Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Talking IF at a mom's group

One of my SIL's is  part of a mom's group at her church and while I was pregnant she mentioned a few times about me joining.  It always seemed so odd to talk to her about it, I mean come on, ME...join a mom's group?!  Yeah sure I was pregnant but it still hadn't sunk in that I was a mom.  5 years of IF will do that to you!  Well, after F was born she talked with me about coming again.  One would assume that actually having the baby in my arms would make it seem more real, that I was indeed a mom and I could actually join this mom's group.  

So I went to my first meeting and it

A bunch of moms just sitting in this semi-circle.
Some with little babies.
Others with their older ones in the nursery.
 All talking about the ups and downs of motherhood.

I have now been to about 4 or so meetings and it is finally feeling not so weird.  I am finally feeling like I am not an imposter.

I am actually looking forward to these meetings and not feeling so uncomfortable.

At one of the meetings, the group leader had everyone go around and discuss who they were and say a little something about them.  I kept it light, "my name is J, this is my dh and I's first baby, F, and I've never been to a mom's group before so this feels odd..."

Anyways, as they were going around the circle-which was made up of young moms (like my SIL) and some older ones who had kids in school already, but most moms had at least 2+ kids.  There was this one woman however, K, who was very soft spoken and seemed really sweet.  She said her name and that she had only one child who was 8.  Now, to the average never experienced IF gal, they may have thought nothing of it but the first thing I thought of was, "I bet she is suffering from IF."  I made a mental note to offer up prayers for her, just in case.

Fast forward to today's meeting.  The topic was Faith and we were suppose to have a guest speaker, however last minute they had to cancel.  So instead, the group leader decided that we would go around and if we wanted to share, discuss how faith plays a roll in our lives. 

As she said that, I looked down at the sweet little one nestled in my arms.  All I could think about was how faith was the only thing I had at times to get through those difficult and sometimes dark periods of IF.  I kissed her nose and thanked God for helping me to cling to my faith because it brought us to our sweet little Faith.

The first woman began to describe when faith was prevalent in her life...a difficult pregnancy and child birth.  The next one described how she labored a long time but had faith it would be fine.  Another discussed how she was told she was going to have to have a c-section but had faith God would help her to birth naturally.  A couple other moms talked about their conversion to Catholicism and how their faith led them to the Church.

Then we came to that one lady, K.  I noticed that tears were already filling her eyes before she even spoke.  I myself felt a lump form in my throat and the warmth of my own tears building up also.  She went on to say she was unsure that she wanted to share something so personal but that she felt compelled to.  And then she discussed how she and her dh had always wanted a big family but unfortunately they only had their one child, the 8 year old.  She talked about how hard it was but that she had faith in God.

I hate that I was right in my thinking she was suffering with IF.  I really do.  There's just something about having gone through it that makes you super aware of others that may or may not be going through it (before it's ever discussed even!!!).  Now, I don't know her whole story, she seems rather private, but I'm hoping that by going to these meetings and social gatherings, I'll get to know her and maybe hear more about what she's going through, what they've done, etc...but until then, I'm definitely praying for her.  Seeing her talk about it I noticed that pain in her eyes that only an IFer would recognize.

When the time came for me to talk I was nervous about saying something but then I realized that if that one lady could talk about her struggle, so could I.  And besides, being able to hold up my sweet little Faith for all to see, as a testimony of sorts, seemed too perfect for this discussion of faith.

I am pretty sure my voice was shaky, I had a few tears in my eyes but did a good job of not really crying, and I probably rushed the story and purposely left our many details (too personal and private to share with these women I have only known for a bit) and said something along the lines of: married for almost six years.  were trying immediately after getting married and secretly hoping for honeymoon baby.  sought the help from numerous doctors from 6 months into our marriage until this time last year.  was about to work with PPVI when a month before our 5 year anniversary we got our first ever BFP.  Clung to our faith throughout the struggle and now we have our little Faith here with us. 

Like I said, I kept out many details because I didn't feel it necessary to open up that much, but I am so glad I said something.  If anything, maybe that one mom, K will realize she isn't alone in her struggles, that even in the midst of all these other seemingly fertile, Catholic moms, there was someone else that understood that pain.

It's crazy where the cross of IF will show up.  

I know for me, the last place I expected it was mom's group. 

(Photo courtesy of Pinterest)


Ecce Fiat said...

Beautiful and brave! I think that's SO great that you shared - it probably made the other woman feel like she had an instant friend =) and I hope helped some of the women who have never gone through IF get a sense for how hard it is. I hope they all reacted well. What a beautiful story - and so perfect that your daughter's name is Faith =)

Rebecca said...

We sort of have a "secret code" don't we? So glad you spoke up and I will pray that the lady reaches out and you are able to become friends and support one another.

jrfjosh said...

I know what you mean about feeling like an "imposter". I'm glad that feeling is slipping away.
I'm so proud of you for sharing about your IF. I know God puts people in other's lives, so maybe you and K will connect?!? :-)
I LOVE your testimony!!!

All in His Perfect Timing said...

OK, the jrfjosh comment above is me! Oops! About started commenting on a bunch of blogs from some random guy. LOL!!!

Little Moments said...

I absolutely love that quote you have from Pinterest at the end!

Catholic Mutt said...

Wow. I don't even know what to say. I'm so glad that you both got to share and I hope that you will be able to get to know each other better.

sayin' i love you said...

I loved reading this story, it´s beautiful. I hope you can get to connect with K. I´ve read some blogs about women suffering from secondary infertility and it´s very hard for them because they feel as though they don´t belong in either world.

Anonymous said...

In my Catholic moms group of about 10 regulars, I can count 6 off the top of my head that either suffered infertility (for 3+ years before conceiving their first), have been unable to have subsequent children for 2+ years, or are currently suffering re-occurring miscarriage now. Its crazy how when we as Catholic women are open to life, we are open to the possibility of it not coming as well. Since becoming a mom that's been one of my biggest I'm just able to talk about my own journey and meet other women that are child-bearing or trying to. It humbles you, and has made me realize that we are really trying to just follow our own path with God.