This is one question that must have flitted through the minds of most trying to conceive moms, and if I were in their shoes, this is the type of thought or question that I would give a verbal response to. It can become a question that comes up in one’s mind with more frequency, as the years without a successful pregnancy roll into one another.
That was the question that came up in a devotional group I belong to on Whatsapp. We were discussing the unchanging nature of God, and how the good, and not-so-good, times in our lives do not change Him, and every one came with their analogy, which ended with “He changeth not.”
That was when one brother came up with this question, “What if the kids never come?!”. The instant thought in my head was, “the kids will come and He changeth not.” That was exactly what I typed, and I was accused to breaking the chain, but in that instant, I was thinking of my TTC sisters and how it was unthinkable not to have the kids come. Then I was told Peace’s story…
Peace got married early in life, and thus wanted to get to build her family soon…but it was not happening. Given that they were both young, they decided to stop paying so much attention to the business, and just enjoy themselves. If it happened, fine, if it did not, no worrries.
And that was how they were at it for years. She was in her mid-30s, and for most people around them, they were the couple who loved themselves too much to want a child, or be serious about wanting a child. Because they were not taking most of the advice and suggestions people offered. The alternative routes never sat well with their faith, so they never pursued them, and for that reason, a lot of people considered them unserious.
That led to a lot of mean talk from other women, especially moms. Peace bore the brunt majorly, as she was a lover of children, and volunteered in her church children’s department. Kids loved her, but their parents were another matter altogether. Since, she had been trying to conceive, Peace had heard statements like, “You don’t know how it feels o” “These kids can be stubborn! If you had your own, you would know!” “Okay o, tell me about it, when you have your own kids.”
The beautiful thing about these mean comments was Peace’s reaction. Her smile never faded, nor did she put up an attitude the next time, she saw the person, who made the statement. And that might have been her saving grace, as everyone always had something nice to say about her.
The truth was, she was not smiling in her house. She was hurt, bitterly hurt, in the most fundamental way a human could hurt. She was bitter with God, even as she served Him, it was as though she was being punished for a crime she had no idea she had committed.
She had also come to a place of quiet acquiescence; perhaps she wasn’t destined to have a child. That question had come up in her mind countless of times, until she had no response again but “Let thy will be done, Lord.” And at times, she couldn’t even muster the standard response, she just gave free rein to her thought process, and off it went wild, answering that she would never have the kids.
She would say to her husband, “What if I don’t have children? What if I truly can’t have children? I can try and try and try, but there are women who just can’t have kids. What if I’m one of them? What will you do then? Will you marry another wife? It’s been years already, and your family is already tired of me. What will you do?”
And that was how the back and forth between them would start, it never ended, because Peace had gotten to a stage that she didn’t believe she could still have kids. When her husband suggested they find another doctor, she waived it aside. When he finally agreed that they try the herbal route, Peace was not budging.
The battle had to be won in her mind before she could try again. And it took months of daily therapy sessions with her husband, who gave her scripture verses and asked her to meditate solely on those scriptures. It was not easy, as she knew most of the scriptures, she knew their contextual meanings, and the other ways she had interpreted them in the past, but by meditating on them, she was able to get new revelations about how those scriptures related to her infertility.
Gradually, she began to have a change of heart, and became more amenable to going to see a doctor, and then starting treatments afresh. In the end, she only needed to remove her fibroids for her to get pregnant. Although she lost that pregnancy, her faith was bolstered, and she actively tried again. Less than two months after that loss, she got pregnant again, and had their baby on the same day as their 12th wedding anniversary.
It was her husband who typed that question. He is a pastor, but in their fertility struggle, even he battled that question, but for his wife’s sake, he had to be strong.
Hmm, infertility in itself can make a woman feel like her body has failed her. Held in the grip of that thought, logic does not matter. It does not matter if someone puts up a placard, and asks her to recite, “It is not my fault I don’t have children yet” 100 times. No. What, it feels like is that, “Sebi, this body is mine. Why is it not doing what I want it to do? No, make that what it was created to do.”
Maybe there’s some negative vibe from the society (like the mean comments directed at Peace) laced in this thinking, because there is so much more to being a woman than what your body can or can’t do. But at those times, when this question pops up, everything else doesn’t matter.
May God help us to have the right answer, when this kind of question comes along!
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