Love and Marriage, Waiting for Baby Bird

If Not For Me, Do It For Him

“If not for me, do it for him.”

That’s all I could cry out in my desperation as I could barely catch my breath while pressing my forehead to the wall of our shower one late summer evening after hearing the news of a friend’s pregnancy.

Infertility is hard, and after years of crying, begging, and pleading, sometimes you just can’t cry or beg or plead anymore. You somehow come to terms with your circumstances, and you go about your day with the hope that things will soon change. But the passionate pleading you do while on your knees praying for a miracle? The bargaining you shamelessly do with God? The promises you vow to keep if He answers “just this one time”? And the tears you shed with each reminder of your failed plans and unfulfilled desires? They aren’t the same as they once were. They aren’t as intense. And it’s because you have somehow become numb.

Numb to the negative pregnancy tests.

Numb to the failed treatments.

Numb to the doctor’s reports.

Numb to the baby showers. And pregnancy announcements.

Or at least that is what it has become for me. Numbness. But one summer night, with my forehead pressed to the shower wall, my hands firmly placed on either side, and tears pouring down my face, the numbness that I had been feeling towards our inability to conceive came alive as I began to replay the moments of the evening.

Just hours earlier, my husband’s phone rang, and as I leaned in to listen, I realized it was a friend. I continued with painting our dining room walls when I heard him end the call by saying, “Nah, man, thanks for calling…I really appreciate it.” Thinking nothing of it, I heard him come slowly walking towards me, and as I turned to look at him, he just stood there. He put his hands on his hips and, with a slight hesitation, said, “That was so-and-so, and his wife is pregnant. With twins”

Smiling, I turned back to the wall I was assigned to paint and expressed my happiness for them and their two older children. Expecting him to turn back around and leave the room, I noticed he just stood there, looking down at me. Worried that he would think I was angry, perhaps jealous, or at the very least upset, I slowly turned back around to look at him. I wanted him to see that I was fine. And that I was strong. And I wasn’t crying. After all, I have become numb. But as I turned to have my eyes meet his to give him that reassurance, the numbness I had been feeling over the years started to fade away slowly. And the pain that I hadn’t felt in so long resurfaced. Because while I didn’t feel sorry for myself, nor did I feel abandoned, forgotten, or cheated by God, I felt it for him.

After all, this struggle, these shattered dreams, and crumbled plans that have been laced with so much heartache and tears are not because his body can’t create life, but because my body can’t seem to do it. And while he has never blamed me, and I know he never would, I couldn’t help but at that moment feel the weight of it all.

I couldn’t help but feel the guilt that he has been cheated and robbed blindly of even the simplest moments of life that so many others around him get to experience and enjoy, such as calling his friends to share in his exciting news.

The truth is I can handle never experiencing the moment when I can call and tell my friends and family that I am expecting, but I can’t handle the thought of him not being able to. He deserves everything he had planned and dreamed of ever having when he once-upon-a-time envisioned his life before our diagnosis of infertility.

This is why on that late summer evening, with my forehead pressed tightly against the shower wall, my hands firmly placed on either side, and tears pouring down my face, I once again begged. I once again pleaded. And I once again shamelessly bargained. But this time, in my exasperated plea of desperation, I asked Him not to do it for me, but for him.

Lord, please, just do it for him.

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56 thoughts on “If Not For Me, Do It For Him”

  1. This post truly hit home for me. Thank you so much for sharing. I can stay numb most of the time, but, as with yourself, there are moments when it comes crashing down around me. Thanks again.

    1. Yes, there are just those moments that sneak up on you and no matter how hard you try, the feelings all come rushing back.

  2. Me too sister. I’ve uttered that same prayer. Thank you so much for sharing your heart with us , for your honesty and amazing faith , and most of all for your encouragement and hope you give. You are truly a blessing and I actually feel like you’re a friend I can relate to who’s walking this same difficult road as I am, even though we’ve never met. You are in my prayers always ! And I am believing with you in faith that your own miracle is right around the corner .

  3. Absolutely amazing. Everything you post is so real and true. I remember so many times of “numbness” I would just look at my husband and have to be the strong one – I pray for the day we all can give our husbands that great news.

  4. Oh my gosh!!! Yes…. I had a moment exactly like this. The person who called was my brother in law (having their second) and my husband did the exact same thing. In that moment I felt xacty as you described! We had been trying for 6.5 years at that point in our journey with infertility. You and your husband are in my prayers!

  5. Thank you for this. We’ve been on this journey for 9 years and I can totally relate. I know the numbness. And I have definitely prayed that prayer many times: If not for me, do it for him.
    Thank you for your realness.

  6. Wow! I have done the same thing in my shower as well. Love that you can put into words your story and be able to share it!!!! Love reading your posts. It had/has helped so much! I did get my miracle and I pray that you get your little bird too.

  7. Thankyou so much, I can totally relate. The numbness, the guilt, the wanting to hope but hoping just being too hard. The announcements and feeling like you are in a goldfish bowl as everyone watches as you react. Infertility sucks!!! Hugs sweet sister, this journey is a rocky one, don’t forget to treat yourself with grace xxx

  8. It’s like you’re right there in my world. I’ve been exactly at this place, and still come back to it still even this far into infertility. Believing in your miracle from the Lord, friend! And until then, you guys are in my prayers.

  9. Love this and I pray that God will answer and fulfill His promise to you and your husband. Sometimes it seems I forget that we are two people going through the same desire, pain, longing, loneliness and heartache.. I prayed the exact same words “If not for me, do it for him” after seeing his eyes all cried out.
    God bless you and the work you are doing.

  10. Thank you for this. I’m not usually one to comment on this stuff… usually I read then go on my way. But this prompted me to say that I had a similar experience of the numbness fading away, just the other day. It sneaks up at the most inopportune times, doesn’t it? I thought after almost 10 years of marriage and 7 years of TTC and 4 miscarriages (seeing NaPro doctors, having procedures at PPVI and praying too!) that it would be easier by now. When will it end? Will it end? One way or another, it has to. Love and hugs to you. God bless.

  11. There 6 pregnant women at my work right now. After almost 4 years of failed treatments and miscarriages, I am definitely numb. We have started the adoption process and I find myself sort of numb with it too…not because I don’t want it, but because I am terrified of disappointment.

  12. This thought enters my mind any time we interact with little ones at church or in the checkout line at the store. My husband is so good with kids, and my heart breaks for him. I pray that his family name will continue on through him, that he’ll have the chance to toss a baseball with his son or go on a daddy-daughter date. I’m with you…”If not for me, then for him.”

    Praying with you!

  13. My son in law an daughter have tried for over 10 years to conceive. I cry as she cries. My heart aches with hers. I sometimes wonder if there was something in my genes that passed on to her that caused her to be “broken”. I feel for him not being able to experience the love of my own child as I did with his wife. I am angered as my own brother has two grandsons that he all but ignores. If I had the means I would gladly spend every penny available to me to fix this. I will pray for you and your husband as I continue to do for my daughter and son in law.

  14. It seems you know just what I need to hear when I need to hear it. Thank you for being so open and honest. It’s been a comfort and answer to prayers more times than I could count. The numbness, the weight, the guilt, the tears. I know I can take the pain of never getting the answer we want. But my body failing causing him pain is beyond unfair.

  15. Thank you so much for sharing your blog and post. I really appreciate it. I have struggled with infertility for five years and I have always felt I was robbing my husband, and our families of the experience of having a little one in ours and their lives and I have recently just started to surrender my feelings of shame and guilt over to God and I have started to accept his plan and path whatever that maybe.

  16. As always your posts are like a breath of fresh air. I’m so sorry that you know this pain too but so grateful for you putting it into words so we can all know there are others out there patiently waiting and trusting in God. It’s been over 9 years for my husband and I and know exactly what you mean about the numbness. I’m always so grateful when the loss comes back up to soften my heart and plead for God’s grace. Here’s to hoping our waiting time is spiritually profitable time. Thank you for sharing your heart with us. 💕

  17. I had just come across this post and I was feeling the same numbness when I found out several of my friends and cousins are pregnant over the past few months. My husband and I have been married for 8 years but have only been trying for the past 5 years. It wasn’t until as few days ago when I found out my sister in law is pregnant (they haven’t been married a year yet) and I just lost it and I was so angry at myself for not being able to get pregnant. I’m still trying to cope with it and your words in the post was exactly how I felt. I just wanted to let you know that you are not alone.

  18. Elisha. I am 1 in 8 women who suffer from endometriosis. The doctor I see is amazing and throughout my life I have been told to get second opinion. I didn’t want to but was going to be in the area for a different appointment and thought why not? Russell just wants to have all the information. I walked into the waiting and waited for my name to be called. I kept telling myself that I didn’t have to like it I was just going to please my husband. I connected with the doctor but she said something that I didn’t like. She asked me if we’ve considered using donor eggs because the pictures she was looking at showed that I wouldn’t be able to conceive on my own. Fighting back tears I said I had in the hands of my doctor and my body reacted really well. She did the examine, found the endometrioma (which I already knew I had) and said it was a definite that we’d have to use donor eggs. That’s when I ended the meeting because she was so pessimistic about me being able to us my own eggs. I told my husband I would go to another doctor if he wanted but I wouldn’t see that particular one again. Most times I don’t want to do something but I know it’ll make my husband happy so I do it. I just wish we were blesed with a family because he is so great with kids already that I can’t imagine seeing him with our little chickpea.

  19. Seems our showers knows about a lot of tears.
    Thanks for this after 10 years Im good at the numbness game, but last week there was a meltdown out of the blue of epic proportions, and I was so disappointed in myself for not keeping it together this made me feel normal(ish) again. And I feel the same xx

  20. These are feelings verbatium!! I am at the numb stage. But the tears in the shower praying for my husband have been had in several occasions. He a life he invisioned for himself instead of this journey. If not for me, do it for him, is a prayer I have prayed many times. Barginging with God to grant us this blessing if only for him.

  21. Yes! 1000 times yes! I’ve said this prayer to my self and out loud more times than I can count! Thank you so much for sharing! 💜

  22. I can’t personally relate to infertility, but I know so many who can. I just had a friend do a guest post on my own blog last week about her struggles and some of the things you are hit with on a daily basis. The guilt she feels for not giving her husband a child is one of them. God bless you for sharing.

  23. I appreciate your raw honesty and transparency in the infertility world. I, too have felt numb nearly the past year but it seems like every time a new pregnancy announcement comes across, I just lose it and I beg God to just answer me “why?”

    I think the thing I hate most about infertility is all the anger, bitterness and resentment that comes along with it. I don’t enjoy having an ugly heart but I just can’t bring myself to truly celebrate others after 4+ years of waiting and no formal diagnosis. And the story in my head is that those mamas and mamas to be have not a clue or care in the world for those of us that struggle silently. It can feel like a bunch of Penninah’s from Hannah’s story in 1 Sam just taunting us. I know I’m wrong but sometimes that’s just how it feels.

    Anyway, apparently I needed to get that off my chest today. 🙂 Thank you again for your ministry! It is not left unnoticed.

  24. Hi Elisha,
    I wanted to do a follow up comment on this blog post. I posted a comment back in Feb about my frustration and anger, but this time I wanted to thank you for your post. It reminded me that I wasn’t alone struggling with infertility but my husband was go through it as well. I was so focus on myself in anger and did not think about how he was feeling. So I started to pray for him and asking God to bless him someday.

    I couldn’t remember if you had mentioned it in another post or if it was someone else but it mentioned to be more specific with my prayers like when I hoped to get pregnant by or how (birth, adoption or fostering). From my last post in Feb I was praying specifically to get pregnant before my 8 year anniversary which was at the end of June and before I turned 32 the following month in July, I also continued to pray for my husband.

    To my amazement I got pregnant in June right after fathers day through prayer and the help of metformin and femara on the first cycle. I then shifted my prayer to having a healthy pregnancy and to not have a miscarriage, in which I am now 15 weeks pregnant. I just wanted to share with anyone that there is hope and that it could happen with a little bit of faith and a whole lot of prayer. And I agree that we aren’t alone going through infertility but our spouse/boyfriend are on the same journey as us and may be coping it differently from us or don’t want to show that side of emotion in fear of hurting us even more.

  25. I felt this post all the way through me. It nearly brought tears to my eyes. I have been known to do my own bargaining and pleading with God!

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