This post is written by guest author, Jonnie Harvey. She shares her own story of infertility and loss to help bring hope to those struggling.
Happy Mother’s Day? It’s not so happy for some.
For several groups of women, Mother’s Day isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Maybe you have a strained relationship with your mom and it totally sucks to pick out a card for her. Maybe your mom has passed away and it still hurts to not have her. For that I am so very sorry for your pain. What I am here to talk about today is not those ladies. I am here to talk about those that are struggling with (or have struggled with in the past) infertility, miscarriage, early infant loss, abortion, child loss at any age. So you know where I’m coming from and how I know this pain, I’m going to tell you a story… our story.
My husband’s and my journey with miscarriage and infertility began right after we were married. We married young. I was 18 and he was 19 (we’re going on 30 years married in December of 2019). We got pregnant within 3 months of getting married. And it was on purpose. *gasp I know* Unfortunately, it was on May 10, 1990 that I began to spot. On May 13, 1990, also Mother’s Day that year, I went in to the hospital for my D&C. We started trying to get pregnant again as soon as we were allowed. It was then that we started walking a long, dark, and often lonely road called infertility, primary infertility to be specific. During the next 7 years, Mother’s Day SSSUUUCCKKKED. Though I was technically a mom even if my baby wasn’t with me, I felt like I couldn’t/shouldn’t be celebrated. I didn’t FEEL like a mom….because my baby wasn’t with me. I was told once in that time that Mother’s Day wasn’t all about being celebrated but celebrating the moms in your life. Okay, sure. I get it. It still hurt.
For us, our story does have a redemptive part to it and we conceived our now 21 year old daughter on Mother’s Day weekend of 1997. In the Bible the number 7 represents completion. She was born January of 1998. We gave it 6 months and started trying again. Now we were walking the road of secondary infertility. It was about 2 years later before we conceived again. This was a baby that was prophesied to us. We just KNEW this was our son that we prayed for. And he was. But he was not born this side of heaven. On Father’s Day of 2000, I saw something very familiar to me. I began to spot. 2 days later, the baby was no more. We were devastated to say the least. When we lost our first, I’ll admit that we didn’t really mourn like we should have. I had the naïve thought “Oh we’ll get pregnant again.” So with our second loss, I KNEW it was hard and didn’t know if we were ever going to get the chance to give birth again.
Our story has still more redemption in it... In 2001, we conceived again (which was a big deal to do more than once in a year for us). Our now 17 year old son shared the same due date, one year later, with his big brother.
We thought more would be in the picture for us. But the Lord showed us later on that it wasn’t to be. So after almost 20 years on the road of infertility or pregnancy, we completed our journey.
If you know and love someone, this Mother’s Day, that is struggling with any of the things I listed above, pray for them. If you are close to them and are comfortable doing so, pray WITH them. I believe what they want is for their pain to be recognized. Do be careful with what you say to them. A lot of times what we think is “comfort” or “wisdom” is nothing but insensitive and ignorant. If you don’t know what to say, don’t make anything up. All you need to say is “I’m sorry for what you’re going through. I’m praying for you. I love you." And leave it at that. Sometimes we feel like we have to keep talking because WE’RE uncomfortable with their pain when all they need and want is for someone to hear their hearts and listen to them.
If you see yourself in this post and this day hurts for you, I am so sorry for your pain. Know your pain is real and deserves to be felt and heard. If you are like I was where you have a child but are trying for another and are having trouble, you are caught between being thankful for what you have and hurting for what you don’t have. It’s OKAY. Don’t let anyone make you feel guilty because you're hurt right now. You deserve to be heard, too. I hear you.
Jonnie recommends the book "Morning Will Come" by Sandy Day as a resource of encouragement for those struggling with infertility. You can find it here on Amazon.