Infertility is a silent struggle that all too many women wrestle with. Time after time of trying, followed by time after time of disappointment, a hollowness that screams “unworthy” and “unfit mother” reverberates through their empty wombs.
While that may seem dramatized for those who never battled with wanting a baby so badly only for your body to fail you, Amber Stone Williams knows exactly how accurate that painful reality is.
The 476 days she spent desperately trying to conceive may as well have been a lifetime. Ecstatic to finally break the news that she was carrying a little miracle inside her tummy, Amber made her joyous pregnancy announcement on Facebook.
But nearly as soon as she did, she recalled her own grueling journey of infertility and just how hard it was to watch friends announce their pregnancies while she yearned for their blessing. She was once “that girl”. And she could not so easily forget.
Not every pregnancy announcement stirs feelings of joy in those who read it. For some, it ignites resentment, jealousy, anger, or simply indescribable sadness.
So she followed her announcement with a heartfelt letter of apology and acknowledgment to women currently experiencing the pain of waiting that was in her not-so-distant past… and it has since struck a chord with mamas in waiting across the web:
I get it. I know the feeling.
That gut-wrenching, hard to breathe feeling.
Because I was that girl. The girl that saw yet ANOTHER pregnancy announcement on my newsfeed and just rolled her eyes. The girl that felt sick to her stomach because it wasn’t me doing the announcing. The girl that was so angry that you didn’t even have to try… It was an ‘accident’. The girl that would cry behind closed doors because my heart was so broken that my body wouldn’t produce a miracle like yours would.
I get it.
I’m so sorry.
I know seeing a pregnancy announcement yet again has made you an emotional hot mess.
I’m so sorry.
I know your heart is breaking into a million pieces all the while you are digging way down deep to express just an ounce of joy for the parents to be.
I’m so sorry.
I know the ugly jealous feeling all too well. The kind of feeling that makes you feel like you’re back in high school, and it isn’t a feeling you are proud of.
I’m so sorry.
This season of our lives has been hard. I’m talking all capital letter HARD. It’s been ugly, heartbreaking, and full of hope that ends in despair. And while I wouldn’t have particularly chosen this route for our life, I am learning to be thankful for what the Lord has taught me through my 17 months of infertility.
He has taught me to have faith.
And not the faith I thought that I had… He has instilled in me the kind of faith that moves mountains… because let’s be real: conceiving is an absolutely M-I-R-A-C-L-E. In the small amount of research I have done, I have learned just what all has to happen for a baby to be formed. And wow… It’s such a one in a million miracle. Choosing to have faith in one of the darkest times of my life has allowed me to keep my eyes on Him rather than dwelling in my own sorrow. Because to have faith means to completely trust in… I choose everyday, multiple times a day, to believe that my God is for me and wants to grant me the desires of my heart. I have learned that I need His presence more than I need His answers and while I may not have all the answers, they have already been written by the most high God.
He has taught me patience.
Which is the worst. Waiting is no fun. But in my waiting, my eyes have been opened. They have seen the devastation and the depression that takes place while you wait. The unexplainable sadness that completely overwhelms every inch of your body. But in my waiting…. oh how I’ve seen just a glimpse of what Jesus sees in us. Waiting for us to draw closer to Him… waiting for us to choose what is right… waiting for us to just be still in His presence. While waiting may not be what you’d choose, it is necessary to realize the miracle that will unveil before your very eyes.
He has taught me compassion.
My heart has completely changed. I see you over there holding that sweet baby in the nursery longing and dreaming of the day you hold your own. I see you crying at baby dedication when the pastor talks about how big of a blessing children are. I see you cringe when you get asked once again when you’re going to have a baby and you just want to punch them in the face and cry all at the same time. I see you avoiding your pregnant friend like the plague because it’s just too hard… and there was a time when I did not even notice any of it. I have seen the other side, and I get it. There was a time when I wouldn’t have checked on a friend who had a miscarriage, or lost their baby due to unforeseen circumstances, or who can’t conceive no matter how hard they’ve tried, or the one whose adoption process has fallen through once again because I didn’t want to bring up any pain… But I’ve seen just how therapeutic it is to have someone who just cares. I mean truly cares. Someone that will take just a minute out of their day to check in with you and won’t accept ‘doing good’ for an answer- because we all know that’s a lie. Someone that will drag you out of the house for some coffee, and depending on the day, will either sit there in the silence or will let you pour your heart out, and they won’t tell a soul. It is SO important to surround yourself with trustworthy people who get it because without it, it is a dark place that the Lord has not called you to walk alone.
My time of infertility has been an emotional roller coaster. Times of hope and times of heartbreak. But through it all, the Lord has never left my side. He has been there even when I didn’t want to acknowledge Him. He has been there through my excitement and my daydreaming. And He has been there through my heartbreak and despair.
But I know with all of my heart that even if the Lord didn’t bless us with a baby, my God is sovereign and He hears my cries… the pleading prayers, the constant tears, the angry outbursts, the jealous fits, and even the moments you feel like giving up. I’ve come to realize just how much He loves me in the process.
So here is my prayer for those of you in your waiting period…
I pray your hormone levels even out to what they are supposed to be in Jesus name. I pray for regular cycles. I pray for clear Fallopian tubes… no blockages of any kind. I am speaking healing over your ovaries. I pray for your uterine lining to be strengthened. I pray for any and all endometriosis to be non-existent. I pray your PCOS is healed or easily controlled. I pray against any cysts that may hinder your ability to get pregnant. I pray for your follicles to mature and your eggs to grow. I pray for you to ovulate at just the perfect time. I pray for the sex to be fun and for your love for your spouse to grow so deeply. I pray for his sperm to reach your mature and healthy eggs and for them to fertilize at just the right moment. I pray the healthy follicle embeds into your uterus and grows into the most perfect miracle(s)… I pray for your hearts to be softened and for you to not feel alone. Because you aren’t. I pray for your faith to deepen, your patience to increase, and for compassion to flood your veins. My prayer is for the Lord bless you and keep you… may His face shine upon you. May He show you favor and give you unexplainable peace.
So, this is for the girl who got another negative pregnancy test this morning… to the girl who has no idea why this is so hard for her… to the girl whose heart is so bitter… to the girl who has lost a child due to miscarriage or heartbreaking circumstance… to the girl whose adoption process has failed once again… to the girl who has one child but can’t seem to get pregnant again… I love you. I am so sorry you are going through this, and I know it’s just not fair. But, I am so thankful for your hearts and for what the Lord is teaching you through one of the most difficult times of your life. This does not define you. Jesus has already done that. Don’t miss what could be the greatest journey of your life because it isn’t exactly what you pictured. Don’t let the bitterness and jealousy flood your veins distracting you from what the Lord wants to accomplish through your circumstances.
Thank you Lord for showing me how to use what the enemy meant for destruction and showing me, through the pain, just how much you love me… and I pray that He shows you too. I am praying that when your miracle arrives, they are the beautiful ending scene to the story the Lord has written for you. Don’t miss it. This is a story worth telling.
476 days of infertility.
Thousands of dollars in medical bills.
11 months of Clomid.
Injection after injection.
Prescription after prescription.
Ultrasound after ultrasound.
Hundreds of needle pricks.
Months of failed treatments.
And 2 pink lines to remind me how faithful my God is in the midst of it all and that it was worth every single second.”