Apparently, it is baby season. Friends near and far are revealing their news in various ways and I am so happy for all of them. The¬†gift of life is truly an amazing thing. Human beings are being created here! And as any new member of babycenter.com knows, they start off smaller than a poppy seed and then grow to be the size of an olive, then a nectarine, then a melon…and you get the point. They grow! They develop eyes and ears and knees. New life is worth raving about. Our creator is worth praising!

And while I’m ecstatic for those who are blessed to experience their belly growing as their child develops, I’m more aware then ever before of just how blessed they are. Oh, how blessed I am! Because it’s not as easy to get pregnant as I once thought. Many little girls dream of their lives unfolding over the years ahead of them. For most it almost always involves the man of their dreams, a fabulous wedding, and having babies. And most of the time that dream is never questioned. Because our bodies were created in a miraculous way to produce and carry babies. I never thought about all that could go wrong in our complex bodies to make that dream not come true. Sadly, there’s a lot of heartache out there due to infertility.

I’ve learned that this is a reality for a lot of women. But as someone who hasn’t had to go through the pain myself, it’s been hard to relate to and grieve alongside women who I care deeply about. A friend referred me to this post written by Molly Piper and I decided that it was a great place to start–I needed to educate myself. After some research, I purchased Hannah’s Hope. I don’t claim to be an expert on the subject, but I do know that my heart has been changed by this book and I hope my actions and words are more sensitive to those who are hurting. (In other words, I hope I never ask any married couple when they are going to start a family again. Because the truth is, they ARE a family…just the two of them. And if they haven’t started having kids yet, there’s probably a very good reason why. They may be hurting and my ignorance of that weighty question will likely crush them. I would hate that.)

Friends and strangers who are going through infertility…I am so sorry you are in pain. Your hope and dreams are in my prayers.

I’m not sure where to go from here as this post took a different twist than I was originally planning. You see, as friends have shared their news, I’ve forwarded them an email that has made it’s way to a number of people over the past year. It includes a list of pregnancy and baby “must-haves”…in my 2010 opinion, at least. From a design perspective, the formatting of the email is horrific and I’ve been meaning to make it pretty so that I don’t twinge the next time I forward it. So, that’s what I was planning to do here. It seemed like a logical place to put it.

I think I’ll save it for another time. It just doesn’t seem like a proper ending to this post. If you’ve taken the time to read this, know that there is probably someone in your life who is hurting with this incomparable pain and it would be worth your time to educate yourself.

P.S. Molly Piper put together a series of posts relating to helping grieving friends. I haven’t made my way through all of them, but her insight and wisdom into the grieving process and how to support others who are grieving is admirable.

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  1. Great post, Heather! I think Molly’s posts on grief are some of the most helpful things I’ve read ever. I have no experienced this heartache either but have seen too many friends walk through this and I am praying for a culture that is more sensitive and understanding.

  2. I’m proud of you for educating yourself. My husband and I can’t have biological children and I certainly went through a long period of grieving (which I’m not sure ever goes away). When we were going through all this a friend gave me a book that basically said if you have enough faith, God will give you a child. This is a dear friend of mine that I love with all my heart. I think I read one page and threw it across the room. I eventually threw it out.

    I can tell you that through two adoptions (one we’re still in the thick of) I still question God. “Why did you make this so hard for us?” It truly doesn’t make any sense. And our two children, who I love with all my heart and will always be proud of, are not “normal”. One has cerebral palsy and one has a mental challenge. And I feel guilty because sometimes I just want normal.

    When friends tell me they’re pregnant, there’s still a wall that goes up. “Oh, that’s nice. Congratulations!” And I mean it, but I still hurt that God wouldn’t allow that honor to be mine, too. No showers, no registry (we didn’t know our daughter until last Tuesday so we had no idea who she was or even how old!). Just a mounting debt and begging friends for money through fundraisers.

    For a long time I couldn’t even hold a baby. “No, thanks. He’s cute, though.” And all pregnancy and baby conversations were completely tuned out by me.

    I’ve come a long way in the past 5 years (having an amazing and sweet son will do that to you) and can now volunteer in the nursery again. I still tune out most pregnancy and baby conversations because, let’s face it, unless you’re in the thick of things I’m not sure you want to know! :)

  3. Heather, very well-said – every time I teach Genesis in my class, we talk about these issues of pregnancy and birth, and it seems like those old stories have the same mix of happiness, sadness, and worry that we see today.

  4. I’ve found your blog because K thinks so highly of you! This post was great, I’ve been saving it until I could follow all the links and read them all.

    Your sensitivity is encouraging to me.

    As I read them tonight I am praying that I will be a better friend to grieving friends than I have in the past.

      1. I have another little update :) I bought and am reading Hannah’s Hope also. Flying through to chapter 6 and I am so glad you mentioned it! Thank you.

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