The thing about infertility

I have wanted another baby for many years now.
How old are the twins?
Almost seven? (Good grief.)
That's about right.
I have wanted another baby for almost 7 years now.

Infertility is both my biggest hardship and my greatest blessing thus far in life. 

Were I not infertile, I would have had a 5th, and then probably a 6th, years ago.
I would have done this without even thinking about it.
I'd be surrounded by a gaggle of thin-haired, scrawny children with the varicose veins to prove it.
I'd feel complete. And incandescently happy.

Sometimes I like to imagine a world in which this is my reality.
Where I'm in control and get to plan things my way.
Where I could choose not only the year, but maybe even the month in which my kids were born.
Oh, the delight.
(For the record I would choose April and October because those are my fave.)

But that is not my reality.

And for that I am eternally grateful.
Really and truly I am.
Because it means that I've had to learn to rely on the Lord a bit more.
To put my faith and trust in Him.
It means that I have gotten to experience things I never could have dreamed of.
And learn things I couldn't have learned any other way.
The good Lord has blessed me immeasurably.

I am a mother.
I'm a mother of boys and a mother of girls.
I am a mother of a singleton and a mother of multiples.
I am an adoptive mother. And a biological one.
The Lord has blessed me with many different "mothering" experiences.
Oh, the joy.

Each of my children is so different.
I know all mothers say that.
But I think it's safe to argue that different genetic make-ups create truly unique children.
It's delightful to get to know each one...to figure out how each mind works and what makes them tick.
To discover their personalities and talents.
It's challenging.
And rewarding.
The joy that Nathan and I feel from this experience is beyond my ability to put into words.

Side note: I'm not sure where I am going with this post.
It certainly isn't meant to be any sort of big announcement.
I guess I just need to talk through my thoughts and feelings... mostly for myself.

I have prayed about whether or not to add to our family for years.
The last 7 years to be exact.
There have been times that I have felt very strongly that it was not the right time.
And then there have been times, like now, that I'm just confused and unsure.
You see, when you're infertile you can't go with the "let's just stop all preventative measures and see what happens" approach.
It has to be deliberate.
There are lots of options...artificial insemination, in-vitro, adoption...and with that there's foreign or domestic, black or white, baby or older...
It's downright dizzying to consider all the possibilities.
And they all take time and MONEY...so you dang well better be committed.

And then there's the fact that when you are infertile, you're conflicted with questions and emotions that fertile women have never even had to think about:
Am I infertile because I'm unworthy in some way?
Is God punishing me for something?
Is there something I need to learn before God will bless me with another child?
Maybe I shouldn't seek to have more children because it's clearly not God's will that I have them.
Did God know that I would be a bad mother and that's why he's made it so hard for me?
(This is especially easy to think on your less-than-stellar mothering days, which for me, happen all the time.)

I doubt and second-guess myself every day.

But then I go to my husband so that he can tell me how ridiculous it all is.
And that in fact, I'm a pretty good mother (which I need to hear).
And then I try to remember and focus on all the many ways in which the Lord has blessed me and my family.
And I normally end up on my knees in gratitude.

Alright, it's getting late.
Let me end with one final list to put my mind at ease so that I can get some sleep.
(And because I love lists!)
Things I know to be true:
a) The Lord loves all His children.
b) The Lord is mindful of our families and they are important to Him!
c) The Lord knows the righteous desires of our hearts and holds them sacred.
d) Sometimes the Lord makes a couple infertile because He knows that they will be willing to adopt and He wants good homes for all His children.
e) Adoption is sacred and pleasing in the sight of God.
f) I want another child.
g) I have no idea what's going to happen, but I am going to spend each day loving and feeling immense joy in the family I already have. Because dang it, I have some amazing kiddos. 


Beema said...

We love you. What a great post - to share your feelings, your true innermost feelings with us. Wow. You are an amazing woman. I love you tons. AND you are a terrific mother. I hope someday all those questions can be answered for you - but I know that you are truly blessed of God, that you are an amazing mother and wife, sister, daughter, and friend. You have a truly terrific, loving husband who adores you and your beautiful family is a gift from God to both of you. We love you like one of our own.


Susie said...

Oh, I love this post. I think it is so wonderful that you have this aching desire to have oodles of children - it is a righteous desire. I also think you are amazing that, in spite of the challenges you face in attaining that goal, you are grateful (not just accepting, but grateful) for those challenges and the life lessons that inevitably attend them. You are an awesome example. To all.

Mark and Meghan said...

I was waitin for the announcement! ;) I'm glad you clarified in the middle of the post! Can't imagine how hard it is to actually go through all that infertility. Thank you for opening my eyes to it! You are indeed a wonderful mother and have been so blessed with such great kiddos! Miss seeing them!

Tyler and Dru said...

How you could ever think that you are not worthy to have children is beyond me!? But i'm sure that is normal thought when one goes through what you have gone through. Your children are so precious!! I love them to pieces and no doubt, always meant to be yours. I'm excited for whatever lies ahead for you. I know it'll be something wonderful. I can't imagine the faith it's taken over the years but things always seem to fall into place. I'm learning to trust in that too! Love ya sis. A LOT!

The Stars at Night...Deep in the Heart of Texas said...


YOU ARE A FREAKING AMAZING WONDERFUL MOTHER. I put that in all capitals so that I can be sure you understand just how strongly I feel about that.

And, I love you and I wish for you to have this. If it's of any interest. . .two of my friends have recently (last year) adopted both newborns and older children from an organiztion called Casa de Esperanza in Houston. It didn't cost anything and is done through this program that works in conjunction with the states foster care system. I think they can work with out of staters. . .


pat said...

So many questions....I have a few myself. I love the quote about how in the next life "all the rules will be fair and there will be wonderful surprises." I'm counting on that. Of course you are a wonderful mother and beloved daughter. I am certain that at some point the path will become crystal clear, obstacles removed, and you will know exactly what you are supposed to do. We love you, Mom

maddie said...

you are so wonderful! i hope to be a mother like you. why oh why some people have to go through this is beyond me, but the one commonality i find is that it's the neatest girls (well couples, i guess) i know. honestly. these are some lucky babes that get to go to these perfect homes! you can have mine if you want - it's so scary when they come faster than you'd like :) talk about being a bad mom. anyway, i love you guys. you have the luckiest kids EVER. seriously.

maddie said...

why did i say couples, i guess? scratch that, no "i guess", nate is without a doubt also the neatest human! dr mcdreamy.

Stace said...

Erin, You make my heart smile. Love ya! Stacie

matt and eve lloyd said...

it's funny...just Saturday we were at dinner with the girls before the ballet and we talked about how you were the perfect mother. i'm sorry you've had to go through all of this! i think we all get so confused about our trails at points, and other times we know exactly why we've had to go through them. all i know is you have the most darling children! we are so glad they are in our family. i hope you never question your mothering because of all this...if anything it reflects your amazing strength. love you sis!

Shelly said...

I love this! Our infertility has been a very different journey than yours, but it's wonderful to see the words written down and know that others understand.

Andrea said...

You are amazing. ((hugs))

Chelise said...

First off- you are one of the mothers that I admire most! Secondly- thank you for sharing things so personal and special...I think that all of it strikes a cord somewhere for each of us. I know it did for me. Having been through a "journey" as of late regarding my family- thank you for reminding me of some wonderful truths. I'm blessed to know you and love you!!

Sara said...

Sometimes I think you crawl inside my mind and write exactly what I've been thinking about. Thank you, really truly, for the encouraging words you've offered me and for being so honest!