Tuesday, October 25, 2011

a sermon for children

See my previous post if you need to be reminded how much I love Max.

So, the husband is a pastor. And a pretty good one at that. He preaches great sermons, always knows the right things to say, loves people unconditionally, etc. He never lets on if/when his faith is wavering.

I, on the other hand, have always had a bit of a problem with faith. Of course, the issues have intensified with the infertility battle. This Sunday, the message was about prayer. We first watched a short video about the ways God answers prayer. Sometimes he says yes, sometimes it's delayed, sometimes it's denied.

Well, during the children's sermon (which precedes the actual sermon and is a way to dumb it down for the kids before they leave for Children's Church), Max stumbled and didn't say the right think. He used a very specific example to illustrate prayer to the children. He talked about when he was a kid, he prayed for a baby sister. He prayed every day for a baby sister, but he never got one. And now looking back he realizes it's because he wouldn't have been a good big brother and they weren't meant to be that kind of family.

Stab. Me. In. The. Heart.

Now, I know that a rational person doesn't make this connection. But I have infertility brain (I stole this from a new blogger, she writes about it here). For me, everything relates back to our infertility. And to me, when he said that, I heard "God isn't answering our prayer because Hattie won't be a good mother and we aren't meant to be that kind of family." This thing I've thought so many times, Max also thinks. Ouch.

I am not nurturing, in any sense of the word. I'm selfish, sometimes lazy, forgetful, sarcastic, and cynical. Those things do not make a good mother. I have a friend who suffered through infertility about 2 years ago. After trying to conceive for a long time and a few short rounds of test, they found that her husband is sterile. After a few heartbroken months, they turned to adoption and now have an amazing son. Through her adoption journey, the most common comment was "It will happen. She was born to be a mother." or "If anyone deserves to be a mother, it's her." No one has ever or will ever say that about me. So is that why I can't get pregnant?

I immediately started crying in the back pew of our small church. Church has been a real struggle for me for the past 6 months or so. It is so weird to be in a room full of people that love each other, conversations happening all around, hugs flying everywhere, and to feel so alone. So I sat on the back pew, surrounded by people, all alone and crying. I made it about 7 minutes until the next song started and I had to get out. I didn't hear the message. I don't know what else Max said about prayer. But I have been begging God for a long time for a baby, so I guess I have a lot to learn.

Obviously Max knew I left. He knew I was upset. But he doesn't know why. I don't know why I can't talk about this with him. I've always been able to tell him anything. But now, the only place I can say what I want is here.


  1. Oh Hattie, I am so sorry! Those moment of quiet sadness are the worst! Each of us who have been through this have those moment when we doubt ourselves, our faith, and our mommy-aptitude. It takes all kinds to be a mom. My mother, while wonderful, wasn't particularly maternal. I know plenty of good mothers who don't fit into the "maternal" mold. You will be a good mother, one that is unique and wonderful.

    I used to blame our infertility on the fact that I hadn't gotten my Grandfather's trumpet out of storage and played it or that I once stole 40 dollars from my mother (I was a teen). We can blame whoever/whatever we want, but the fact remains that biology is the culprit.

    I've been where you are, the sadness can be overwhelmingly awful. I'm glad that you've found a place to vent your feelings. My blog is often my confessional.

    I wish you the best. And had I been sitting next to you in that pew, I would have given you a big hug!

  2. I can relate to this post so much. One thing that has been the hardest for me since this infertility journey began was my faith. I have always believed that God was just and fair. But if that was true why do I not have a baby? I am a good person. Don't I deserve to be a Mother? I can understand why that statement would upset you. I would have the same reaction.

    As for you not have good mothering qualities. I do not believe that for a second. We always see the worst in ourselves and often times qualities that we didn't even know we had will appear under the right circumstances and conditions. I have NO DOUBT that you will be a good mother. And don't think for even a second that you don't deserve a child because you do. I know one day you will have a baby and that they will be lucky to have you as a mother.

    This is one of the hardest things that someone can go through. Infertility tears you down and then kicks you around a bit just for fun. It is a cruel journey full of heartache. But you are not alone. Anyone who has ever been in your shoes knows how you feel. I know how you feel. I have to believe in the positive. That we will all get through this. I choose to believe in hope for both you and me.

  3. What you say makes so much sense - especially in the middle of infertility. I remember thinking that I must have done something really bad for God to be punishing me so much. I even expressed that thought to one of our Ministers... who told me a few things that I hung onto their our nightmare of infertility.

    - God doesn't blame or punish, he only loves. There is nothing that you can do that will make God not love you. Nothing you have done or nothing that you haven't done has caused this.

    - When you cry, God is crying right along with you. He feels your pain, and wants to take it from you - but we live in an imperfect world. But in the depths God is there with you - as much as when the good things happen.

    - That the reason that I can't get and stay pregnant is medical. You can ask your Dr why or why not? You can ask God - but perhaps no-one can answer that question.

    Nobody deserves to have a child, and no-one deserves not to have a child. The despair is awful and I sat and read your post and cried for you (and remembered my pain). When the darkness is at it's worst, it's impossible to see any light. And it's made harder by other people's throwaway comments.

    I never got pregnant and stayed that way. I never experienced that - and I shall always have a part of me that hurts over that. But whilst I can and do remember the pain, grief and despair - now I also celebrate my son through adoption. It's not the right path for everyone - it was for us. And this is what I hope and pray for you - that you find your path and that you manage to find some peace.

  4. I am here from ICLW, so this is the first post I have ever read, but it just broke my heart for you. I was there too. I was right there where you are now. I questioned if the reason I couldnt get pregnant was because i wouldn't be a good mother. And after our IVF I had my son and I might not be good at a lot of things, but I am good at this. And you will be too.

    I questioned my faith a lot when I was in the middle of infertility. I think it is normal. I hope you and Max find a way to talk about it. I think it will help, no matter how painful it is. Our infertility journey was very hard on both of us, but in the end it made us a stronger couple. I hope it does the same for you all.

    ICLW #100