after miscarriage · grief and loss · Infertility · iui · pregnancy loss · sermon takeaways · trying to conceive

The valley of “should be”

I can’t help but think about the fact that today I should be halfway through my pregnancy. We should already know our baby’s gender, we should be planning for baby showers and where to fit a crib in our apartment…I should be starting to show and…and…and…

I thought when my period came a few weeks ago that things clicked into place and that I was ready to be okay again. In some ways, I have been; I’ve at least been able to be productive and not zone out in front of the TV for hours on end (see previous post).

But every time I see a baby I want to cry. Every time I hear about another pregnancy it’s a gut punch. Every day of my cycle feels like it’s another day closer to be reminded of failure; because at this point I really don’t have a whole lot of confidence that we’ll be able to conceive completely naturally.

I’m just so tired of this being all consuming. But I honestly don’t know how to think about anything else.

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On a separate note, at least things are in process again with infertility treatments. It was super stressful for a couple weeks; I was beginning to be afraid that our new insurance wouldn’t be accepted anywhere (though technically I didn’t even know enough about our plan to get accurate information from any of the clinics I called).

But after a bunch of phone calls and (unnecessary) stress…I was able to switch our insurance ‘group’ to the one that is accepted at the clinic where our previous RE already works. I’m very hopeful that because she knows us she will just let us jump right in to another round of IUI with my upcoming cycle and not make us go through all the testing again; though if it’s a matter of getting insurance to cover things maybe she’ll still have to. I don’t know. I’m just grateful to be able to go back to her; it’s a small blessing in all of this.

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I’ll close with a couple reflections from one of my pastor’s recent sermons. He just finished going through Psalm 23; and the sermon on verse 4 (“Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me”) had some especially helpful observations.

First was just the quote that he started with…an ancient proverb or something. “All sunshine and no rain makes a desert.” Enough said about that.

He also pointed out the following observation, something I’d never noticed before. The first three verses of the psalm refer to the Lord as “He.” (he leads me, he restores…etc) After the valley…after the first part of verse 4, David refers to the Lord as “you.” (“You are with me, you prepare, you anoint…). Walking through the inevitable valleys of life deepen our relationship with our shepherd and make it personal. We’re not just sheep being herded around…we are children walking through life with a father who pursues us with goodness and mercy. (that was in today’s sermon; the word for follow in verse 6 actually can be translated as “pursue.”)

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And as I pondered a title for this post I realized that the whiny first part is it’s own type of valley…so I guess I need to actually take what I just shared to heart. Hopefully it encourages someone else but apparently I also needed to be reminded of it again.

Infertility · journal entry · motherhood

Purpose

It’s been a harder week than I thought it would be.

I’m doing better on the outside overall; I actually started a “productivity and thankfulness log” so that I can keep accountable to do more than just sit around and watch TV. I write 5 things I’m thankful for and make notes throughout the day of what activities I’m doing. I’ve been reading, playing piano, doing puzzles, reading my Bible, cleaning…so I feel better at the end of the days because I’ve actually done things I enjoy or that I need to.

But I’ve gone back to being sad. My little niece was born on Tuesday; and initially I was okay (while sister-in-law was in labor etc) but after we saw and held her…it just put that ache back inside and I haven’t been able to shake it.

I think I’m just struggling to feel like I have a purpose right now. I’ve reflected on that before; that I believe motherhood is one of the things I’ve been called to do and until I’m able to fulfill that calling things it just seems like something is missing.

And so the days have an emptiness to them. I can do all the ‘wife’ things….I can do all the ‘nurse’ things…but I still have hours of time that I’m stuck just thinking about the ‘mom’ things that I want to be able to do.

Filling the time with hobbies is a distraction but it’s not a cure. It makes me feel productive, but it doesn’t make me feel purposeful.

I know my ultimate purpose is to enjoy (know) and glorify God. So obviously, motherhood or not, I have a purpose. But when I’m still working on getting back to a good place spiritually it’s hard to see how that would fill all the hours of the day. Especially when raising and loving children feels like it could be the best medium for me to do that.

Maybe I’m fooling myself there. Maybe motherhood is so much of an idol after all that this is the last thing that could help me know and glorify God and that’s why it’s being withheld for now. But I want to believe that I would seek to know God more if I had little lives to shape; that I would seek to glorify God in my response to the day to day challenges of motherhood.