SENSITIVE POST WITH POSSIBLE TRIGGERS…
I recently met someone who is struggling hard with her infertility. She told me that she just can’t understand why God put this desire for children in her heart if He isn’t going to bless her with any. Sadly, she thought it might be because He knows she would be a terrible mom. Wearily, she asked me, “Did you ever feel this way?”
Tears rolled down my cheeks and my heart ached as I thought back to my dark days. During that time, I was in the pit of despair and just couldn’t seem to make sense about what was happening to me.
Why won’t you let me be a mom?
I remember sitting on the bathroom floor, legs tucked up against my chest, arms wrapped around them, rocking back and forth, sobbing, and groaning, “Why? Why, God? I just don’t understand! WHYYYYYY?”
And I heard nothing. I felt no comfort or peace. He was silent.
So, I thought it must be me. I didn’t have enough faith. I didn’t believe enough that He could allow me to get pregnant. I just needed to trust more.
Will I be a terrible mom?
So, I tried. But the thoughts that I might never get pregnant and never have a baby kept entering my mind. And then, I thought, “What if He knows I’d be a terrible mother?” What if God was saving me? What if He didn’t want me to discover how awful and selfish and inept I would be at mothering? What if He closed my womb on purpose because I’m just not cut out to be a mom?
With the help of my hubby, I pushed those thoughts from my mind. I was a loving mom to our fur babies and a wonderful aunt to beautiful nieces and nephews. I was a high school teacher and an excellent one at that. There was no way that I would be an awful mom. There had to be another explanation for God not allowing me to get pregnant.
But I didn’t know what that reason could possibly be. And so, the question, “Why?” kept torturing me…
For ten years, we tried to have a baby. We did infertility treatments and checked into adoption and prayed and wished and hoped for a baby. I was still ready to fight, but my hubby said he didn’t want to try anymore. And I was crushed.
But I couldn’t imagine my life without my husband, so I resolved to accept my life as it was. I was a mom to our fur baby and a Tia to our nieces and nephews. My husband and I had (still have) an amazing life together. All of that should be enough.
But the desire to have a child did not go away. What did change was the thought of not having one no longer crippled me. I had grieved, my heart was beginning to heal, and I could look to a future without our own kids without panicking. But still, it seemed that something was missing…
Finding answers at a cooking class…
And then, we went to a cooking class where we met the lady who would help us host a foreign exchange student. And it finally all made sense.
For me, I truly believe that God closed my womb because I was supposed to be Bruna’s host mom. She was the missing piece. Since finding her, my heart no longer has a void waiting to be filled. I don’t ask “Why?” anymore. I know why. I had to wait for Bruna.
I never expected my prayer for a child to be answered in the form of an exchange student from Brazil. But that was His answer. And His answer is absolutely perfect for us.
Not all understand the unexpected answer…
Unfortunately, not everyone believes this. In fact, I have received harsh criticism from two family members, telling me that claiming Bruna as family is crazy. One went so far as to say that I need “psychological help to accept my infertility like an adult.” After these critical words were spoken, I faltered, wondering if I was creating an illusion in my mind.
But I realized (with some help from my amazingly supportive hubby) that no one can judge my feelings, my love for Bruna. I know that she is my kid, her Brazilian parents have accepted us as Bruna’s American parents, her extended family welcomed us with open arms when we visited, and 99% of our family has accepted Bruna completely. I will not allow a few rude comments to spoil the gift that God has given me.
Open your heart, mind, ears, eyes, and soul…
Now, I’m not saying an exchange student is the answer to every childless woman’s dream of being a mom. Each of us has to find our own way. But I am saying that God does answer prayer. He doesn’t always answer as quickly as we want Him to, and His answer may look differently than we expected. But if we will open our hearts, minds, ears, eyes, and souls to the unexpected, we may just find the perfect answer that we have been searching for…
“They mount up to the heavens, they go down again to the depths; Their soul melts because of trouble. They reel to and fro, and are at their wits’ end. Then they cry out to the Lord in their trouble, And He brings them out of their distresses. He calms the storm, so that the waves are still. Then they are glad because they are quiet; so He guides them to their desired haven.”
Psalm 107: 26-30
But why is pain a part of His plan? Click here for my thoughts…
Featured Photo: James Frid of StockSnap.io
TRIGGER WARNING: Because I want Not So Mommy… to be an authentic space where people can share true feelings, I decided to publish the comment below. I’m adding not just a Wobble Warning, but a Trigger Warning, as Mike shares deep & raw pain. His anger towards God is palpable. Though I, personally, do not agree with his statements, I realize that many in the childless community feel a deep, intense hatred toward God. This causes deep pain within my own heart. But again, I feel it important to allow those hurting to share their grief.
Then there are many of us good single men that were very cursed by God to never meet the right good woman for us at all, which makes me wonder why would God be so very evil and rotten today? Many of us never did anything wrong to be punished this way since being single and alone all the time is the worse thing that can ever happen next to death itself. And going through life as a single man can be very unhealthy and depressing with each passing day. Didn’t God say that man shouldn’t be alone? And i always wanted a wife and family to share my life with, since being single and alone all the time has so many disadvantages as well. God the pathetic fool as he is shouldn’t had given us a life in the first place, especially if this was his intention which i believe that it really was.
TRIGGER WARNING: As I want Not So Mommy… to be a safe place for those within the childless community to share their truths, I do publish comments that may cause a wobble. Susie speaks candidly about her experience as childless and single. I will say that some of her words triggered me. So, I thought it prudent to offer a wobble warning to you, fabulous ones…
Im 47 and been single and childless all my life. It was my dream to get married, have kids so I could raise them for the Lord.I always wanted to hand down the gospel down to my kids so they could effect the next generation for the Lord, but my dream of being a mother snd a wife never came to past and now Im grieving and trying to deal with it. I could of gotten married and had my family but the Lord told me not to marry my boy friend when I was 19. Choosing a man over God and Jesus is something ill never do, I would rather have God in my life then my dream come through. I teach preschoolers and Sunday school but it doesnt take the place of my own babies and it never will. But what infuriates and hurts me is when other Christian women try to tell me that the kids in my class are my kids! No their not my kids cuz I didn’t have the blessing of having them and nurture them, I didnt get to name them, sleep next to them etc. The kids I teach will be here today and gone tomorrow and not even remember me let alone care about me and thats ok, I dont expect that of them after all Im nobody to them. It also infuriates me when they say adopt! Adopt!! First im not married, kids need a father, thats the way God made it, any other way is dysfunctional and second they wont be mine, cuz their not my blood. It will be like im babysitting for the real mother.
I know Im complete in Christ and God knows best but it still hurts me deeply and especially to see all these people with babies and me sitting here alone all the time. God help me get past this, I cant take it no more. I adore kids and love them but its pains me deeply not to have my own family.
Susie, thank you for trusting me and the Not So Mommy… community enough to share your heart. I am sorry that you are struggling–hurting–that you do not have your own “family,” as you say in your words. I very much appreciate your candidness. Though I do not agree that one must be married and have biological kids to have a “functional” family, your comments do show your grief and sadness. Personally, I do believe there are numerous ways to build a family. Each one of us must discover that path–with the help of God–for ourselves. I do pray you find peace and feel God’s love, mercy, & kindness. Hugs…
Susie, you are grieving the loss of a dream. That’s natural and normal.
Adoption, foster care, mothering other women’s children, stepchildren are NOT the same thing.
Sometimes you just need to cry. Let it out. Mourn. Grieve.
Jesus feels your pain.
Tears are in my own eyes as I read your painful story.
Someday you will feel better and smile again. God bless.
TRIGGER WARNING: Smith speaks very openly and honestly about her hurts, her anger. There are many, many potential triggers in her comment. Because I strive to make Not So Mommy… an authentic place, I decided to publish her comment. But I’m adding this TRIGGER WARNING. Please, only read if you are feeling strong enough today.
I was fertile, but couldn’t have a family. I was rendered crippled and unattractive from a botched medical procedure. Never was compensated. No man wanted to marry me because of this.
God let it happen. He let the doctor ruin my life and get away with it.
I’m doing a little better now, but at 49 the best years of my life are behind me. Wasted.
I’m not suicidal or terribly depressed. But why am I still here?
I identify more with the really old since my life is as good as finished and nothing good will happen again. Until Heaven of course. But never on earth.
Not interested in dating/marrying gross, old men this late in life or babysitting others’ children either. Both things others try to cheer me up with. Decrepit, ancient widowers need home care aids–not fake marriages. The idea of these consolation prizes offered as joyful prospects by others only angers me.
I’d rather close my heart and give up. I admit I’m mad at God and believe He has treated me cruelly. Furthermore He always will because there can be no hope this late in life. His hand has gone out against me. For whatever reason He will only do me harm and rain down afflictions. Just as well. I don’t need or want booby prizes from Him.
Late life marriage to a much older widower and rounds of babysitting the kids of women He loved enough to bless. According to happy Christians with families these are “God’s perfect best” for the likes of me. If His “best for me”–if His “perfect timing” stinks that much, He must not love me as much as all the other women at church.
Sorry, but I find these efforts at consolation insulting and infuriating.
I used to teach Sunday school but found out some catty snots at church were gossiping about me and trying to get me kicked out since I had no husband to go to bat for me and didn’t dress as well as they did because I’m poor. I swore I’d never help with their brats again. Though I’d liked working with them and had been good at it.
“What do you know about that? YOU don’t have any children?” *Sniff.
God certainly loves women who act that way because He blesses them with husbands and kids. Churches praise and venerate them too.
I don’t have a stunning, well-paying career either due to being crippled. Barely making ends meet.
Even if things get better the past would haunt me. Too late. I’ll close my heart and soul and never let go of it.
I am so sorry that others within the Church have hurt you. I am also sorry that you are struggling with anger and feeling less than. I am grateful that you trust me and this community enough to share your authentic feelings. Sending you loads of gentle hugs…
Doing better now.
I still cry but am moving on.
I am opening up to human relationships including dating. I found a warm, supporting church.
It’s not the same thing as my dream of marrying between 20 and 23 and having half a dozen kids in a big farmhouse though. People who try to console with tales of “My great aunt Agatha married for the first time at 87 and has a bunch of great great grandkids” (while cradling the offspring they had by the high school sweetheart they married) would help more by keeping their mouths shut. They know nothing of what we are going through and should quit minimizing it with stupid anecdotes and platitudes.
Imagine if we said this kind of stuff to them.
“Your 16 year old has a court hearing? It’s no big deal. They’ll easily dismiss the case and your kid will straighten up and become a judge himself someday. If you’ll just quit spoiling or neglecting or beating him and become a decent parent.”
“Your husband says he hates you and wants a divorce so he can marry his girlfriend? I’m sure he didn’t mean it. Tee hee. Just a rough day at the office. If you start cooking his roast exactly the way he likes it and have his meal set out on time and arrange your hair attractively your marriage will be great again. My Aunt Nelly had problems in her marriage but once she blah blah blah everything went fine and dandy.”
I don’t think this advice and consolation from childless singles would go over well.
Painful menstruation, rheumatoid at age 17, endometriosis diagnosed at age 27. Everything was against us. Without medication I could barely walk and no pregnancy. I wanted the physical joint pain to stop so I went on meds again. My sister got pregnant by accident and got the girl I knew I would have. She has such joy. Tears flowed for years. Husband stayed with me. Joint replacements. Approaching Medicare age and I am still sad about what could have been. God has abandoned us.
Linann, thank you for trusting me and this community enough to share your heart. I am so sorry for all the medical issues you have struggled (and continue to struggle) through… I am a fellow endo warrior myself. I feel your pain as you talk of “pregnant by accident.” I am so sorry that the sadness still overwhelms. And I am sorry that you feel God has abandoned you. That breaks my heart… I hope you find love, support, and encouragement here at Not So Mommy…, as well as within the childless not by choice community. If you haven’t already, please check out the Resources page here on the site. Sending you so many HUGS…
The very same thing that God punished many of us men with singleness, even though we really never wanted to be in the first place. And being single and alone all the time really is very horrible as well.
Mike, I am so sorry that you are struggling with being single and feeling alone. I pray you find the connections you desire. There is a closed Facebook group for childless not by choice men called “The Clan of Brothers.” Though not all of the men in this group are single, they are all childless.
It’s 2am where I live and I’m up in bed reading this article. I just turned 36 and my significant other is 51. He already has 2 teenage children and does not want more. I love him so much and wish he’d change his mind. I get so jealous and angry because he gave kids to his ex wife but won’t consider it with me. It makes me feel not good enough and that makes me think he truly doesn’t love me as much as he claims. My heart breaks because I feel like we have a beautiful child floating somewhere in heaven that will never be realized. He tells me time and time again to move on if I really want to try and meet someone who wants a family because he won’t change his mind and that breaks my heart even more because he’s the only person I want to have a child with. I get angry at God because he did not give me a likeminded partner. When we first met he said he’d be open to another child, but somewhere along the line changed his mind. I feel like my window is closing. I can’t decide what I supposed to do. Do I accept that a life with him means no children? Or do I move on and settle for someone else to get what I want? I am angry that God finally gave me the love of my life only to make it imperfect in this regard. There is no real answer I just needed to write this out. But there are days I yearn for a baby to love and take care of. I think maybe God is doing this because I’d be a bad mother or my child would have health complications. I try to rationalize it and some days I come up short.
Lauren, I am so sorry for your heartbreak. Thank you for trusting me and the Not So Mommy… community enough to share your truth.
During my first year of trying to accept a childless not by choice life, I had many wobbles as I grieved. On one particularly rough day, I shared my sorrow with a co-worker. She asked me this question, “Would you rather have a husband and no baby OR a baby and no husband?” It was a turning point for me. I quickly answered her (as I had thought about this before). My answer was “A husband and no baby.” She then said in a very matter of fact tone, “Then, you have to let it go. You can’t keep thinking about a baby.”
I can’t answer this question for you. Only you can do that. I can tell you that longing for a baby with your husband when he has told you that this is not his dream will continue to cause you heartbreak. And I so want you to find joy in your life.
Please know that I’m always here to listen. Comment, email, connect on social media… Just know that you are not alone in this struggle, Lauren. Sending you so many hugs…
It was very painful and encouraging at the same time to read this article amd all the posts that painted all the thought and feeling I have been struggling with for the last 16 years. I’m 41 now and discovered that I have to go for a hysterectomy. Why God. I though your promises were yes and amen. How can it be. I’ll continue to follow Jesus. It is very difficult to even try to worship Him with “you will never fail me,” when it looks like he has. I know He hasn’t and I try to focus on all the things I have instead of the ones that I don’t have. I teach Elementary children. I wanted to become a teacher for the fear of not having kids one day. So sometimes I love them like my children but it is hurtful to let them go at the end of the year so now I distanced my mommy feelings for my students so that I can make it through the year.
I want to be a mommy so bad. But at 41 I feel like a fool for having the desire to be a mom. My family lives in a different country and I only get to see my nephews and nieces once every year but not every year.
Adriana, I am so sorry for your heartbreak and grief. I am grateful that you are trying to turn towards God, even amidst your pain. And I am grateful that this post offered at least a bit of encouragement. I am always here to lend a listening ear. Please, do not ever hesitate to reach out. Sending you so many hugs…
I just found this article… why is a question I ask almost on a daily basis. I feel like God is telling me it’s just not my time to find my Bruna. Having faith, waiting and being infertile is hard. But I will keep praying and being a great dogmom. 🥰Thank you so much for sharing your story. It helps to know their are other women who struggle with he same issues I do. Sometimes I feel as if I’m the only childless woman in the world! (My immediate world anyway.)
Tiffani, despite the circumstances that brought you here, I am so grateful that you are part of this community. I am also grateful that you trust me and the Not So Mommy… community enough to vulnerably share your truth. I am glad that you had a “me too” moment, as I know this journey can be isolating. One reason I started this blog is that I never want anyone to feel alone as they battle. Though I understand feeling as if you are the only childless woman in the world, there really is a vibrant CNBC community ready to love, support, and encourage.
I truly love your insight, “I feel like God is telling me it’s just not my time to find my Bruna.” Those are very wise words. Honestly, in 2015, after accepting infertility, starting to accept a childless life, and over-zealously embracing my dog mom role, I was finally at a point to accept a different way to play a mom role in a two-legged kiddo’s life. And that is when we got the opportunity to host. I believe that you will know if/when the time is right, as it sounds like you are trying to listen to God whispers.
Please know, I am always here to lend a listening ear. Don’t hesitate to comment on the blog, join Not So Mommy… on social media (Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and/or Twitter), and/or send me an email.
Sending you so many HUGS, fellow warrior!
It’s odd, because I am the only male here. Although it hasnt been long, I feel at my wits end. My wife and I have been trying to conceive for a year. Obviously nothing, and I am harboring so much anger toward God. “Why us?” “What have I done wrong?” I look around and every just gets pregnant like it’s the common cold, yet my wife and I have a hard time having sex because of the pressure. It feels like it doesnt even matter. I look at her a d she struggles, so hard. I literally feel my heart become heavy when I even think about it.
I believe in God. I want children, but i know he will deliver at His time, unfortunately, my wife does not seem to think the same. She believes in God, but doesnt understand why we can’t conceive. We look around and drug addicts, abusers, and abandoners just pop out children all the time. Yet here I sit for months on end crying when my wife is asleep or after another failed test because I can only imagine the pain she feels inside. It tears me to shreds, and I dont know if I can handle another month.
Yeah, I am more than ready to hand the situation off to Jesus, and let him guide me, love me through it. But I look over, and my wife cant do it.
I have prayed and prayed and i dont even know why I am commenting on this, I have fallen angry and bitter. I get upset when other women have children, yet I am not even the one experiencing the pain.
I can let this go to God, but I sure dont have the strength for both of us.
Scott, I am so sorry that you and your wife are struggling through infertility. It is an extremely tough journey, battling grief month after month. Despite the circumstances, I am grateful you are here–that you read and commented. I am also grateful that you believe in God and are trusting Him. You ended with “I sure don’t have the strength for both of us.” Please remember that God does have the strength. Pray for yourself. Pray for your wife. He can handle it all. Even your anger and bitterness. I pray that you and your wife get the little your heart desires. If God says “no” to that prayer, I hope you find a bit of comfort knowing that there is a vibrant, loving, childless community ready to support and encourage you. Hugs…
Same thoughts about others popping out children as if a common cold. It’s been a struggle. I’m hoping something great comes your way
It’s hard every month , timing everything perfectly only to be let down, I’m finding it difficult to cope , I’m getting older and time has become my enemy, my heart is breaking but there is nothing I can do, I wish I didn’t have this never-ending ache, I feel helpless.
Judy, I am so sorry that you are struggling, battling immense grief and heartbreak. I remember the helplessness all too well. In light of the global pandemic currently going on, I’ve been feeling helpless again. Unfortunately, I’ve found that my worries over coronavirus are being magnified by triggering emotions from my infertility battle.
I say these things not to make you feel worse, but to remind you that your feelings are valid and no doubt overwhelming right now. There are those, like me, who get it. You are not alone. Feel the feels and reach out, as you have done. If you need a listening ear, please comment, email, find me on social media… Though I can’t fix anything, I can send you hugs. I can let you know that there are those, like me, who made it through the heart-break to the other side. I know you can, too…
Just found this article and it really resonated with me. I’m 40, married with no kids. My husband and I have made several half hearted attempts for children to no avail. We are both on the fence about even wanting them but there are moments when I feel that desire. We also have fur babies, four of them. We also have many nieces and nephews near us that we are building relationships with. I too work with children and spend a lot of time with these kids. Perhaps I have already found my calling, my “kids”? I ask these questions almost daily: will I be a mom? Should I start obsessing about it and maybe I’ll get pregnant? Am I disappointing my parents by not making them grandparents (that is a big one)? Will I be alone when I’m old?? This huge “IF” is a bit of a torment. I can’t commit fully to a childless life but afraid to reach for a different life. I feel I would be happy either way. I also feel that “someone” is coming, much like your student. I have this sense that God has plans for me and I just have to be patient. I had a dream this year that someone placed a disabled baby in my arms and I wept and hugged it because I knew I was waiting for this baby. It was a very real feeling. What does it mean? Thanks for your article.
Ali, thank you for trusting me and the Not So Mommy… community enough to share your heart, your truth… The questions can definitely torment. So, we have to do what we feel is best with the information we have. That being said, like you, I always felt that our family was a bit incomplete–just me, my husband, our fur baby, nieces, nephews… Our exchange daughter was the missing puzzle piece. She completed our family in an unexpected way. I actually had a dream about a little girl with curly brown hair and brown eyes when we were in the midst of our infertility battle. I truly believe this was a dream about Bruna. So, perhaps your dream is letting you know that there is a little who has been chosen for you… I suppose all we can do is be open to allowing God to work in our lives, be open to His plan. Sending you so many hugs…
So why does He make it easier for unmarried women to get pregnant?
That’s what I want to know !
I can feel your anger and your hurt, Linda. I’m so sorry that you are struggling. Though I do not have an answer to your question, I believe that God truly does have only good things in store for us. Unfortunately, we cannot see the full picture… A preacher of mine once said, “We are looking at the wrong side of the rug.” (I explain what that means more in this blog – https://notsomommy.com/teaching-blogging-listening-to-god/ ) I also know that we live in a fallen world that is full of sin. There is pain and sadness. There are things that are unfair. And yet, the only way I have found it through, the only way I have been able to discover the bright sides and find joy again is by leaning on God. I do hope you find peace. So many hugs…
We won’t find peace in this world as long as there’s WAY too much out of wedlock sex and births are running out of control ! And He allows WAY too many births while others HAVE TO GO TO FERTILITY TREATMENTS !
Again, I can feel your anger, Linda. And I am so sorry that you are struggling. And again, I say that we live in a fallen world full of sin. Free will has caused a multitude of problems. For me, personally, I have found that leaning on God and trusting His plan brings me peace. I also realize that I will never fully understand everything this side of Heaven. Thus, I do not have all the answers–simply faith.
Please, remember that I am childless not by choice, too. And my husband and I reached this stage after 7 rounds of infertility treatments, watching numerous family members have littles (some out of wedlock). This is a safe place to share… We must try to be kind with each other’s feelings, however.
As I said in my last response, I do pray that you find peace and joy. God can handle your anger and questions, so talk to Him… Sending you hugs…
Bruna is God’s gift to you and our entire extended family. Pure and simple. Anyone who can’t see that is indeed blind of both eye and heart.
I find this a brave post, and I honour your making sense of your experience. I think that sometimes the answer to “why?” is also “because” or “why not?”. For me, there’s something about accepting the arbitrariness of life and the hands we are dealt that enables me to grow my heart and my capacity for compassion. Because horrible stuff happens everywhere, all the time (as of course does beautiful stuff), and no-one “deserves” the bad or the good. It’s what we do with it. Ad this post offers us an insight into the good you have grown from your situation. Thank you for sharing it.
Thank you, Lucy.
You are right that we each have to find a way to accept, grow, and move forward. Although what works for me won’t work for everyone, my hope is that by sharing, I can help others begin to process, to accept…
I appreciate your support. It’s always a bit nerve-wracking to really put your heart out there. But this community is so lovely, and ladies like you really do help me to feel validated. For that, I am eternally grateful.