Wednesday, April 4, 2012

How I Thrive with Infertility

Oh boy, I guess it's my turn isn't it?  I've kind of put off writing this post because I'm not sure I can write it as eloquently as I would like.  Well, let's be honest, it's mostly because I kind of went through a rough patch for a couple weeks where I didn't really feel like I was thriving at all.  Sometimes infertility is an all consuming beast and is just plain tough!  This is such a difficult post to write because I feel like my emotions are so close to the surface.  So, I'll do my best to not hold back without sounding like a rambling mess.

The Gospel is my main source of strength.  It seems whenever I'm having one of the tough days, all I need to do is open my scriptures and there will be a verse just for me that day.  Something will stand out like it never has before and be just what I needed to hear.  The other night I read from 2 Nephi 2:2 "...Thou knowest the greatness of God; and he shall consecrate thine afflictions for thy gain."  That is the perfect scripture for infertility!  Through the scriptures we can see the eternal perspective.  I know with all my heart that one day I'll have a complete understanding of why I needed to face this trial to become the woman, mother, and person that I need to be.  I'll see all the blessings that I can only glimpse now.  Having that eternal perspective helps me have hope each day.  Through prayer I'm able to share this trial with my Heavenly Father.  I know that he knows me personally and wants to bless us with children.  Having this knowledge helps me to rely on Him and on His will for us.  He comforts me through the Holy Spirit and I feel his love for me as I face this struggle.  I'm sure he cries with me when I cry and wishes I could see the big picture as perfectly as he does.

One Sunday morning a few weeks ago I cried, and cried, and cried, and said to Matt, "I canNOT go to church and see everyone with their babies AGAIN this week!"  (Seeing my baby buddies at church is usually one of my favorite things--not that week.)  He just held me while I cried.  Matt is definitely my pillar of strength and helps me thrive.  But, I have to do my part in that too!  Women deal with infertility differently then men.  I could choose to just shut down and say, "You just don't understand!"  Sometimes you have to TELL them what you need.  Matt knows that when I get like that I don't want him to "fix" it, I just want him to hold me, listen... and get me tissues. :)  How does he know that?  Because I told him!!  Infertility can be tough on a marriage but with good communication it can also bring you closer than anything else!

LIVE!  I don't mean going through the motions everyday, we all fall into that trap... I'm talking about really living.  I'm talking about taking time each day to take deep breaths of fresh air even if it's so cold it hurts.  Close your eyes, notice how it smells, and how the wind feels on your face.  Take walks, watch the trees blow in the wind, listen to music that makes your heart sing, read a book that sucks you in, and make out with your hubby like you did when you were dating.  Laugh until you cry.  One of my most powerful thriving mechanisms is taking time to recognize how amazing life really is!  I take extra time to pamper myself, cook yummy meals, watch my favorite TV shows, and cuddle with Matt.  I try to live in the moment and leave the future up to the Lord.

Kind of ironically, the next thing that really helps me is to have a plan.  It helps me get through the day-to-day when I know when the next Dr. appointment will be, when the next test will be, when the next treatment will be, or for some, the next step in the adoption process.  It helps me to know that we have a plan.  Sometimes infertility can make you feel completely out of control.  I feel like having a plan helps me find balance.  There are things we can do and we know what we are doing next.  This helps foster hope and give us something to look forward to.

Ultimately, I have learned to cut myself some slack.  It's OK to cry and have hard days!  Infertility is the most difficult trial I've ever faced.  It's alright to feel your heart break a little as you watch those all around you experience the joy of parenthood.  I pray for the Lord to bless me with happiness for them and understanding that I don't see all of their trials... and if I did I probably wouldn't trade mine in. :)

I know that one day I'll see the blessings as well as the pain.  I'll have more understanding and empathy.  I'll be stronger and closer to the Lord.  And for that, I'm grateful.


Kylee Copeland said...

Stephanie, you are incredible. Thank you for sharing your story. :)

Rach said...

Love love love love love. I had no idea you posted this today, I just called at the right moment I guess! Favorite parts: LIVE...make out with your hubby like you did when you were dating. Laugh until you cry. And really, I should take a little more time to pamper myself.

I love your sincerity and how you share so much of your heart in this post. It means so much to me and I can relate in so many ways. Tender are certainly one of them. :-)

Anonymous said...

Stephanie, this was so beautifully written and something so close to my heart right now as well. You will be in my thoughts and prayers, hang in there and know if you ever need someone to talk to I'm always here!

Marie said...

I'm glad you decided to post today. I needed to read this. I agree, making time for the things you love most and pampering yourself are essential.

Landon and Julie said...

Love you, girl! Beautiful post!

Teandra said...

Beautifully written , you're a rockstar. Continued prayers for you guys.

My boy and I said...

Beautifully are so amazing! Thank you for sharing such personal things. You are such an inspiration to me and I am sure to others as well:) You and Matt are in my prayers.

Rebekah said...

I want you to know how much I admire you! You are hands down one of the most positive people I have every met. I love your energy and happiness and miss seeing you and Matt around. Cole and I love you and pray for you both all the time! Love you!

sydney b. said...

Stephanie! So I'm not sure if you remember me but my husband and I were in your ward in Provo for a few months. I randomly found your blog and I am really glad that I did. I have spent the last hour looking back at some of your posts and wanted to thank you for them. We are actually struggling with infertility and I have been having a really hard time lately. I appreciate your strength and honesty as you talk about infertility. I hope that you guys are doing well! We're now in Chicago so if you ever pop on up here again let me know! Thanks again for your posts. They are just what I needed this week.