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For Women Struggling with Infertility

Keren Kanyago

Crosswalk.com Contributing Writer
Published: Feb 28, 2022
For Women Struggling with Infertility

It was a nippy Saturday morning and my brother was getting hitched. Friends and family milled around excitedly, dressed to the nines. Then there was me clutching onto my shattered heart. I loathed family gatherings. Why? You may ask. It had been well over four years since I got married, yet I remained childless. And this was not because my husband and I weren’t ready to be parents. Far from it. We desperately wanted babies, but they were not forthcoming. 

Back to the wedding. The shame of being childless hangs over my head like a thick, impenetrable cloud. There was a sea of friends and family to greet and make small talk with. Then came the prodding. “You don’t have any kids yet?” “Is there a problem or you just don’t want kids?” But perhaps what tore my strength to the ground was when someone whispered to me nonchalantly, “Make sure the new couple does not overtake you.” That snide remark made me bawl my eyes out. 

Dealing with infertility goes down as one of the most grueling periods of my life. It was a dark season full of tears, apprehension, and desperate prayer. Although your experience may be entirely different from mine, I do have a sneak peek into the heart-rending pain and frustration.  

Here are a few things to reflect upon as you walk that journey:

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1. Your Marriage is Complete Even Without Kids

Perhaps you feel like your marriage is incomplete without children. I know I did. Society gives us the notion that children are the cherry on top in a marriage. Nothing could be further from the truth! Marriage is a union between two people who then become one flesh (Genesis 2:24). The “oneness” implies becoming one whole unit. In God’s eyes, that union is complete and well on its way to a fantastic future. 

Consider this, if it took kids to make a marriage complete, would we have couples drifting apart after having children? Certainly not! Children are an addition to the marriage and not part of the basic units. It, however, takes a conscious effort for a childless woman to embrace this truth. For instance, no matter how much my husband reassured me of his unwavering love for me despite not having kids, I would still feel incomplete. 

Due to constant provocation by her rival Peninnah, Hannah of the Bible also lost sight of this truth. Her husband Elkanah was stunned by the intensity of her grief and wondered whether he was not enough for her.

“Her husband Elkanah would say to her, 'Hannah, why are you weeping? Why don’t you eat? Why are you downhearted? Don’t I mean more to you than ten sons?'” (1 Samuel 1:8). I believe many well-meaning husbands of childless women ask themselves the same question. “Isn’t our marriage complete without kids?” “Am I not enough for you?” Dear woman struggling with infertility, dare to have the strength to believe that your marriage is complete even without kids. 

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Woman alone in her apartment

2. You Are Not Alone

One of the tactics the devil uses to oppress God’s children is to make them believe that they are the only ones going through a particular rough patch. Perhaps from where you sit, everyone else’s life looks fine and dandy. But that’s a false illusion because everyone has a thorn in the flesh.

It helps to remember that you are not the only one contending with infertility. There are scores of women scattered across the globe walking in your shoes. Several women in the Bible grappled with infertility.

There was Sarah, Abraham's wife, Rebekah, Rachel, Hannah, Samson's mother, and Elizabeth. While writing to the Corinthian Church, Paul reminded them that the tests they were undergoing were not unique to them. They were common to man (1 Corinthians 10:13). Find strength in the realization that you are not trudging the infertility path alone.

3. Avoid Shutting the World Out

It’s easy to want to recoil into a corner and shut the world out. Sometimes, you will feel like no one understands what you are going through. When I was battling infertility, I relished dashing home straight from work, turning down coffee dates with friends, and dodging social gatherings. At home, I would suck my thumb and wallow in self-pity.     

Shutting off others will only aggravate your grief. Remember you have wonderful friends and family who care about your welfare. They see your pain and pray for you. You need them to navigate this season you are in. Granted, there may be a handful of people who will hurt you. Ignore those and hold on to the well-meaning people God has made available for you. 

“Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.” (Hebrews 10: 25)

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4. Plug into a Support Group

It’s therapeutic to talk to someone who has walked a mile in your shoes. Joining a support group that consists of other women grappling with infertility will be invaluable. You can talk about your feelings freely without fear of being judged or misunderstood. You will also feel less lonely and glean some coping strategies from the members. 

Perhaps your church has a small group centered on infertility struggles, or your pastor's wife has battled the same darkness. Don't be afraid to find women who will understand your pain, but make sure they can offer godly, uplifting counsel on this journey. These are the women who will help combat self-isolation, offering fruitful coffee dates and public outings to combat the loneliness you feel. 

5. Embrace Selfcare

When we are depleted both physically and emotionally, we are less capable of dealing with life's stresses. We, therefore, need a shot in the arm to help us find our footing. Enter selfcare. Health experts state that selfcare is a powerful stress-buster. 

Selfcare helps restore your physical and emotional well-being, improves focus, and fosters resilience. Take a heart-pounding 20 minute run for instance. As you run, your body produces chemicals known as endorphins. These chemicals in turn produce a “good feeling” in your body and may give you a positive outlook towards life. 

Besides exercise, other self-care practices include a hot bath, a massage, sleeping, reading, and journaling among others. These will help reinvigorate you so that you are not running on empty. 

Though many in today's Christian culture associate selfcare with selfishness, understand that in order to best feed your soul to serve others, you can't pour from an empty cup. Your heart also needs a recharge. 

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hopeful woman looking out toward sunrise over field

6. Don't Muffle Your Feelings

Dealing with infertility is tough. There are so many intricate balls to juggle. There's the tracking of body temperature, endless injections, bloodwork, pregnancy tests, ultrasounds, timed intimacy, to mention but a few. All this can wring your strength dry and take a toll on your emotions.

As all the emotions involved close in on you, look for a way to get them off your chest. Remember, it's okay to cry and vent. It is okay to be angry. You don’t have to bottle up your feelings. As a matter of fact, suppressing your feelings does more harm than good. It makes your feelings stronger and more aggressive. Talk with someone you feel safe with, journal your thoughts, cry out to Jesus. 

“In my distress, I called upon the Lord, and cried out to my God; He heard my voice from His temple, and my cry came before Him, even to His ears.” (Psalm 18:6)

7. Remember: This Too Shall Pass

No trouble lasts forever; the sun always peeks out again. One day, you shall flip a new page in your life. For some, this may mean that they will eventually conceive and bear kids. Others may choose to adopt while yet others may choose to live a child-less life. 

Whatever the future will look like, you can bank on God's promise that His plans are not to harm you but to give you a future and a hope (Jeremiah 29:11). 

“Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning.” (Psalm 30:5b). 

Photo Credit: ©GettyImages/kieferpix

Crosswalk Writer Keren KanyagoKeren Kanyago is a freelance writer and blogger at Parenting Spring. As a wife and mom, she uses her blog to weigh in on pertinent issues around parenting, marriage, and the Christian Faith. She holds a degree in mass communication with a specialty in print media. Follow her on Facebook and Instagram and/or shoot her an email at kerenkanyago@gmail.com.

Originally published Monday, 28 February 2022.

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