Waiting for Baby Bird, When Someone You Know Is Infertile

Why I Choose To Sit on Mother’s Day

I took a quick glance down my row to painstakingly become aware that I would be the only woman of child bearing age not standing. Another quick glance behind me, as well as in front of me, I determined the same. With my head held down and my fingers white knuckled and intertwined, I braced myself for the moment when our pastor would ask all of the mothers and mothers-to-be to stand and be celebrated. Technically, I knew that I could. After all, I was a mother. Just 12 months before, after years of infertility and thousands of dollars spent in fertility treatments, I had finally saw those two pink lines I had prayed, pleaded, and begged for. Unfortunately, those two lines disappeared as the life within my womb stopped growing. Not many knew about this little person, therefore if I were to stand would they assume I was pregnant? I couldn’t handle the possibility of being congratulated as I left the church service that day knowing a congratulations were not in order; therefore, I remained seated. And alone. Like a leper; and an outcast, not part of the club that I so desperately wanted to join. But as the tears began to form and slowly fall, I realized my friend who sat next to me remained seated. She had two very important and significant reasons of her own to stand; they were of the ages two and not quite one. Yet despite her moment to shine, she chose to remain seated with me in the shadows. And together, there in the shadows, as she slowly grabbed my hand, I felt seen. I didn’t feel like that leper shoved to the side and forgotten.

The bible tells us to rejoice with those who rejoice, but it also instructs us to mourn with those who mourn (Romans 12:15). This is why six years later, despite being able to finally stand through the way of adoption, I choose not to. It’s not because I don’t consider myself a mother due to my unconventional way of obtaining that title, or because I don’t feel mothers should be honored in this way. I choose to not stand because I believe the greatest way to value, honor and respect another person’s grief is to join in with them during their time of sadness. It is to sit with them, sometimes literally, and saying even without words, “I see you.” And not out of pity, but out of love. Grief is just a part of love. Love for life. Love for self. Love for others. And love for those dreams a person might feel is all but lost. Or for some, stolen.

I realize you might feel as though what she is going through is not “grief worthy,” but it is. The bible treats childlessness as a devastating and true cut to the heart. Proverbs 30:15-16 lists barrenness right up there in the “top three” things that are never satisfied. Therefore, if God’s word validates her anguish, shouldn’t the church? Shouldn’t society?

This Mother’s Day, don’t forget about the unseen. Sit with her. And if you don’t know who she is? Well, you might be able to recognize her by her head held down, her hands white knuckled and intertwined together as she courageously unlocks them to wipe the tears from her eyes. Her grief is not terrifying or messy. Nor is it something we should encourage her to overcome, but rather something we need to help her tend. Therefore, let’s rejoice with those who rejoice this Sunday, but let’s also mourn with those who mourn.

Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. ~Matthew 5:4

More articles related to Mother’s Day:

From the Heart of an Infertile: A Letter to Mama’s on Mother’s Day

I Know You Hurt This Mother’s Day: A Message to the One Desiring to be Called Mommy

I would love to connect with you on a personal level, so if you liked this post, pass it on. Then come find Waiting for Baby Bird on the public Facebook page or join me on Instagram @waitingforbabybird. I can’t wait to “meet” you!
If you are looking for a faith-based infertility community of other women who just “get it”, then head over to the *PRIVATE* Waiting for Baby Bird Support group for hope + encouragement. There you will find opportunities to ask for prayer, watch *LIVE* encouragement videos from me, author of “Waiting for Baby Bird”, as well as be able to share your heart with others on the same path, enter into exclusive giveaways, and so much more! So what are you waiting for? Find us here!

Waiting for Baby Bird, When Someone You Know Is Infertile

From the Heart of an Infertile: An Open Letter to Other Mom’s on Mother’s Day

From the Heart of an Infertile

Hey there sweet Mama,

I know we have never met. In fact, you don’t know much about me unless you have read my “about me” section, and honestly, I probably know little to nothing about you. But if you are a mother, I’m going to guess that Mother’s Day is a time of celebration for you. You wake up to burnt toast ready for you to eat in bed. There are flowers picked from the yard lying next to your pillow. You open the gifts handcrafted with love and read cards made by tiny hands and broken crayons. It’s a great day for you!  As it should be! You should be celebrated for all the sacrifices you make for your family. You should be recognized and applauded for all of your hard work. Because being a mother? It’s not easy or always fun.

But in the midst of your celebration this Sunday, can you do me a favor? Can you also remember and acknowledge her? She is the one hiding in the back of the church. Last pew. Staring at her feet with tissues in hand. She is also the one with tears in her eyes as she passes by the flowers, the Hallmark greeting cards, and the eye-catching #1 Mom necklaces. Because, you see, for her, Mother’s Day is not a time of joy, but rather heartache. It’s not a time in which she is remembered, but often forgotten. And it’s also a time when she feels alone. Painstakingly different. And less of a woman. It’s not by choice that she has chosen to not be a mother, but instead it has happened by force. The disease of infertility that affects the reproductive organs and destroys the dreams of 1 in 8 couples has caused her to feel this way.

I know you may not comprehend her thoughts or understand her feelings, and that’s okay. Because I know it’s hard when you haven’t walked in another person’s shoes. But in order to see her story and feel her pain, would you like to try? If so, let’s take a quick walk down memory lane. Is that okay? But make sure before you lace up your shoes, you grab a box of tissues because it won’t be easy. So, if you ready, let’s take a deep breath in and out…because here it goes…

I want you to first remember the excitement you had when telling your husband, or your best friend, sister or parents that you were expecting. You were so excited! And do you remember how pregnancy changed your body–it was just a little at first, but then as your baby grew, so did your belly. Maybe even your ankles. And despite the expanding and the stretching you rejoiced with each picture taken to show the progression. And do you remember the emotions you felt when your miracle kicked for the first time? Or had the hiccups? You were crazy excited, am I right?

What about when your baby moved inside of you at the sound of your voice? And think back to the overwhelming sense of joy you felt and how your heart almost burst out of your chest when you gazed into their eyes for the first time. Do you remember the tears in your own? And how those tears made it difficult for you to frantically count their fingers and toes?

Now sweet Mama, here comes the hard part. Are you ready? I want you to place your hand over your womb and try to strip yourself away from having those climatic moments that have given you life changing memories. And instead, I want you to take a moment to imagine the pain of hearing a doctor tell you that the chances of you conceiving are less than 3 percent. Your eggs do not mature for ovulation. Your endometriosis is not fixable. Your husband has zero sperm. Or your Fallopian tubes are blocked and beyond repair. What about being told you have been born with no uterus? Or you are already in menopause, yet of childbearing age?

Imagine yourself in your first, second, or third trimester going in for a routine doctor’s appointment expecting to hear the nurse tell you that there is a healthy baby developing perfectly. But the only thing you hear is silence, followed by a muffled voice telling you there is no longer a heartbeat.

Imagine instead of picking out your child’s first outfit, you choose a casket. Try to imagine the pain associated with never knowing what it will feel like to have their precious arms wrapped around your neck. Or never getting to hear the sound of their voice or look into their eyes. Better yet, your beloved child will never get to look into your eyes and see the unconditional love you have for them.

It’s hard imagining these horrific moments, isn’t it? And no one wants to. No one wants this type of pain for even a second. But for some women, it is their reality that often paralyzes them with worry as they fear of never being able to experience motherhood. It is their reality that keeps them feeling alone and set apart; always on the outside looking in while attending baby showers and other social gatherings. It is their reality that makes being able to get out of bed and attend a church service on the second Sunday in May, an unbearable and painful and tearful struggle.

Because for this particular holiday, those who only see a negative pregnancy test, or who have suffered a miscarriage, a still birth, or experienced an unsuccessful adoption, their fears, worries, and painful emotions are magnified and intensified. Every Mother’s Day commercial they see, greeting card they pass by, or baby giggle they hear reminds them of what they are not, but so desperately want to become. It is like pouring salt into their open wound. And on that Sunday when they watch as each mother stands in church to be recognized…to be applauded…shame can unexpectedly wash over them as they realize they are forced to be left sitting, unqualified for such honor.

Even for those who have hope that their situation could change and faith so strong to believe that it will, this day is still not easy. Because the grief from what she is not, and the pain from what she has lost, will come pouring down on her like a hurricane. And while she should be able to get up and run to the church on this Sunday for healing of her broken heart, much like a sick person runs to a hospital, she can’t. Because for her? The pain is far greater in the church, then at home.

But even so, she still needs shelter from the storm. A place where she can find peace. And hope. A place where she doesn’t feel alone. Or scared. But most of all, she needs someone to take her there. Because do you remember in school when the storm alarm would sound and the teacher would lead you to a place of safety? You were scared and so the teacher helped you to your knees. She showed you how to cover your head with your hands, all while reminding you in her sweet and gentle voice that it would be okay. Do you remember that? Because that is what she needs.

She needs someone with compassion and understanding, perhaps someone like you, to help her.

After all, in the coming days her alarm is going to sound, her eyes will slowly begin to open, and she will immediately be stricken with sadness, even despair as she remembers what day it is. Mother’s Day. It is then that she will need someone to take her to a place of safety, remind her to get on her knees and cry out to the Lord for His comfort and for His peace. All while also needing someone to help cover her head for protection. But not with hands…rather with words. But not just any words. His words. Because through heartache and pain, she too will need to hear a calm and gentle voice. A voice reminding her that according to Leviticus 26:9, He will look on her favor and increase her numbers. And she will need someone to assure her that He will fulfill the desires He has placed inside of her heart (Psalm 37:4). And what she has lost? He will restore. (Zechariah 9:12). 

She needs someone to remind her that the most fertile part of her body, is not her womb. But her heart. Because that is where her dreams and visions are born. It is where her plans are made. And desires are planted. It’s where motherhood starts. It is where it lives. And where it grows.

Although these words might not completely erase the emptiness she feels, it will help her know that she is not alone. It will help her see that she is not overlooked. And the child she might have lost has not been forgotten.

So, sweet Mama, if you know someone struggling with infertility will you be that someone for her? Will you step out of the crowd and be the one she needs this Sunday? Will you help shield her from the wind and the rain caused by her grief? Because the shelter she needs, could be found inside your hug. Or the thoughtful card you send or the flowers you give, could be the umbrella that not only helps her weather the storm, but also helps her to dance within it. And the individual time and attention you give to her on this particular day that is meant to celebrate you, could be exactly what she needs in order to help her remain steadfast in her faith and confident in His timing.

So, let me ask you again sweet Mama, will you be that someone she needs this Mother’s Day? For her, I sure hope so…

With Love

I would love to connect with you on a personal level, so if you liked this post, pass it on. Then click here to find Waiting for Baby Bird on the public Facebook page or join me on Instagram @waitingforbabybird. I can’t wait to “meet” you!If you are looking for a faith-based infertility community of other women who just “get it”, then head over to the *PRIVATE* Waiting for Baby Bird Support group for hope + encouragement. There you will find opportunities to ask for prayer, watch *LIVE* encouragement videos from me, author of “Waiting for Baby Bird”, as well as be able to share your heart with others on the same path, enter into exclusive giveaways, and so much more! So what are you waiting for? Find us here!


Waiting for Baby Bird

I Know You Hurt This Mother’s Day: A Message to the One Desiring to Be Called Mommy

I know that soon your alarm will go off, your eyes will slowly begin to open, and as you roll over to see the sun peeking through the curtains you will remember. It’s Sunday. It’s Mother’s Day. It’s a day that many have been anticipating. Even planning. But you? This is the day that you have been dreading for weeks. Even months. And so, as you pull the covers over your head in denial, your chest begins to tighten. Your stomach starts to twist into knots. And the tears you often hold back, will slowly begin to fall. It’s another year without a child to call your own. Another Mother’s Day without hearing the sounds of giggles coming from the kitchen as tiny hands prepare you burnt toast. Another year gone by without hearing the pitter patters of little feet running down the hallway to bring you the hand-woven pot holder made in art class or the necklace crafted with love and macaroni noodles. It’s another Mother’s Day with empty arms and an aching heart.

And I know you hurt.

It hurts because most days walking through infertility isn’t this hard. Most days it doesn’t weigh so heavily on your heart. Because for you, the grief of your struggle is like the rain. Usually, on most days, it is a light drizzle; which is annoying. Yet somehow causes you to hope for a brighter tomorrow. But then there are other days. Days like Mother’s Day in which you are surrounded by hundreds of moments. Moments that you can’t escape. Moments that remind you of what you are not. Or what you have lost. Or pray every day to gain. Yet somehow, in your mind, you can’t help but feel that you must be unworthy to receive. And therefore the grief from all of these moments? They come gushing down on you like a monstrous thunderstorm as they remind you of the emptiness you feel…the brokenness in your body…the pain in your heart…

And I know it hurts. 

Because it’s the moment you walked down the greeting card aisle and you realized you wouldn’t be receiving a Mother’s Day card with tiny scribbles made to look like words written on the inside. Or when you passed by the “World’s Greatest Mom” t-shirt and wondered if you will ever be that. Be the “World’s Greatest Mom.”

And I know you hurt.

It’s when the sweet cashier wished you a happy Mother’s Day. It was innocent. She didn’t know you were not a mother. She didn’t know you have been struggling to obtain the honorable, super hero title for far too long. She didn’t know this exchange would bring on a thunderstorm of grief, leaving you sitting in the parking lot, soaked in tears being reminded of what you are not. But it did.

And I know it hurts.

And it’s the awkward moment when your pastor asks everyone who is a mother in the congregation to stand and be honored. To be recognized. And to be applauded. Oh, how your heart aches. Because you want to stand. You want to be honored. You want to proudly receive the beautiful carnation that was sitting by the door when you first walked in. But you can’t. Or maybe you can? But not everyone knows about the life that was lost in your womb just weeks into your pregnancy. And so you remain seated. But as you courageously look around to see nearly every woman of childbearing age standing and smiling, you feel alone. Even painstakingly different.

And I know you hurt. 

Or it is when you are eating Sunday dinner at a local restaurant and you are trying to keep your eyes on your plate with your mind somewhere else. But the laughter from the family who has gathered together three tables over cause you to look up. And so, the moment you have been trying to avoid, happens. And the tears you have been trying not to shed, fall. Because the precious little boy sitting on the lap of his mother? The one everyone is admiring? He reminds you of the one you once carried inside your womb. The one you should be holding. But the one who never took their first breath.

And I know it hurts.

Everything hurts. Your heart. Your mind. Your body.

Mother’s Day it is not always flowers, greeting cards, dinners, and jewelry. It’s not always filled with moments that bring laughter and joy. Or breakfast in bed. At least not for you. Or millions (yes, millions) like you. Because although you might feel alone, forgotten and overlooked, especially on Mother’s Day, you are not. I see you. And I honor you.

I know this journey is tough. I know the moments of heartache and the disappointments each month. I know the waiting that seems to take forever. Or the days when you can’t seem to put one foot in front of the other. I know the prayers you pray, and the hope you hold with white knuckles. I know the painful emotions you feel guilty for having, and the standing ovation you deserve simply for not showing them. At least not in public. I know that someone should take you to dinner. Make you breakfast in bed. Or give you a greeting card. Because I know you need encouragement to keep walking this deep valley. But most of all, I know that you are worthy to stand with the other mother’s this Sunday. And you, sweet sister, are worthy to receive the beautiful flower with pride. Because I believe that whether you have a child in your arms, in heaven, or in waiting, you are a mom. And not just any mom, but the “World’s Greatest Mom.” Because I once read that the most fertile place in a woman is not in her womb, but in her heart. Because it is in her heart that God births our dreams. It’s there in her tender heart that He plants her desires and gives her the plans for her future. It is where true motherhood begins. Where it lives. And where it grows.

The most fertile part of a woman

So sweet sister, I want you to do something a little different this year. I want you peel back the covers this Mother’s Day and celebrate YOU. And celebrate the hope you manage to carry that it won’t always be this hard. And the faith you have, whether big or small, to believe that life won’t always be this way. I want you to rest knowing that what God starts, He will finish (Philippians 1:6). And what He promises, He will fulfill (Numbers 23:19). And what He has planted within the soft, fertile soil of your heart, He will grow (Psalm 37:4). 

But until then? Until your child is no longer just living in your heart, but also in your arms; and until you are waking up for 2am feedings or picking up the toys in the hallway, you are in my heart and in my prayers. Because I know that even with the hope you carry and the faith you have, this day…this journey…these painful moments…hurt. 

My prayer for those in waiting…

Heavenly Father, I come to you on my knees and I pray for every woman who desires to be called mommy. I pray that You give her strength to get through the tough days.  Peace to get through the uncertainties.  And hope to overflow so that her faith will never burn out. Father, I also pray over her womb.  I pray that it is abundantly blessed according to the word you have spoken in Deuteronomy 28:11 and that life will always flourish inside according to Exodus 23:25-26. I pray for every hormone in her body to be balanced. Endometriosis to be gone. Cysts to be removed. Fallopian tubes to be opened. Sperm to increase. Hearts from miscarriage and loss to be mended. And strained marriages to be strengthened. And Father? Please give her the courage and the boldness she needs to celebrate this Mother’s Day. And in the moments when all seems lost?  Help her to believe that what you have already planted in her heart, will one day grow and be placed in her arms. It’s in the precious name of Jesus I pray. 

With Love

I would love to connect with you on a personal level, so if you liked this post, pass it on.Then come find Waiting for Baby Bird on the public Facebook page or join me on Instagram @waitingforbabybird. I can’t wait to “meet” you!If you are looking for a faith-based infertility community of other women who just “get it”, then head over to the *PRIVATE* Waiting for Baby Bird Support group for hope + encouragement. There you will find opportunities to ask for prayer, watch *LIVE* encouragement videos from me, author of “Waiting for Baby Bird,” enter into exclusive giveaways, as well as be able to share your heart with others on the same path, and so much more! So what are you waiting for? Find us here!