Note: This post was written by someone very close to me. I am sharing this post with her permission in the hopes that it will help other women struggling with infertility.
We reached the year mark about six months ago. That’s when the doctor visits, ovulation kits, wondering, and stress began. That’s when I first learned the difference between progesterone and estrogen, about how my body must be doing something wrong. That was the worst part. Feeling like this was my fault. That if we weren’t getting pregnant, there must be something wrong with me.
I wish I could say I bore my burdens with strength and humility, but if I’m being completely honest, I mostly just felt insecure, heartbroken, and discouraged. This was the one thing I was built to create, and yet there was something inside me saying, “Nope, sorry! You don’t get to have that yet.”
At first, I didn’t want anyone to know. I would talk to my husband about it, and however hard he tried to be supportive and understanding in the beginning, he wanted me to be stronger than I was. I spoke to my mom and sister, both who suffered through the same ugly trial and came out the other side with a total of four beautiful children. But, for the most part, I felt ashamed and foolish, sad and frustrated. I felt weak.
I slowly started letting people in. First, two of my dearest friends, both of whom had started families of their own. Then, another teacher at my school who was a friend to everyone. I found more and more strength as time went on, in the people around me and their love, but somehow I still felt… alone.
It wasn’t until Mother’s Day just last week that I finally found more peace than I had in a long time. Ironically, I had been dreading church all week. (An entire meeting about Mothers and their divine role? No thanks, I think I’ll pass.) But, as soon as the first speaker took the stand, my whole body relaxed and my eyes filled with tears. She apologized for the talk she was about to give, because, having never had children of her own, her perspective was very different. I found myself in awe of her as she spoke of her step children, her students, her nieces and nephews–these people in her life that she had mothered from a new, but still nurturing, angle. She spoke so eloquently and lovingly that I knew instantly that Heavenly Father had prepared this talk specifically for me. Both of the women that followed continued her theme of this “extended” version of motherhood. All three of them using the same quote from Sister Neill F. Marriott:
“Mothers literally make room in their bodies to nurture an unborn baby—and hopefully a place in their hearts as they raise them—but nurturing is not limited to bearing children. Eve was called a “mother” before she had children. I believe that “to mother” means “to give life.” Think of the many ways you give life. It could mean giving emotional life to the hopeless or spiritual life to the doubter. With the help of the Holy Ghost, we can create an emotionally healing place for the discriminated against, the rejected, and the stranger. In these tender yet powerful ways, we build the kingdom of God. Sisters, all of us came to earth with these life-giving, nurturing, maternal gifts because that is God’s plan.” (What Shall We Do by Sister Neill F. Marriott, General Women’s Session 2016).
Still, even after this sacrament meeting, I found myself at war. I wanted so badly to feel like myself again, to feel joy and peace, but there it was, nagging me incessantly, that word I had come to hate so much: infertility.
Fast forward a few days to today, and my next doctor’s appointment. I was already frustrated, because my car battery died that morning and I would have to find a way to get myself to the doctor’s office. After some less-than-sweet words to my husband and an exceptionally caring Mother-In-Law, I arrived at the doctor’s office. I walked up to the front desk to check in and the lady behind the counter sweetly informed me that Dr. Skinner was out delivering a baby. My heart sank. I needed this last piece of hope, and there this innocent woman sat, taking it from me. However discouraged I felt, I tried to stay positive. I took a deep breath. Having already rescheduled my appointment once, I was NOT going to leave that office until I had met with Dr. Skinner. I waited patiently, albeit restlessly, in the waiting room until my name was called an hour later. This day could not get any worse, and I was on my last nerve.
The appointment didn’t take long and after he prescribed me Clomid, I was on my way to the pharmacy to pick up my prescription. Very suddenly, I felt a change in my heart. With the pills on the passenger seat and “Humble and Kind” by Tim McGraw on the radio, I was finally at peace. Not because of the drugs, not because of the Cafe Rio Chicken Salad ready for me to eat when I arrived home, but because I was suddenly overcome with the angels surrounding me. I literally felt my Grandma Clement and my Grandpa Allred comforting me and lifting my spirits. It’s going to be okay, Becca, they whispered. You are not alone, and you are going to get through this. You have beautiful children here in Heaven just waiting to be yours. You are not alone.
I have always believed in ministering angels. I have always known my Savior loves me. But, today, I felt it. As the tears filled my eyes, my belief became knowledge, and my heart became full. I know now that I will get through this. That we will get through this. Whatever I have to learn, whatever sacrifices I have to make, whatever obstacles I have to endure, I will be a mother. Maybe I will have to wait until the next life, but like Sister Marriott said, motherhood does not necessarily mean giving birth. Thank you Sister Marriott, thank you to the ladies at church for humbling me, and thank you to Heavenly Father and my Grandma and Grandpa for finally helping me find peace. Really, you have given me so much more.