I nanny for my twin nephews four days out of the week. One of their favorite places of all time to go to is Costco. I also love Costco, so the outing is a win-win. They love going to stare at the cavernous ceiling, the brightly-colored products, revel in the strong air conditioning, and soak in the attention they receive. But mostly because of the samples I end up feeding to them.
Just doing my part to make sure these kids are raised correctly.
When I have my nephews with me in Costco, especially when I take them by myself, sans sister, I have this type of interaction with someone, whether it be employee or customer, without fail:
Costco person: OH MY GOODNESS! What cuties! Are they twins? You certainly have your hands full! Are they your first? (I’m assuming I get the “Are they your first?” question because of how young I tend to appear). *Insert comments about how one of them is bigger, one has more hair.*
Me: Actually, they’re my nephews. I nanny for my sister. *Insert my agreement that one of them is larger, one of them has more hair than the other.*
Costco person: WOW! Well, aren’t you lucky. You don’t even have to have your own! I bet this has taught you a lesson about having kids!
Me (what I want to say): Yes! Because that’s how it works. Once you have a prolonged interaction with a child, it most definitely wipes away your God-given desire and deepest longing. Problem solved! Thank goodness I took up this nanny-ing gig.
Me: (what I really say, grimacing inside): I am lucky. They’re great kids.
I wish I could say that this has only happened once or twice, but it has happened more than a handful of times.
I completely understand that these people mean well. I can’t exactly walk around with a sign that says “I have been dealing with unexplained infertility for over 3 years” stapled to my forehead. The average person has no way of knowing, or honestly would even think of it. I don’t blame them. I had a lady that I’ve known for over a year tell me a couple of months ago that she was pretty sure that skinny women have a lot harder time getting pregnant.
Oh dear. No. That’s not how it works. I think she has watched Mulan too many times. God bless her.
If you have unexplained infertility, there’s a chance that you may never know what the reason is for not being able to get pregnant, or not being able to keep a pregnancy. Even if you do get that miracle baby, you wonder: will it happen again? Will I be able to have more than one successful pregnancy? Will lightning strike twice?
“You have plenty of time! You have age on your side!” Really? Because it doesn’t feel that way.
Unsure of how to proceed, I fight the feeling every day that I am stuck in limbo land. Everyone else seems to be moving on, growing their families. Why can’t we?
Earlier this summer, Caleb and I attended a beautiful wedding for one of our friends. During the father-daughter dance, Caleb quietly said to me, but almost more into the void, “I wonder if I will ever get to do that.” The gravity of his words hit me. He might never get to dance with his daughter, or give his son fatherly advice on their wedding day.
I expressed my anxiety to one of my best friends after going to see a new infertility doctor last week. I told her that I was afraid. Afraid that soon all of my friends would have children, and I would be left alone. She turned to me and said, “Yeah. That might happen.” This might seem like it was harsh, but at the time I needed a pragmatic response. When I have voiced similar feelings, the reply has usually been along the lines of, “keep going, there’s a reason you’re waiting, it will happen eventually.”
These are all correct statements, for the most part. I do need to keep going, there is a reason I’m waiting, and I do hope that it will happen eventually. I know they say these things because they don’t want to be Doomsday predictors. They want to be encouraging and give me hope. And I need that too. Often. Please, don’t ever stop encouraging me or reminding me of the promises that God has given, of His goodness, of His character. If I didn’t know that God can still use me, despite my broken and sinful body, there would be days that the frustration and unfairness of it all would make it hard to get out of bed.
But, you know what? I need to believe that if it never comes true, that if we never have kids, no matter what that looks like, that we haven’t hit “Doomsday.” It’s possible that all of our attempts at looking into the mysteries of conceiving may come to a dead end. Adoptions can go wrong, or don’t come through.
I need to believe that there could be something else planned for us. That we can still fulfill God’s purpose for our lives.
“Woe to him who strives with him who formed him,
a pot among earthen pots!
Does the clay say to him who forms it, ‘What are you making?’
or ‘Your work has no handles’? Isaiah 45:9 ESV
I have to say, it’s relieving to walk into Costco by myself. No one’s wondering whether or not I have kids, or probably anything about me. Just a normal ‘ol person. Walking into Costco. For probably the third time that week.