Infertility, Lifestyle, Soul Food

3 reasons I’m thankful for infertility

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I have some really inspiring friends.

I learn so much from them — especially by watching how they handle the curve balls life that can throw our way. One thing they have taught me — and demonstrated by their actions — is the importance of practicing gratefulness, and the ability to turn even extremely difficult circumstances into something good.

My dear friend Heidi battled breast cancer at just 34 years old. As a cancer survivor she now helps lead retreats and empowerment workshops to support other women going through the same. Leila has not been able to have a biological child of her own, and has been through the wringer battling the broken foster care and adoption system, but now has three beautiful adopted children of her own, and started a non-profit to support the needs and healing of biological mothers that have lost custody of their children.  Even my sweet friend Melissa echoed this sentiment when she lost her beloved pet, a bunny named Amos, and wrote a darling children’s book to commemorate him.

Turning painful experiences into good.

I really believe the healing comes when we are able to broaden our perspective and search for ways that our painful experiences can still generate good. I took at a stab at it with one of my own painful experiences, infertility. (Not the only one I have dealt with, of course, but a pretty big one that I am currently still in the middle of). I tried to come up with three ways infertility could be used for good in my life, and here is what I came up with.

1.) It forced us to work on our marriage.

The battle to have a child started long before we actually started “trying” to have a child. I was ready to get started “trying” about three years into marriage, and my husband, well, he just was not. So it sent us kicking and screaming into nearest the marriage therapist office. Hurdle number one — figuring out how to agree on something as big as when to have kids. The good that came of this is it exposed some of our communication patterns that were bound to only get more “stuck” as the years wore on — so we were able to get professional help in nipping problems in the bud before they grew into full blown crisis’. What I didn’t know at the time was that we would soon be facing a five year battle with infertility; and all the strain and pain that brings into a relationship. So these counseling sessions turned out to be pure gold — and they gave us the tools to weather the storm ahead without breaking.

{On a side note, I’m a huge advocate for marriage counseling in general and if you, or a friend, are looking for a truly excellent marriage therapist and live in the Los Angeles area, I would put Rick Jackson on your speed dial ASAP. I’ll go into more about why I love his philosophy and feel he is a true genius at helping couples get untangled in a later blog. And don’t come whining to me about having to drive to Pasadena to see him! If you had something wrong with your heart and you needed to see a specialist, and the best one was located in Pasadena, you would be thrilled. Therapy DOES fix your heart. So go on a Saturday if you must avoid traffic. (And I mean this in pure love, my friends!)}

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2.) It gave us a kick in the pants to make our health a priority.

It’s so easy to get lazy about our health. We KNOW we should be doing a better job with our choices, and yet, Chick-Fil-A is just so convenient! (And someone needed to eat all that left-over Halloween candy anyway!) Guilty as charged, my friends!

Yes, I was a double mocha kind of girl for years. And it was that foamy, sugary concoction from Coffee Bean that was my addiction. Made with non-organic milk, with flavored powder with ingredients in it that you can’t pronounce. Oh boy, not good stuff. My cycle cramping almost completely went away once I dropped those caffeine sugar bombs from my diet. Now I just have half a cup or less of high quality organic drip in the morning. (I didn’t cut coffee out completely even though my naturopath would probably like me to.) Self-discipline is in limited supply, so I try to go for moderation as my motto.

Brent also made some great changes, no more daily diet cokes and he doesn’t reach for the muffins and bagels in the morning anymore. He now makes eggs with vegetables for breakfast. (Which I find gross by the way, because were not talking omelet type veggies, he throws peas and carrots into his omelets, and also feeds them to Cal. Yuck!)

Improving upon our health is always a work in progress, but I am thankful for how far we have come in our journey to finding balance and wellness.

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All photography for this post by MaeWood Photography

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3.) It made me a better mother.

This one is an easy one. Sometimes you don’t realize how much you appreciate something until it’s gone. Surest way to appreciate your spouse again —  have them go on a long business trip. When they return, they have miraculously improved on all their annoying behaviors. 😉

Same goes for motherhood, when you had to wait a long time, and really worried that it might not ever happen for you, you know to REALLY appreciate it when it does happen. Those late night crying sessions, those poopy diaper blow-outs, you take them all in stride because you are JUST. SO. THANKFUL you actually have a baby to wake you up in the middle of the night. I know that because of what I went through, I am so much more patient and appreciative of the whole process of being a mom. I don’t take a single day for granted. I cherish everything –  and that is a gift!

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3 Comments

  1. Natasha Kuehn

    Megan, thank you for sharing your struggles. All these cracks we have in our imperfect and torn up flesh provide such an amazing avenue of Christ’s love to shine through us to others. I don’t know if KC ever told you but we dealt with infertility with our SECOND kiddo. After conceiving Kate the first time we tried, we expected the second to go smoothly as well. NOPE. Took 18 months, lots of prayer, acupuncture, an HSG, and I believe the Lord’s timing to bring it all together. Lily came one month after my mom was diagnosed with cancer. She battled, and I mean battled, struggled, and lost, after 2 years. Had Lily been a year and a half older, I wouldn’t have been able to care for my mom in the way I could having a newborn strapped to my chest. And that newborn had colic! of all things. It was tough. So so hard. Traveling to Fresno every 4 days, with a screaming infant in the back, my poor 3 year old having to sit through it all…babe screaming every night until midnight while wanting absolutely nothing to do with KC…tough stuff. But looking back, it was all timing. At least it was for us. The suffering allowed us to give in ways we wouldn’t have been able to before. And now I’m learning that sometimes suffering comes our way not because of something we’ve done or will experience in the future, but to share the comfort God gave us with another who will need it in the future. Sharing His grace, His mercy, His love. I don’t know if this helps you, but I do know it’s encouraging to build each other up in His love. Keep fighting, sister. Remember to keep Jesus first. And remember his promise that he will never leave us. Jeremiah 33:3 says if we seek God, he will tell us great and unsearchable things we do not know. 💪🏼❤️ Love to you both,
    Natasha Kuehn

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