Infertility is a taboo word that not many people want to discuss.
What does infertility mean anyway? If you have been trying to get pregnant and haven’t been able to conceive after one year—or after six months if you’re over 35—you are considered infertile. Also, women who are able to become pregnant, but cannot carry the baby to term and miscarry, are also considered infertile women. Sounds depressing doesn’t it?
According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control), the current percentage of women in the U.S. who are infertile, is 10%—does that sound like a small number?
Well, not really when you consider that the 10% translates into approximately 6.1 million women, in the U.S. alone.
Our Infertility Journey
I write romance books and my most recent release is entitled, Bella Lucia. It is a story unlike my other romance books, but I felt compelled to write it. My hope was that other infertile women like me might find some hope and encouragement that they are not alone.
My husband, John and I, met back in 2001 and we quickly became good friends. Three years later we were married. This July, we’ll be celebrating our 13th anniversary. We’ve gone through the normal married stuff—you know, adjusting to life as a couple and all the issues that come with that—but one issue has left us feeling isolated in our little section of the universe. After 13 years together, we’ve had difficulties getting pregnant.
It’s been a difficult road, but we have grown so much together as a couple and we’ve gotten stronger, but that hasn’t made the inherent pain of being a childless couple any easier to deal with.
My husband comes from a big, traditional, Italian family. Of his cousins, we were the second couple to get married. In the ensuing years, his other cousins and brother have gotten married and they’ve all been able to conceive and have children.
Needless to say, being around everyone who seemingly had no troubles getting pregnant hasn’t been easy; especially as we near year 13 in our marriage. Others, who have been married for less time, already have children. Although, God has been good and He’s brought friends into our lives in similar situations and we’ve been able to support each other through the ups and downs of trying to get pregnant.
The "Birth" of Bella Lucia
Living with this ache in my heart, always feeling the call of motherhood - but never being able to have a child, and then suffering two miscarriages - led me to write Bella Lucia. As I mentioned, I write fiction romance books and I felt God leading me to create a story dealing with the subject of infertility and all the painful struggles involved in getting pregnant, yet weave His hope into the plot. Even though this story is fiction, it’s a very personal story for me and I wanted to share how when you invite God into the midst of your circumstances, He always turns everything out for your good…even during the hard times.
When I wrote about the main character, Gwen, looking longingly at the empty chairs surrounding her dining room table—that was familiar to me, because I’ve done that, and felt the longing. When I wrote about Gwen being in pain when her best friend so easily got pregnant after only a short time married, I went through that pain as well with other family members conceiving so easily. When Gwen’s heart was broken every time she would pass by the local playground on her daily jog and see the children playing and mothers sitting watching their children, I felt her pain…wondering if I’d ever become a mother.
Peace that Passes Understanding
I know what it feels like to desperately want to be a mother and have a family. Yet, I know the peace that passes all understanding as God is guiding me and my husband through this rough time in our lives. He has a plan and I may not understand it, but I know He has our best in mind. Of course, it’s not always easy to believe that, but our faith is what has gotten us through and will continue to guide us.
Right now, my husband and I are going through a time of waiting on the Lord. We do believe that He has a plan for us, but sometimes when a deep-seeded dream is not realized, it’s very difficult to move on and accept a new perspective on how your life is going to play out. I do believe that there can be fulfillment in your life even in infertility, but that belief is still kind of shaky right now.
Finding Our Voice
Joining online Google+ communities and Facebook Groups have been very helpful. Also participating in the online community, The Infertility Voice, that is working toward sharing their values that infertility is an "emotional experience that is real and valid," and those who are dealing with this "life-altering disease deserve respect, dignity, and compassion" - has been so helpful during our journey.
I know that our journey has to have a purpose and I want to help others who are going through a similar experience. Being able to share with friends and family members who "know similar pain", sharing here at Pandora's Box Gazette, and sharing in online communities has been cathartic and healing. Simply knowing we are not alone, is medicine for our hearts and souls.
Let’s just say my husband and I are taking baby steps toward whatever future God has for us—one day at a time.