What You Don’t Know (about infertility)

This past week was a different sort of birthday/anniversary for my husband and me. It was the birth and death of our second daughter, Ashley. I’ve shared here on the blog about her and what happened. She was delivered on July 2nd and buried on the 7th. That was 28 years ago. I don’t share it to bring sorrow or sympathy, but just as a reminder that she is a part of our lives that we will never forget.

Not only is there a memory of her delivery and burial, but there was a continuing part of our story that was also difficult that I’ll always remember. It’s called Secondary Infertility. It took me a couple of years after she died to feel ready for another baby. I was fearful if we had another child too soon it would feel like we were simply replacing Ashley. My heart couldn’t bear that thought. So we waited and prayed. Then we waited some more because

I couldn’t get pregnant.

It was difficult, but we did have our older daughter, Whitney and we were loving raising her and watching her grow.

Well-meaning people began to ask us questions:

When are you going to have another baby? You don’t want Whitney to be raised alone!”

But they didn’t know. Our struggles were nowhere in their thoughts.

Some people who didn’t know about Ashley would ask why we weren’t having more children and the pain of her death would cut our hearts wide open. But they didn’t know. Surely had they known they would not have asked such hurtful and personal questions.

Since those difficult days I have refrained from asking any woman any questions about why she was or wasn’t having a baby because I don’t know all the facts. Some women are aching inside for a child but cannot conceive. Some have physical issues that they’re dealing with. Some have had a miscarriage or multiple losses and the wound is fresh in their heart and in their womb. Asking them “When are you going to have a baby?!” only emphasizes her emptiness and causes the wound to bleed once again.

Making comments – even sweetly – about how adorable a woman looks with a baby in her arms and making suggestions that it’s “her turn” is making assumptions that could be totally incorrect.

  • You’re assuming she could get pregnant if she wanted to.
  • You’re assuming that it’s just as easy as wanting it to happen, when it could be a monthly struggle instead.

Proverbs 10:19 says, In the multitude of words there wanteth not sin: but he that refraineth his lips is wise.

On behalf of every woman out there who is struggling with infertility in any degree, let’s use wisdom and not ask the questions that are in our thoughts  Let’s refrain our lips instead and just pray for God’s will in that family’s life.

Because there are things that we don’t know,  let’s use wisdom instead and show what we do know – if we talk too much we could not only sin, but we might also open a wound that very well might be hidden in her heart.  You never know.

Thanks for letting me share my burden about this.  I’d love to hear your thoughts.

With love and a healed heart,