For a Type-A-ish person like myself, it’s hard to hear “It will happen when it is supposed to happen.” Yet, as a fairly religious person, it’s even harder to hear “It’s all God’s plan.”
Really?! It’s God’s plan for me to be infertile, while millions of teenage girls who can’t take care of themselves are getting knocked up? I mean it’s enough to make my blood boil. And don’t get me wrong, I’ve said it before myself. It is one of those sayings that naturally spew out of your mouth; similar to when someone passes away and well-meaning mourners say, “She’s in a better place,” or “He’s not suffering anymore.” Yes, of course that’s what we hope and try to believe, but it’s just one of those things we say because it actually sucks. It really sucks and we offer these sayings as some sort of solace and hope that it’ll get better. Yet in the moment it’s difficult to envision getting to that place.
Throughout our infertility struggles, I went to church most Sundays and prayed to St. Gerard and St. Anne in between. It’s not to say my faith wasn’t tested. There were times I was mad at God. There were even times when I said at the end of the day having a baby was about science, not God. When you’re in the moment, it’s only natural to start questioning your religious beliefs. What’s worse is that the Catholic Church doesn’t believe in extraordinary means for conceiving, such as IVF. One poignant moment I can recall was my sister-in-law coming home from her pre-Cana with pamphlets on the church’s views on infertility. She sent us a text of her “reading materials” and of course that’s the one I spotted. I immediately told her to throw it away. It’s not that I don’t believe what my faith teaches, but at the end of the day, my God wanted me to be a mom, regardless of how I got there. I wholeheartedly believe that, despite what any priest or doctrine states.
Now in hindsight, I can say I also believe, without a doubt that God played a role in blessing us with Mikie. There was definitely science involved and without that would we have conceived? I highly doubt it, even at my most faithful moment.
I’m still on the fence if that was God’s plan, though. On one hand, I don’t think it’s God who plans for babies to be sick, people to be ridden with Cancer, and lives to end too short. I do think, though, that it is God who helps us at our darkest times, who comforts us in our grief, and who lifts us up when these unexpected life circumstances arise. On the other hand, maybe there is a predestined plan-not to cause undue suffering, but maybe to serve a reminder of a higher power and to teach life lessons. If I look at infertility as God’s plan for me, I can say it taught me how to let go a little and realize I can’t control my destiny. It taught me the importance of faith and and reminded me of all I was already blessed with.
At the end of the day, science had given my husband sperm, science had retrieved and fertilized eggs to produce embryos, and science had made it possible to transfer those embies back into my body. But it was in God’s hands what would happen next.