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I Have Infertility - I Am Just Like You
A blog by Chelsea Ritchie
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...