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I Have Infertility - I Am Just Like You

A blog by Chelsea Ritchie, December 3, 2014

My name is Chelsea and I’m just like you. I’m not a doctor, I am not a nurse. I have no medical training, although perhaps I could teach a shot injection class or two. I never saw infertility coming. When my husband Josh and I decided it was time to start a family over 5 years ago, we had no idea we would become the 1 in 8 couples who struggle.

I wish I could pull up a chair next to yours, hand you a cup of tea and tell you you’re not alone. So much of what you are feeling in this very moment is normal. The moments of hopelessness, the wonderment of why, and the ever growing concern of when and …. if. I’d sit across from you, wrap you in a cozy blanket and let you pour out your heart, understanding every word you spoke.

The truth is we have good days and bad days, don’t we? Days we stroll through life just fine, feeling strong and hopeful, when other days the tender exchange between a mother and her child at Target can bring us to tears. You are not alone.

When I was asked to start writing blog posts on FertilityAuthority, my heart got excited because it now allows me the opportunity to share in our world together with you – you know, OUR world. The world where a woman, a couple, an angel mama knows all too well what infertility feels like. It gives me the chance to pull up a fictitious chair across from yours, reach my hand out to set on your knee and whisper “Me too. You are not alone.”

Then, as we sit and sip, I would speak these words to us both.

I don’t know the why’s of infertility. I don’t know the answers. But I do know that in order to maintain our strength, we have to actively pursue the silver lining of this battle. I believe that just as we know how to tune into the pain, we can choose to tune into the messy beauty. I believe there is always hope and that even when we don’t understand, that we can trust God to walk with us in this heartache. Friend, I don’t always get His timing, but I have learned throughout other struggles in my life that it is beautiful and purposeful and intentional and good.

I believe we will get through this and if we embrace the sorrow and lessons, we can come out brighter on the other side, having not wasted an opportunity to grow as women, as spouses, as family, as believers, as friends. I believe that trials can bring joy if we allow them to.

For me, the silver lining is the magnificence of community, the sisterhood that is created amongst strangers who understand one another’s heart, and the friendships that are strengthened when someone who doesn’t understand still supports and loves. The silver lining is the patience I have been able to work on, the strength I have learned that I have and the courage that it takes to continue to put one foot in front of the other and fight on. The silver lining is the beauty that infertility has brought to my marriage, increasing the love and commitment we share and savoring the time we get to spend as just us.

So in this little internet coffee shop, I ask you, what is your silver lining? What are you learning that we can take away, the bright spots that help us both remember to press on towards the goal? Do you need some grace today? A reminder that it’s okay to feel what you are feeling, okay to have a bad day? As your new friend, I will let you sit there for a bit and feel what you are feeling, validate your emotions but then will pull you back before you become too bitter. Because that’s what friends do and that’s what we are now, new friends. We can’t become bitter in this because then it wins, and we certainly can’t allow that, now can we?
I’m excited for what’s to come. Get ready to pull up lots of coffee shop chairs next to mine. I can’t wait!

Until next time...


Comments (69)

Never give up knowing YOU are precious and loved by Him who made you. The struggle and journey will result in a child for some, and for others it may not. There is joy in each path; as He designs. Parents are those who raise a child...even someone else's. After many fertility years, we left the choice to God alone. And our blessing came, Beth.

Thank you Beth for this perfect encouragement. I appreciate the reminders that there is joy in each path regardless of the outcomes. His hands are the best to leave this all in.

Chelsea- I am so proud of you! Congratulations on this new venture! Praying for you & Josh as you gear up for the next round. I always enjoy reading your words as you are able to speak what we've all thought and felt at some point through this journey.

Congratulations on becoming a writer on this blog! You have the gift of writing and I'm sure you will connect with a lot of women as you understand what they are going through. God bless you in this new venture. I keep praying for you.

Thank you Sharon! This means so much. I love when God uses our trials for His glory. Thank you for your continued support and prayers, they mean so much.

Thank you so much Wren! I am thankful for your support throughout all of this and continue to feel those prayers surrounding us! You are a blessing to me! XO!

My silver lining is YOU and all the other sweet friends I have found through this struggle! I can't wait to read more. You are amazing!

Your words are inspirational on so many levels! I'm so happy that you stumbled upon this opportunity, for you and for all of the people that will find comfort and faith in your story.

After trying to conceive for almost 5 years and recently 3 failed IUI's, I have been feeling really down but I stumbled across this blog tonight, and this is exactly what I needed. This is the first blog I have read about infertility and although I do not wish this struggle on anyway, it is encouraging to know my husband and I are not alone. Great Blog, I look forward to reading more!

Rachael, I am so thankful that you stumbled across this page right when you needed it most! You are not alone ... thanks for tuning in! If you ever want to check out my personal blog which has more updates/posts, that site is I would love to share in your story with you too. Prayers and baby dust sent your way!

Hi Chelsea! What a wonderful blog today and I know you will touch many lives. My daughter-in-law has had two back to back miscarriages. I am ging to send her to your blogs. Your encouragement and understanding is exactly what she needs. Thank you for being so open, real and willing to share!

Debbie, thank you for sharing this with your daughter-in-law and I am so sorry for her losses. My heart is heavy for her and the pain she is going through. If she ever wants to connect in a more personal way, feel free to send her my contact info. Thank you for your encouragement.

I am so happy for you that you get to write for Fertility Authority! I think it would be a shame not to let the rest of this world hear your thoughts and words. :-)

"This brought contentment to my heart." - what a beautiful compliment to give! I hope your heart is still hanging on to that ... big hugs!

Cannot wait for more posts from you here, Chelsea!!!

I have had the chance to experience Chelsea's friendship from thousands of miles away. I was new to the online fertility community but had been struggling for 5 years when I met Chelsea. It was such a blessing to have a friend as I sat on the sidelines waiting for God to direct my path. Prayers, friendship, cards, chapstick, and music are all so important on this walk for us ladies dealing with infertility. Community is so important - grateful that Chelsea will have the chance to touch more lives with her beautiful spirit.

Oh this comment made me want to drive all the way to Florida to hug you! I find you just as big a blessing and am grateful for the community that we can find in friendships. Big hugs!

Chelsea, I have been reading for blog for a few years and it has been a huge help to me during some very dark days. I pray for your miracle that is coming often and I am so thankful for your words of truth! ~michelle

Michelle, thank you for joining me over here on this community blog too! I am so thankful to have your companionship during this tough road and am thankful to know that somehow my experiences have made you feel not so alone. Knowing I have been able to help someone during a dark days means a lot to me - it makes this so much more worth it. Thank you for your encouragement and support! XO

I'm so happy that God has given you this outlet to encourage others, and the voice to share it! I always enjoy reading your posts. You have a way of speaking to the reader as if we're sitting face to face with an old friend. I'd have to agree, one of my silver linings was being introduced to our (growing) community. It came at a time when I was at my lowest of lows and thought it couldn't possibly get any worse. I felt completely alone and as if no one in the world understood my pain. You were one of the first people to reach out to me and say you're not alone and i understand exactly what you're feeling! Thank you for always being a good friend! Praying for you and Josh, always. :)

Thank you for these amazingly kind words Ashlee! You made my heart grow with your encouragement and love! So glad that we have each other! XO!

Love the blog so far and am excited to read more. How wonderful that so many more people get to know you, the Chelsea we love and adore. So thankful for you during this journey! Praying for you and Josh and success in the very near future!

Thank you for your beautiful words and support Natasha! You are a beautiful gift to me along this tough road. I know we will beat this one day! HUGS!

Wait that's not right.....I am so excited for you and love that someone finally opened their eyes and saw how awesome you are and how they missed out already on way too much Chelseaness. Yep that just happened. Anyways I love that you are doing this and before I sound too much like a man sneaking into your walk in and trying on your dresses and high hills I will say I have so many silver linings. The strength we gained as a couple on top of being a military spouse is unmeasurable. The personal growth alone dealing with loss and patience is unimaginable. So I'm thankful for those two specific silver linings girl friend. Much love!!!!!!!!!!

I agree with you - the personal growth and strength gained as a couple is a great thing! Thanks for jumping in here and sharing your goodness with me! :)

I love your mention of the "sisterhood." So glad to have your wisdom and you as my sista! ;-) xo

Good luck, Chelsea, on this new endeavor! I very much enjoy reading your regular blog posts and am encouraged to see you here too. You are such a beacon of light in what seems like the endless dark tunnel of infertility. Praying for you and Josh!! :-)

Thank you for your love and support Melissa! That means a lot to us both and we are humbled by the prayers we receive. Thank you for your encouragement!

thank you for these awesome words. and seriously- when will you be here with that tea and blanket? haha. our silver lining in the infertility struggle is that our marriage has gotten stronger and deeper than we ever dreamed it could. we've also been able to explore adoption, and that has been a beautiful and God-filled journey as well. there are silver linings everywhere! thanks for the reminder! can't wait to read more!

I wish I could transport myself over to you with a tea and blanket! I am thankful you shared your silver linings ... I know that God is going to bless this journey you and your husband are on! XO!

I'm so happy and excited for you and this new blogging journey. Your words are beautiful as always. Many prayers and lots of love for you.

We are extremely blessed to have Chelsea as a daughter-in-law! Thank you Chelsea, for sharing your heart and your hope and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ with others. Our prayers continue that one day God will bless Josh and Chelsea with the great desire of their (and our) hearts....a baby. Love you Chels...

Oh Lori, we love you! Thank you for this comment and the encouragement that you constantly give to Josh and I on a regular basis. We are thankful to have you on our cheering squad and to be blessed with such a supportive family. We love you!


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