Infertility During The Great Pause
The Coronavirus has brought everyone to a complete standstill; it truly affects us all. This is National Infertility Awareness Week, and my heart goes out to those who are in the middle of their infertility battles during this global pandemic. Earlier today, comments that I read on an infertility support website saddened me:
“Waited for a cycle to start treatment for 4 months, now we are quarantined, and treatments are cancelled.”
“The Government shutdown took my career away. Without work and sitting around just waiting has brought back so much of the pain that came with the waiting to become pregnant, waiting for tests, transfers, results. It has put me into a tough headspace again.”
“My husband and I are at a standstill with IVF because of the Corona Virus. We are not sure when clinics will open back up.”
“I had my third unsuccessful transfer before lock down. It was really tough to cope with the loss while at home.”
“We’ve been trying and waiting for 7 very long years, and the first real chance we get to finally be parents and we have a global pandemic.”
Waiting. Isolation. Defeat. Desperation. Sadness. Grief. Anger. Anxiety. I could just imagine what emotions these women must be feeling. I wish I could give them a huge hug – because I know what they are going through. My “Great Pause” between children (aka my battle with secondary infertility) lasted six long years. My husband and I have seven babies in Heaven.
With COVID19 spreading across the universe, women and couples are having to delay IVF cycles, go through a miscarriage in isolation, or even postpone an in-home visit from an adoption agency or an in-person interview with a potential surrogate. While reducing the number of patients going to and from fertility treatments helps to stop the spread of the virus, it certainly doesn’t make it any easier for those with fertility challenges. For many, every month of waiting reduces their chances of pregnancy. They feel like they are losing precious time.
Let me tell you, though – these women are warriors. They have dealt with and overcome many, many challenges. They are no strangers to isolation, as infertility can make someone feel very alone. I truly believe that this pandemic is not the end of their stories. God remembers the barren.
I was asked what advice I would give to anyone battling infertility during these challenging times. First, I would say to have HOPE! Do not let any physician or situation take it away. Hope is “a feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen.” You may be told that odds are not in your favor, just like I was. When you feel hopeless, it can be difficult to take steps toward change or reaching a goal.
Anyone that knows me knows that I attribute my miracle twins to my faith in God. It was an imperative part of my infertility journey – it is what got me through my darkest days. I prayed daily by myself, with friends and even with my husband. I was devastated and confused after each miscarriage – but the praying sustained and grounded me. I knew that God had a path for me, I just didn’t know what that looked like. That, my friends, is faith. FAITH is about having confidence in what you hope for even though you can’t see it.
No matter where you are in your faith journey or whatever your relationship with God is, I encourage you to write your dreams, hopes, wishes and prayers in a journal. There is something about memorializing them – seeing them in writing, that makes them tangible. Journaling can be therapeutic; especially when your emotions are so real. Creating a prayer box is another way to actively engage your faith. Write down anything that is on your heart and place it in the box. It is a way of physically turning your worries over to God.
God wants us to PRAY – BOLD prayers! I took twelve different hormones, pills, patches and shots during my IVF cycle. Not only did I pray that I wouldn’t be a completely crazy, hormonal maniac – I prayed that I would feel enthusiastic and euphoric while on the meds. I prayed this over and over, and guess what? I never felt better than I did when I was on my IVF regimen. The more specific your prayers are, the more glory God receives. Bold prayers honor God and God honors bold prayers!
John 5:14 says “And this is the confidence that we have toward Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.” If you think God isn’t listening, I promise that He is. “Social distancing” and “Sheltering in Place” provide the perfect time to be still and communicate with God. It’s so helpful to trust in God’s timing. This is not to say that God wants us to be passive. Being passive is not the same as being patient or trusting. It’s quite the opposite.
I pray for each of you – to receive God’s peace and joy during this time of pause, instead of anxiety and sadness. God hears your cries, and He knows your heart’s desires. Surrender and trust in Him and in His timing.
My “Great Pause” which was fraught with miscarriages didn’t define me. It didn’t dictate what was to come. I began to whisper to myself that change was coming. I elevated my mind and my thoughts, so that I could allow positivity. I gave my conscious attention to what I specifically wanted and told myself that everything was unfolding perfectly, in His timing.
Remember that you are worthy! Well-being abounds, so reach for joy. Feed your faith and your fears will starve.
“JOY IS THE EFFECT WHICH COMES WHEN WE USE OUR POWERS. JOY…IS THE GOAL OF LIFE, FOR IT IS THE EMOTION WHICH ACCOMPANIES OUR FULFILLING OUR NATURES AS HUMAN BEINGS. IT IS BASED ON THE EXPERIENCE OF ONE’S IDENTITY AS BEING OF WORTH AND DIGNITY…” – Rollo May
“LET US NOT BECOME WEARY IN DOING GOOD, FOR AT THE PROPER TIME WE WILL REAP A HARVEST IF WE DO NOT GIVE UP.” GALATIANS 6:9
Sending you love from Oklahoma.