimes cause more pain

Sometimes people try to tell me stories. Sometimes they try to tell me the easy cliches that everyone knows. Sometimes they say that everything happens for a reason or this is how God is growing me into a better person.

Don’t get me wrong, I am healing. It’s not because of your reasons.

Could you just be here, just be with me. Sometimes that is all that i need.

I wish I could communicate in an easy way that the best times I have had in dealing with infertility was when someone came along with me and did life. I knew they were with me. I knew that there couldn’t be some easy spiritual answer that would make me feel better about my pain.

Part of me wishes I could be that voice for you. An anonymous male knowing first hand the pains of infertility . Knowing first hand what friends or the church have done well and what they have done wrong in this situation.

Here is a video that I hope can be seen by more people and can be spread. While not specific to us, it gives me hope that we can just be there for each other.

What Not to Say to Someone Who’s Suffering from The Gospel Coalition on Vimeo.

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we have been trying for three years. they tried for three days.

We’re back from Thanksgiving and we missed you!

I hope you all enjoyed your weekend and got to spend some of it with family. Did any of you find great Black Friday deals? I stayed far away from that madness. I love to shop but pepper spray and pushing scare me. Abram and I spent our days with family and friends and even got to catch a few naps in between. As we were going around the Thanksgiving dinner table and sharing what we’re thankful for, I realized that this blog has been a huge blessing to me lately. You guys have become a community of hope for me and you remind me that I’m not alone in this scary land of infertility. Thank you for stopping by our site and encouraging us with your comments. I honestly can’t sum up how much that means to me.

I know that Holidays can be really hard when dealing with infertility, so I spent some time on Thanksgiving Day praying for each one of you. It’s hard when you’ve spent so much time hoping and dreaming of making the Big Announcement to your family but only have negative pregnancy tests to show for it. I know what that feels like. For those of you who follow us on Twitter (twitter.com/stillcountingst), you may have seen that Thanksgiving brought a very big announcement: My younger sister is pregnant.

Oh man.

We knew the announcement was coming, but nothing can fully prepare you for the moment.

I can’t help but think it should have been me. We’ve been trying for 3 years. She and her husband tried for 3 days. Literally. It was their first month trying. I wanted to have the first grandchild and make my family excited and proud. I wanted to be the one to make my parents grandparents. That was supposed to be our announcement. She got to break the news to family while going around the table and sharing “thankfuls”. How picture perfect is that?! Why does it make me feel sick?

Hope deferred makes the heart sick. Proverbs 13:12a

Every time I hear someone is pregnant, I literally get a stomach ache. Jealousy and disappointment overcome me. I want to be happy for them and get excited over every little detail, but I feel like I don’t have it in me. I just can’t get over the question of “why not me”? When will it be my turn?

But a longing fulfilled is a tree of life. Proverbs 13:12b

But at the same time, I’m happy for them. I’m happy for my sister. I’m learning to make a very intentional decision to choose joy. There’s going to be new life in our family and that brings a ton of excitement. And by God’s grace, my reaction has been good. On my own, I would have yelled and screamed and pouted in the corner when I heard her good news, but God’s showered loads of grace on me over the past year just to prepare me for this moment.

The writer of Proverbs sure knew what he was talking about when he said hope deferred makes the heart sick. I’m tired of waiting. Tired of being heart-sick. I want to make that announcement soon. I want to experience my deepest longing fulfilled. I want to know the joy and fullness of the tree of life.

But until then, I will trust God’s timing.

Someday I’ll get to make my Big Announcement.

I just have to keep reminding myself.

I’ll just try to cope with these stomach aches.

How do you guys handle when your friends or sisters make the Big Announcement?

I mentioned last week that one of my closest friends recently suffered a miscarriage. I can’t begin to understand the pain she’s experiencing, but I imagine the feeling of loss is immense. Maybe some of you have been there. She had that positive pregnancy test, experienced all of the usual pregnancy symptoms, and even had a growing belly. Her calendar was marked, her work notified, and her joy was growing faster than her belly. And then tragedy struck. She lost the baby. All of her plans shattered.

Less than a week after the miscarriage and D and C, she sent me an e-mail titled “I am thankful.” In the midst of the storm, she was able to praise Jesus and tell of his faithfulness. At a time when so many would disown God, she clung to Him and chose to trust His sovereignty. Her response reminds me of the Willis family’s powerful response I wrote about a couple of weeks ago.

The e-mail my sweet friend wrote detailed all the ways that God provided in the midst of their tragedy. She ended it with a poem that she gave me permission to share. It’s about her time at the hospital and her experience with the D and C, but I think it’s encouragement to all of us that we can be thankful no matter what we’re going through.

I am Thankful

I never thought we’d be in this place,
but we’re thankful to be, to experience His grace.
Today we’re thankful for the goodness of the Lord,
and that He gave us not just enough, but immeasurably more.
He made a nurse obedient to His tug,
He provided another nurse Mollie and a teddy bear to hug.
A doctor not willing to hurry, giving us not a reason to worry.
Loving parents right there at our side,
reminding us in Him to abide.
He made a room open up, so He could continue to fill up our cup.
Each moment was ordained, right there He remained.
Even though our hearts are breaking,
it was for a greater purpose He was making.
Our families at home down on their knees
through the power of prayer our fears were released.
Every prayer was answered,
every concern removed.
Our plans may have been shattered,
but His was proved.
His timing is perfect, His ways secure,
In our loss, His love endures.
Scared and confused,
the questions abounded,
In the midst of it all,
we were surrounded.
We know not the reason,
We cannot question His plans,
We do know our little one
is now in His hands.

I am so blessed to know this awesome woman of God! Please keep her and her husband in your prayers and maybe leave an encouraging word here for them. She pops in here occasionally and I’m sure she could use the support.
This Thanksgiving, let’s challenge ourselves to remember what we’re thankful for. In my family, we go around the dinner table and all share one thing we’re thankful for. Let’s pretend this blog is our table, what are you thankful for this year?

-Sarah

it has been very interesting in this long process finding out who my wife has told and realizing who i have told about what we are dealing with.  the random people who are keeping our secret are a unique mix of people.

we feel this overwhelming shame of telling people we can’t get pregnant.  there is a fear that they will judge us, tell us what we need to do, get weird around us, or keep secrets to protect us.

it is almost as if we did something shameful to put us in this place

but we haven’t done anything to put us in this situation.  this is the hand we have been dealt.

to be honest i am extremely scared of telling my parents.  i have let them in on glimpses of what we are going through, but i have always hated their reactions and it is putting a wall between us.  they tend to react with all the wrong clichés and do not seem to understand how hard this is.

my wife has told her mom but it seems like her mom, who is typically incredibly supportive and thoughtful, has no idea how to respond.  we get cards in the mail to get over colds or do well on tests, but never to tell us she is praying we get better.

i really wish infertility could be seen as a disease.  i wish people understood we are handicapped by this.  i wish people understood how many couples are struggling with infertility because their bodies aren’t functioning properly.

maybe then i could come out of the closet and let everyone know that our bodies need healing and that we are struggling to make this work.  that same confusion that people get when they find out they have cancer is the confusion that i live with; why me.

maybe someday this blog will not have to be anonymous.

but for now i want a get well soon card.  i want to be told it is o.k.  i want to be told that I am o.k.

until then i will continue to put up a wall and keep this secret to myself.

how have all of you decided who to tell and who to not tell?

– “Abram ”

Schwimmbrille

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This is everything

let’s face it

this is the issue that is in our face on every webpage, Christmas card, night out for dinner and discussion with friends that are parents.  this is the issue every morning that my wife has another ultrasound or blood work.  this is the issue at every family gathering or party where we get the questions.

this is our current struggle.  this is not the same struggle, but this is the MAIN one.

this defines the angle i look at every sermon or worship song about healing. this is our blindness; our invisible leprosy.  the current stage of infertility grief makes it into almost every quiet time or nighttime prayer.  this is what i define myself as.  everything goes through my “infertility goggles” where i stretch and skew every comment to pertain to one single part of my life.  each bible verse i read is about how I can’t have kids.

“Ohhhh, the parable of the sower is about plants? not reproductive seed?  The parable of the laborers isn’t about drinking wine to help have children? Why all the talk about the vine and bearing fruit?  God actually wants me to bear fruit other than children?  The parable of the good Samaritan is definitely about my acupuncture specialist though.”

okay, maybe a little far fetched from what i was going through.

but i know we need to embrace this struggle.  this is our story.  this can be used for good or bad because we are part of this club and experienced it first hand.

Yet this is not everything

 this is not who we are

we are full of other stories

i read many of these infertility blogs and i feel people have just tagged themselves like they are just another lab rat with a single purpose.

we need to get past this.  i know it is difficult.

our interactions with friends and family go beyond us not having children.  our purpose here goes far beyond changing diapers and watching a child graduate.  we can contribute tons more to this world and grow in a ton of different ways.

i made a conscious decision to go through church services and meetings with friends in the last month focusing on other areas of my life. i was amazed at what i have been missing. my friendships go beyond fatherhood and i needed to realize that i cannot put God, family, friends, my job, and my hobbies on pause.  God is not done working in them yet.

My story is not who i am

my hope is that this infertility becomes my story and not just who i am; that i can still deal with every other issue in life and grow in all areas.  whether it be music, friendships, my career, my faith, or anything else i am passionate about, i will combine them with my current struggle to help determine who i am and who i am becoming in all of this.  i will take on situations as they affect me, not just as they affect my infertility.

i will break my infertility goggles and live life to the fullest in ALL areas

– Abram –

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