Sunday, October 12, 2008

Plan G - Blessed with the Challenge of Infertility

I admit that I am a type A person. I always have been and always will be. I plan EVERYTHING and everything usually goes according to plan. When it doesn’t, I have the ability to flex with the situation and turn things around so that everything ends up working out for the best.

For example, when I was in high school I took a course called “Career Mentorship” where I spent 10 -15 hours a week shadowing someone in the career I had an interest in. It was a great experience where I could figure out if a field was for me before heading off to college. I quickly discovered that advertising was a bit more cut-throat and eventually choose dietetics. That helped me to avoid changing my major and maximize my college time because the plan was four years undergrad plus 1-2 years grad and out of school by 2003. And I was right on track.

Now my family plan was to be married by 24 and having our first child by 26. While I met my husband at age 21 we didn’t end up getting married until I was 25. But we weren’t too far off schedule (my schedule). So when we started to try having a family I was 27 (not age 26 as I had hoped but, again, close). What I could not plan for was infertility. God had a plan of His own.

This is the biggest thing He has been revealing to me during this time. His plan overrules my plan. I have been trying to embrace this mentality for the last year. Let me tell you, it’s not easy. But what I see is this: God has a plan for our family. It’s not “my cousin’s-sister’s-friend from grade school got pregnant by…” or “I have a friend who tried x and she got pregnant.” It’s our plan. I am not your cousin’s-sister’s-friend from grade school and I have probably already tried x already and it didn’t work.

God’s plan for your life is not His plan for our lives. For example, we have friends who got pregnant on their first try. Am I jealous? No. She also suffers from multiple sclerosis and has a certain window of time to even try to get pregnant. That was the plan for their lives. Or take my husband’s family history, his parent’s tried for three years and then adopted a son and a daughter. Then when she was 39 years old she suddenly discovered she was expecting my husband. If they hadn’t had fertility troubles my husband may never have been born.

Now that does not mean I know what our plan is yet. If He revealed everything to me I probably would never learn to trust, depend and put my faith in Him. And this is really hard for a planner like me to have to go through. Now I have to set aside my plans. This past month I have looked back on everything we have done for fertility: religiously temping so that even on weekends I set my alarm for my regular work time to ensure consistency, spent wayyyy to much time examining cervical mucas and positions (I know – TMI), having to stomach quarts of robitussin, sneaking ovulation kits into the ladies restroom at work, manipulating my business trips around my ovulation schedule, eating a wheat-dairy-meat-free diet to reduce inflammation from endometriosis, taken ridiculous amounts of herbal supplements, tried accupunture and accupressure and displayed my who-ha to more medical ‘strangers’ than I’d thought imaginable as we explored the word of fertility treatments such as clomid and IUI’s. So what does this all tell me? NOTHING I HAVE DONE HAS HELPED US GET PREGNANT! Because this is all beyond my control and just because I have submitted my version of ‘the plan’ to God does not mean that He has accepted it. In fact, it’s plausible that He took one look at it and said, “Mine’s better.”

There is a reason that we are going through this struggle and the best way to look at it is to say that we are being “blessed with the challenge of infertility.” Crazy, I know. How can you be blessed by infertility? It’s definitely not the blessing of infertility itself – that is a trial. But it’s the journey through this trial that brings forth the blessings.

For one, my husband and I have never been closer. I love him more having gone through this trial than ever before. He is a spiritual rock and really he is the one that has helped me to center my emotions and see that God is not punishing us and that He is in control.

Second, I feel that God is leading us to adoption. My husband’s family already has embraced adoption and it makes such a beautiful environment to bring another adopted child in to it. Not only would we be blessed by the gift a mother would give us, her child, but we would also be a blessing to the child.

Thirdly, God has protected me from miscarriage. Yes I never have experienced pregnancy but I also have never felt the devastation of losing a pregnancy. I think He knows I could not handle that and I am very thankful.

Fourth, God has protected me from bitterness. I’m not sure if I mentioned it but I work for the Women, Infant and Children (WIC) program. We give out vouchers for limited food to help supplement low income pregnant, postpartum and breastfeeding women, infants and children up to age five. I literally spend my day focused on pregnant women. In addition, most of our participants are young, unwed mothers. I have met women who work for our program and are infertile, become incredibly bitter when working with these young moms. It is truly the saddest thing. But I have instead been moved to only feel compassion for these moms. How can you not put aside bitterness when you are faced with a 14 year old girl who had a 4 pound baby due to inter uterine growth retardation and her mom had just abandoned her into the care of her 18 year old brother so she could live with her boyfriend because she didn’t want to deal with her ‘baby momma’ daughter. All I wanted to do is hug this young girl. Do you actually think she wanted to be in that position? But for some reason her choices led her down this path and the plan was for this little 4 pound peanut to enter in the world. God ordained life for this child for some reason that is beyond my understanding but is part of His greater plan.

So here we are, onto Plan B or better yet, Plan G. “G” for God. Not my plan but His plan. I may not like being on this plan on every day of the month and you may find me on here releasing my frustration but for what it’s worth I’m going to follow His plan. And I’m going to keep trying to embrace the fact that we are blessed with the challenge of infertility.


Meant to be a mom said...

You amaze me at your strength and your faith. Its beautiful. So many women should read your blogs. Your inspirational.
God will take care of you and your family, I know it. Your right he has a plan for us all and he loves us and he will help us to find a happy place in life. I will keep you guys in my daily prayers.

Tabitha said...

This post is beautiful, I LOVE it!! You WILL be blessed!!

KZ said...

I have been TTC for 3 years now, and only until very recently have I started to realize how I must loose the control. This blog is great and you said everything perfectly. We must loose the control and allow GOD to continue his plan. I am also going to change my new plan to, Plan G.
Thank you.

Auntie Keri said...

I just came across this post and absolutely fell in love with it. I too am a planner, always have been. Like you, and I'm sure a million other girls, I had the specific age I wanted to be married and have children. My goal was to be married by 26 and have two kids before the age of 30. I'm now 28 and dealing with infertility, so who knows when everything will go down.

Just like you, I've recently come to terms with the fact that I have to "let go and let god" It's hard, but I'm doing pretty darn good.

Hope in Virginia said...

Beautiful post! Not as well written as yours, but I did a similar post awhile back...