This is so different than the friendships I shared in Early Infertility (heretofore signifying first 3 or so years). In Early Infertility, I couldn't get enough of all things infertility. I slept, breathed, and ate gluten-free infertility like it was hopefully going out of style that very cycle. I blogged, daily, I stalked others' blogs, I read about others' NaPro miracles, convinced I would be sharing mine one day, too, and I became a professional pregnancy test/Pre-Seed/OTC mucus enhancer bargain shopper.
It is true that I look back on those early years and shake my head at my own naivete. It is true that through the cross of "long-term" infertility, I have gained many graces, and a wisdom I most definitely lacked in early infertility. But it is also true that I needed my Early Infertility, in order to bring me to where I am today. You see, I cannot look back on those years with too much disapproval, because they were perhaps more formative spiritually and emotionally than I realize. And while I may read some of my blog posts from Early Infertility with this mentality
I do think that my naivete of Early Infertility wasn't *all* bad, and that perhaps my outlook in Long-Term Infertility is more tainted by bitter resignation than I'd prefer it to be.
And so, as I reflected on this, I began to see that I need to do two important things:
- I need to learn from my sisters in Early Infertility. Part of the wisdom that comes with time and age should be in knowing that wisdom can be found everywhere, even where we may least expect it.
- I need to remember my own Early Infertility, how it shaped me, what it felt like, how I learned from it, and most of all, what hope felt like in those days.
What I believe I lost in my veteran status is a beautiful and amazing gift that those in Early Infertility have, and that is the ability to hope. I've written about hope quite a bit over here at TCIE, through all stages of my journey, and I've made a point to always emphasize that our hope should be in The Lord, not in "getting what we want." But, hoping to get what we want, if what we want is a good and holy desire, is not a bad thing. There is a child-like quality about it, that, rather than being viewed as a lack of wisdom or an abundance of naivete should perhaps be viewed in this light:
"Let the children come to me, and do not hinder them; for to such
belongs the kingdom of God. Truly, I say to you, whoever does
not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it."
- Jesus, circa 32 AD
Early Infertility is tough. And perhaps one of the toughest parts about it is the hope that continues to be dashed with each passing cycle. We watch as some of our comrades in battle conceive, and others do not, and our confusion leaves us paralyzed when there is seemingly no magic protocol of prayers and meds, no rhyme or reason to one person's continued infertility, and another's success. We wait, oh GOD, how we wait, ever impatiently, for it to be our turn... and we stand in AWE at those who have been doing this for years longer than us. (I remember discussing with friends in Early Infertility how none of us could ever IMAGINE what it would be like to have to wait THREE YEARS, as our friend B had, for her first.) Well, I am here to tell you, my sisters in Early Infertility, Long-Term Infertility is NOT the constant daily torture that you are currently experiencing. It does get better!
But as much as I may be able to tell you about your yet unknown future, you can teach me, and all of us, how to cling to that child-like hope that I know pleases God so much.
May we always remember what our first couple, or few years of infertility were like - how raw every single emotion felt, how jarring words could be when interpreted in the context of pain, and how we longed for a numbness that never seemed to come... all the while truly holding onto the hope that the Lord would provide an answer to the desire of our incessant prayers. May we always support, always console, and yes, always LEARN from these beautiful sisters in Christ, as their cross is ours - in perhaps its most painful AND hopeful stage.