This week we will look at Chapter 3 of “When the Cradle is Empty” by John and Sylvia Van Regenmorter. Chapter 3 is titled “Why Does Infertility Hurt So Much?” I think this is such a great question. It may seem obvious but it’s not. We have all delt with disappointment before, we have all had to wait for something longer than we wished, but not being able to have a child affects the core of who we are and what we hoped for in life. I think only those who have been on this journey can truly understand. John and Sylvia discuss the “aloneness” of infertility, the dashed hopes and the financial toll that infertility takes on a couple.
They also made a “Top Ten” list comments couples hate to hear when going through infertility. Which ones of these have you heard?
10. “Guess who’s pregnant – again?”
9. “It will happen when you’re ready.”
8. “So-and-so prayed, and they got pregnant right away.”
7. “You’re being too sensitive.” (Or, “Maybe you’re not meant to have children.” Or, “Just accept it and go on.”)
6. “Do you want me to give you a few pointers? (Ha, ha!) Are you sure you know how babies are made?”
5. “I get pregnant so easily! My husband just looks at me and a baby is on the way.”
4. “You’re lucky you don’t have kids.” (Or, “Why do you want them anyway?” Or, “I’ll galdy give you a couple of mine.”)
3. “You’re not getting any younger.” (Or, “When are you going to have kids, anyway?”)
2. “Adopt! You’ll get pregnant for sure.”
1. “Just relax! You’re trying too hard.”
-John and Sylvia Van Regenmorter
I know you’ve heard these before. I don’t think peolpe intend to be so insensitive but most people are “blurters”, they blurt the first thing that comes to mind and that usually isn’t the most sensitive thing. Similar to death, infertility makes peolpe uncomfortable and they don’t usually know what to say. But for those in our close circle of friends/family we may have to educate them on how they can help. I think the best thing friends/family can say is, “I can only imagine what a tough thing this must be. If you need to talk I’m here to listen.” Sometimes that’s all we need. Sometimes all we want to say is “I am so mad I can’t have a baby!” and we want someone to put their arm around us and say, “If I were you, I’d feel the same way.”
Maybe the miracle this week is that we have a God that is there for us all the time to do just that. He does understand. He knows how hard this is. He feels our sorrow. He will never tell us to “Just Relax!”