Dealing with Fertile Myrtle (When You’re Infertile)
Social media can really kill a good day’s mood.
You know how it goes.
It’s a rare, quiet morning. The baby’s still asleep.
You open up your News Feed to explore the day’s more useless bits of information and – let’s just admit it – feel some connection to the adult world.
Silly cat video? Laugh emoji.
Sweet volunteer opportunity? Loved.
New job for your old work buddy? Liked.
And then, there it is. Like a virtual stop sign. Already with 150+ likes, posted 38 minutes ago.
It’s an ultrasound image. Surprise! An acquaintance who’s been pregnant for the majority of the last five years announces she’s pregnant – again – and of course, uses Scripture about children being a gift from God to the faithful and how many kids signal a highly-favored family and how #blessed she is and blah, blah, blah…
Time stops for a minute.
Am I jealous?
What is this feeling?!
Situations like these often leave those of us struggling with infertility wondering: Why does God so richly bestow such gifts and blessings on those people, yet (we think He) skips almost entirely over the rest of us?
And why don’t these people understand that using Scripture like that can hurt more than it testifies?
They’re tough questions to wrestle with.
It was nothing short of a miracle that my husband and I got pregnant the first time.
We tried for what felt like forever. If I’m honest, I’m dreading ever going through all of that again. Would I want another baby right now if I thought it’d be easy and not involve months or even years of disappointment, though? Absolutely.
When you’re struggling with infertility, it’s hard not to feel frustrated when you hear of other women just deciding to have a baby and getting pregnant almost immediately.
It’s hard to seem happy for them when really, you’re over here internally screaming, possibly thinking, “Can I just say a blanket ‘Congrats’ and never, ever have to hear about how you just think about being pregnant and you’re there again? Because I seriously just said ‘congrats’ like a few months ago when you gave birth the latest time, and this seems excessive.”
It’s really hard when those women do tongue-in-cheek posts about how hard it is to be a self-professed “Fertile Myrtle.”
Because then, they inevitably have to answer tasteless questions in the thread like, “You do know what causes pregnancy, right?!” with equally tasteless responses like, “Yes, and clearly we’re really good at it!”
Here’s a PSA: Being “good” at “it” doesn’t always equate babies, and it’s not really funny or cute to answer tasteless questions with equally tasteless responses. Right? Right.
It’s hard not to get irritated when you know anything you say about motherhood around moms of many kids usually isn’t validated; in fact, it’s often trivialized.
Because you’re somehow “less” of a mother based on the number of kids you have in contrast, nothing you say matters.
“Oh honey. You don’t know anything until you have [INSERT NUMBER OF KIDS YOU DON’T HAVE] kids…” (Thanks for the reminder, lady.)
Or, the classic question or rant on Facebook, followed by some statement that indicates, plainly, I only want to hear from other moms of big families on this topic…
What I’m supposed to say next is a beautifully-woven tapestry of words about infertility that gives you encouragement and offers truth from the very depths of our Christian faith.
I’m supposed to say that you need to surround yourself with people who are going to speak love and support and belief into your life.
I’m supposed to remind you to stop comparing yourself with what you see on social media. People never include the full story there, anyway.
I’m supposed to have profound words of goodness for you to cherish and help keep those sinking feelings of remorse and failure at bay.
But…I don’t. Because chances are, you’re like me. You’ve already read similar posts. You know how you should feel, how you should “let go and let God,” how you should love all you’re given and never want for more. And you probably try earnestly…it’s just that some days are harder than others.
Namely, days that involve posts from self-professed “Fertile Myrtles.”
Really, as a woman who understands, sometimes it’s only in knowing that someone else has been there and is willing to sit quietly with us that we can find peace.
Because peace isn’t always found in comparing gut-wrenching stories of disappointment – although there comes a time when doing so is of vital importance to our mental, physical, and spiritual health.
What I can say is: God hasn’t skipped over you. He sees you, right where you are. He hasn’t forgotten about you or your heart’s desire to be a mom.
His timing simply isn’t our timing. His plans simply aren’t our plans.
So take a deep breath. Let go of the anger and frustration and disappointment for a moment.
Give yourself, your body, your feelings, a pass.
Give your “Fertile Myrtle” friends a pass, too. Because, hey – they’re not rejoicing to spite you. They’re simply rejoicing in an announcement that is undeniably joy-filled. It’s got nothing at all to do with you or your struggles, even if it may feel like an assault at the time. They’re just happy, as they should be. As you would be.
So instead of clinging to grief, resentment, or even jealousy, simply rejoice in life.
And, rest in the fact that you are enough – as is, with no changes.
Infertility and all. Even when it hurts. Especially when it hurts. God’s already got your tomorrows covered, so you only need to be still. Cling to the fact that He knows what’s best for us. Even when it hurts. Especially when it hurts.
Start your day.
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You’ll be okay, my friend.
Even when it hurts, especially when it hurts, just keep breathing.
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