Monday, August 4, 2014

The Unspoken Grief

I never imagined my blog would bring forth so many questions about infertility.  People have come asking questions about a sister or friend's infertility and how they should support her.  I have had questions about fertility treatments I have gone through.  Others have shared personal struggles and how they are handling it.  I hate this for all of you.  My hearts breaks with you and it is my prayer that the desires of your heart would be heard and answered.

As I mentioned in our first blog post we have tried many times to have a baby of our own.  We even had an amazing friend and member of our church offer to carry a child for us (unfortunately, this ended with no pregnancy).  It was always our prayer to have another child.  People would often say, "Why don't you just adopt?"  While I sincerely appreciated their quick-fix advice my answer was always, "We are not there yet."  

We are not there yet?  What did that mean exactly?  It meant we needed to grieve and accept that we would never have another biological child.  We would never have a sibling for Jack that would look like him or have his mannerisms.  I would not have a biological daughter that might wear glasses in first grade and be called four-eyes (like I did).  We needed to grieve the biological child we would never have - and this was gut-wrenching painful.  

So I will attempt to answer your questions and offer my unsolicited advice...

My first piece of advice for those of you who have a friend or family member struggling with infertility -- Adoption is not a fix for infertility sadness.  Adoption does not make the pain of infertility go away.  It is just another way to complete their family.  By suggesting they should just adopt minimizes their grief and often offends.  Also, sometimes adoption is just not an option for families.  In many cases doing a few rounds of IVF still doesn't equate to the cost of adoption.  

People in my life would often say, "Erica I am so sorry you are going through this.  I don't really know what to say to you except I am sorry."  You know what?  That was exactly what I needed to hear.  Second piece of advice - Don't offer your infertility advice (unless you are an Infertility Doctor).  It is not helpful to hear about your cousin's best friends uncles daughter who struggled with infertility.  It is not helpful to hear how I should just 'relax' and it will happen.

One day while sharing my frustration with my mom she said something I will never forget.  She said, "Erica I am sorry this has happened to you but it has made you a kinder, wiser and more compassionate person."  Final and last advice - Acknowledge my strength.  Recognize that I am walking through a very lonely, vulnerable and sad part of my life.  I am not asking for you to pity me or treat me different just honor my strength.

Lastly, for all of you who cry, beg and plead with God for a child my last piece of advice is for you  -- You will be ok.  This sadness is temporary.  Whether you have a biological child or not, whether you chose to adopt or not, whether you remain childless or not -- You will be ok.  You are strong.  You are a fighter.  You are not alone.  May God bless you.


  1. Beautifully written, Erica! I AM so sorry for your deep sadness, but so excited about baby Sam. He is blessed to be chosen by you.