In my 17 year journey through infertility I have heard it all. I cannot tell you how much worse it made me feel hearing all of the “advice” or “words of wisdom” as they called it. Three things happened to me, and probably not any one of them were the intended result of this well meaning advice.
One: It made me feel more stressed, not less. Because I felt like I had a laundry list of things to do in order for everything to align perfectly so that I could get pregnant. All I did was stress each month when it didn’t work out thinking well maybe I did not pray hard enough, or maybe I did not lay down with my pelvis tiled up long enough, or maybe it wasn’t tilted high enough etc…which leads me to number Two: I was so so hard on myself. I blamed myself for everything that didn’t happen, or went wrong. This took me to a dark place. A place where I felt like a complete and total failure at life. I wondered how other people seemed to get pregnant so easy, and I couldn’t. How hard could it be? I wondered what I had done wrong. I was not faithful enough? God was punishing me? This lead me away from God, not to him.
And number Three: It gives us false hope. I heard over and over again the stories of people doing this or doing that and getting pregnant. I heard how it happened to so and so’s aunt when she was 40, and this woman put in papers to adopt and then got pregnant with twins. This woman came back to church and was pregnant the next month, this girls sister started drinking and that helped her relax….and on and on.
Happy endings are great aren’t they? I love a good happy ending, but not all happy endings end with people getting exactly what they want. In fact I think for most of us in this life, we don’t get to have everything we want. That’s life. I think that those stories probably circulate their way around and we end up hearing the same stories over and over with different characters. Shouldn’t the real happy ending be that we were able to find inner peace, and joy? I mean are we really ever happy if it is always conditional on us getting what we want? I don’t think so. We might be happy for the moment, but that cycle starts all over the next time we want something. I am not saying there is anything wrong with wanting children. I believe motherhood is a noble calling and a divine right, but I also think that finding happiness and peace in our current trial, no matter what it may be, will give us a greater ability to get through the many trials of this life. We can’t all have every single thing we desire, but we all can have peace and even joy in our journey and that is an ending we should all strive for, and one we should encourage others to strive for as well.
Really we all just need a good friend who loves us no matter what. Most people will work out the advice part by seeking it when we need it.