For me, the monthly roller coaster of hope and disappointment has been by far the hardest. It always starts with me telling myself not to get my hopes up. But still, I can't help wondering if this could be the month, especially if I've undergone some form of treatment. Every twinge is analyzed, I feel a little sick to my stomach and I wonder if it might be morning sickness. I try not to count the days, but I do anyway. And then it starts, and I know I'm not pregnant...again. Still. I can't help crying. And this happens month after month, until I'm so emotionally exhausted that I just don't think I can stand one more cycle of it.
The best help I've found for this is to try to look beyond today's storm to the rainbow--God's promise that it won't rain forever. Someday, the infertility journey will end, and whether that's with children or without I want to have walked with God through it and come out more like Jesus on the other side.
It seems as if a lot of women who get pregnant don't want to be. How do you deal with the issue of God's justice?
I think that just about everyone who goes through infertility at some point wants to turn to God and says, "What are you, crazy?" And when you look at things on a grand scale-the incidence of abortions, teen mothers, and unwanted pregnancies, while wonderful couples can't have children-it doesn't make a lot of sense. So, for me, it helps to look at the smaller picture-my life and what God wants for me. The blessings he chooses for me shouldn't be compared with those he gives to others, and vice versa.
Also, I believe that every child is a precious and undeserved gift from God. So if he chooses to give that gift to others, even those who don't appreciate it, and not to me, that's his prerogative. God doesn't owe me a child. I hope he'll give me one, but it's his choice.
Let me answer that with a resounding NO! For some reason as human beings we have the need to answer this question of WHY. Why is this happening to me? "God is punishing me" often becomes a simple answer to that question. A good friend of mine really struggled through this issue. She asked, "Am I being punished because I was sexually active before marriage, because we didn't try to have children right away after we were married, because I'm not a good enough wife, or did this, or didn't do that?" But plenty of people are sexually active before marriage, or use birth control, or whatever, and they have no problem conceiving.
So the real question is not so much "Is this a punishment," but rather, "Why do I feel so badly about myself that I have to believe that I somehow deserve this?" My friend finally realized that maybe God had just chosen this path for her for reasons she couldn't fathom. Maybe there wasn't a "why" that she could know. And if that was the case, could she trust God, and His love for her, enough to not make up a bunch of "why's" to get him off the hook?
Is it a sin to get treatment for infertility?
No! It's no more a sin to seek treatment for infertility than for any other physical malady. When I got bronchitis, I went to the doctor and got an antibiotic. When my husband broke his arm, he went in and got a cast. We don't think of these medical interventions as sin. Nor should we label infertility treatments as sin. They, too, are simply a means of trying to fix something that's gone wrong.
As a scientist myself, I believe that science is the study and discovery of God's works, his incredible creation. Therefore, medical discoveries and advances are a gift from God--a revealing of part of the mystery of his creation. We may use that knowledge for good, to fix what has been "broken"--in the case of infertility, to hopefully repair the reproductive system--or for bad, destructive purposes. Seeking treatment for infertility does not mean a person is not trusting God. Rather, it is simply opening another path through which God may work.
Typically, no. I do suggest, however, that people seek God's will for themselves--go to him in humility and ask what he'd have for their lives personally--rather than relying on what someone else says.
Beyond that, it's important to point out that God created people to have children. "Go forth and multiply," he said to Adam and Eve. Treatments such as IVF do not create children--that's God's work. Treatment only helps to overcome physical obstacles that hinder conception. The miracle of life is still in God's hands. For example, IVF puts eggs and sperm together outside the womb, but the doctor can't force those eggs and sperm to grow and develop into a baby. Drugs may increase the number of mature eggs a woman develops in a cycle, but drugs don't create life. Whether we use IVF or another means to have children, the miracle of life still lies fully with God.