Barren

Barren.

That word stings whether you are unable to have one or unable to have more. There is something that feels unnatural about that. Barren. You picture cracked dirt and lifeless ground. And it resembles what it feels like – a curse.

I was the girl who dreamed big! Big aspirations, big plans, big families! I would draw diagrams of houses, fully decked out with four nurseries. I mean, I was gonna have at least 2 girls and 2 boys – Interspersed, of course, so each girl could have an older brother… Like I never had. And that was exactly the image that popped into my mind when my doctor asked me, “Were you planning to have any more babies?” I remember answering, “Well, if you asked me over the den of loud music at a social gathering I might have said no, but your asking me about ever, and I’m not ready to commit to that.” The fact was, as horrible as being pregnant had been on my body, We were actually considering trying for that boy we’d never had… Now would never have.

In the end, it was necessary. It boiled down to life and death. Assuredly, if I had gotten pregnant, I would have lost the baby and possibly my life. I made the right choice. Everyone agreed. But I hated it.

I have moments where I still deeply grieve. The enemy taunts me with accusations and fantasies, but the truth is I can’t have any more. It hurts. Please don’t get me wrong! I cherish my girls! I’m blessed to have them, and I thank Him daily. I love them more than life, but I can’t help but feel someone might be missing.

“You can always adopt.”
I get that a lot. And I could, if we saved up the money, but it’s not the same. Altruistic and beautiful, no doubt. Many babies need families and there are many hearts that need love. But, it’s not the same.

“Have you considered fostering.”
No. I know my limitations and most of all my too easily smitten heart. One kid taken back would devastate me. Multiple instances like that would have me committed. Not to mention the wear and tear on my girls affections. Madeline especially, she was marked with a heart like her mom.

Then, there are the full-faithed that offer, “God could grow you another uterus, if He wanted to.” He could. But that’s a little extreme, not to mention miraculous… The kind of miracle that gets an article in the Enquirer. Not the kind of headlines I wanna make. Not me.

I recently read that grief has no rules. It doesn’t. It can hit me at anytime… Sometimes sucker punches me in the gut in the diaper aisle. Or when I hold a sweet smelling newborn in my arms. Or when I see a woman caress her stomach and send her gift an unspoken secret from the heart.

So I grieve. With many millions of women… In different extremes… But like me – barren nonetheless. It can’t be fixed, but I have come to accept it. Acceptance doesn’t mean it doesn’t hurt. I accept my condition, and I believe that God is good. I know He collects these tears, even if others might see them as selfish, and He assures me He will restore what I have lost… And I even have moments where I can see the blessing in the curse.

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5 responses to “Barren

  1. Thanks for this, Leslie……I often struggle with my hastey decision to make Jaimie get “fixed” right after Jackson was born because the post partum depression was so, SO bad……But, there was ALWAYS that hope that just MAYBE something would happen and I’d get pregnant…….And then the tumor & cancer. I probably mourned the fact that now I could NEVER, EVER have another baby worse than I did the fact that I had cancer and would have to do chemo and lose my hair, etc……
    I constantly have to resolve myself to the fact that my family, even though I feel it’s missing something, is the one GOD intended me to have. And, even though I still have regrets and moments of sadness, oh how VERY THANKFUL I am for the ones God has blessed me with!!!!
    Thanks for sharing!!

  2. So true, “Acceptance doesn’t mean that it doesn’t hurt”. It means that we surrender our expectations to God and focus on what He HAS given us. Then we grow to another level spiritually, enough to see…”the blessing in (what appeared to be) the curse.” Thanks for keeping it real.

    • Thank you, Genny 😉 He is good and He is faithful. I am glad that you could see that I haven’t lost sight of that. Transparency often brings criticism… “Keeping it real” shouldn’t be so difficult. Your comment encourages me to keep going. 🙂

  3. Leslie thank you so much for putting into words what I have been able to express verbally. My husband and I have been married for 5 yrs and have gone thru IVF twice without success. It still hurts knowing we cannot have a child. Adoption and fostering have been discussed with the same concerns. Sometime I pray for even the desire to have a child be removed.

    • I am honored you were blessed, Amy. Putting myself out there isn’t easy, and I only do it because my Heavenly Father asks it of me. For that reason, and not any credit I can claim, I publish these raw looks at hurt. I will pray for you. I can’t imagine the pain the last five years have been… But for you, I will believe and not give up hope! And for your heart, I will pray. ❤

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