Dear Hopeful Mother,

I know your desires and hopes for a family have turned to woes as have my own. I am anxious while waiting. The unknown before me feels heavier than any weight I’ve carried before. Will I ever become pregnant? Am I doing enough? Is there a new diet to try, a new supplement, a new routine to reduce stress, a new fertility clinic? These are the questions those of us walking the path of infertility often ask ourselves.

I have been married for three and a half years. While we were not actively trying to conceive the whole time, we always had an openness to growing our family, and have been practicing Natural Family Planning since the beginning of our marriage.

I first learned that infertility may be part of my story several years ago. In college, I was diagnosed with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) and learned that getting pregnant may be more difficult for me due to my diagnosis – one of the first things they tell you. After six months of marriage without conceiving, I found a NaPro trained gynecologist and started running fertility tests. The test results revealed that my progesterone levels were below optimal but worse, I also learned that I had elevated glucose levels. My NaPro provider referred me to my primary care physician who diagnosed me as type 2 diabetic.

Almost two years into my diabetic diagnosis, I am actively trying to reverse my diabetes while moving forward with fertility testing. After meeting with a fertility clinic that recommended advanced fertility treatments not in line with our values or Church teaching, we took a break from fertility appointments for a year. Recently, we met with Veritas Fertility & Surgery in St. Louis, Missouri, and have new hope. While we don’t have a guarantee of future pregnancy, as no one does, I know Veritas will look at our situation from all angles and optimize our health for potential pregnancy.

Our infertility journey has been both a physically and spiritually challenging path for us, especially as we strive  to remain hopeful. . We know that God has designs for fruitfulness for our marriage, however. We have discussed alternate paths to physical motherhood such as adoption and foster care with our family, friends, and our priest. We continue to pray for guidance regarding when to pause or discontinue fertility treatments and start our family through foster care or adoption. While I do not have the energy to consider both at the same time, I am hopeful there are opportunities to welcome children into our home even if  treatments are not fruitful at this moment.

As I walk this path of infertility, Sarah’s story from Genesis gives me peace. God blessed Sarah and Abraham with a child when they were childless for so long the idea of pregnancy was laughable. I am reminded I am not too old; it is not too late. God did the impossible for Sarah. “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” says the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts” (Isaiah 55:8-9). In Lisa Brenninkmeyer’s Be Still devotional, she encourages us that while we may not understand [God’s]ways, be assured His way is always best. She leaves us with this prayer:

“Dear Lord, please align my desires with your will. Only when this takes place will all my prayers be answered. Help me to remember that when your response to my prayer is no, or to wait, it isn’t because you are holding out on me. It is because you are bringing me something better. Amen.”

Whatever fertility challenges you face, know that you are not alone. I am with you, as are many other women; together we are walking the same path as you every day. And most importantly, God is with you always.

God bless you, 

A Very Hopeful Mother