Infertility and Faith

posted 9 months ago in TTC
Post # 2
Member
155 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: City, State

It is so natural to hope for, look for, and cling to something bigger than ourselves in times of crises. Like the saying goes, “there are no atheists in foxholes.”

That being said, I believe those people who comforted you in that way had good intentions, but I resent the idea of God orchestrating infertility and every single detail of life (and I say this as a person of faith). Does God orchestrate mass shootings and corrupt politicians in power too? I believe we can find strength from “God” (or a Higher Power, or Science, or whatever brings you comfort) in times of trouble, but we’re also a bunch of humans down here making decisions and affecting others in ways “God” probably never intended.

I’m sorry that I’m not your target audience (not TTC, no IVF) but I have gone through trauma and find myself more religious or searching or clinging to my Higher Power, so it can be frustrating to feel yourself swing back and forth circumstantially like that but… I think it’s common and natural for humans.

If it brings your comfort, if it delivers to you, cling to that. In the end, I think the peace and good vibes we get from spiritual comfort can help deliver what you’re seeking.

Thinking good thoughts for you!

Post # 3
Member
1825 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2019

I can’t speak for my fertility, but I can speak with my views on fertility in the case of faith ๐Ÿ™‚ 

My parents raised me with a strong, STRONG belief in the foster care/adoption system. We are all Catholic, and saw foster care as a way to bring a little light to the poor children who have so little in their lives. We fostered kids of all ages from the age of newborn to the age of 14 for about 12 years of my life, and I remember every single kid we fostered. Most were so tiny that they couldn’t walk yet and arrived at our doorstep with poopy diapers and in desperate need of a bath. My parents were on the “emergency call” list, so basically we took on anyone in any situation (though my parents did have conditions for their own kids’ safety – just not sure what those conditions were). 

The youngest kid we got was a three-day-old infant girl born to a cocaine addict prositute. The mother was so ill that she basically gave birth and CPS whisked the baby away to our home. This emergency baby is now my 17-year-old sister – we adopted her when she was 2 years old and her mother finally gave up adoption rights. We had taken care of her, though, the entire time. 

This is all a long introduction to my view XD 

Anyway, in all of this, in all of the pain and sadness I saw in these kids, even from a very young age, I knew that adoption was a beautiful and most amazing thing. We have no idea where my sister would be right now if CPS hadn’t gotten involved. And we know that while the condition of all of those other kids is questionable today, we gave them a happy, healthy, clean home for a long time. That’s something to celebrate – just giving a kid a moment of peace. 

This moment of peace, to us, laid the groundwork for what we call God’s work. There is a lot of faith that goes into fostering, even more for adoption. But all the while, every time those kids smile, you know you’re doing a good thing. There is just a lot of grace, joy, faith, and strength in doing all of it, while you never know what the outcome is going to be for these poor kids. 

This leads me to how it fits in with fertility, or lack thereof. While I don’t suffer from infertility, I didn’t know that I wouldn’t suffer until just a couple months ago, and I was prepared for anything going into the TTC journey with my husband. While we were still dating, I emphasized to him my view that if, for any reason, we struggle to have children, we will adopt, and do God’s work in the life of a child that needs it more than any theoretical kid we would have together. That has been one of my deepest core beliefs ever since I was six years old, thanks to my parents!

That’s the beauty of grace, in my opinion ๐Ÿ™‚ It is so infinite, and so raw. It can be given to anyone, anytime, anywhere, from your own kids to someone else’s kids, and in the end, that’s God’s way of using you as a moment of peace in people’s lives. 

Despite being religious, I don’t believe in false hope – “it’ll happen in God’s time” is one of the most annoying things I’ve heard from people in the church. I like to think more along the lines of “be open to all the possible paths you can give God’s grace to the world” instead. ๐Ÿ™‚ 

Post # 4
Member
633 posts
Busy bee

Although my partner and I are nowhere near ready to TTC, I have spent many years struggling with chronic illness, so I am very familiar with the way unpredictable medical processes can impact our spiritual perspective.

I am an atheist, and I am comfortable with that fact. However, I am an atheist in the literal sense that I don’t believe in any God or gods, meaning a higher intelligence that in any way resembles that of human intelligence. I am a big believer in science and nature and the beautifully random tendencies of the universe, and in the human need to be connected to something larger and more solid than myself, to be united with every part of that universe. I am also a big believer in psychology, and in the fact that that human need for certainty has resulted in a lot of imaginary rules and boundaries, some of which are beautiful and serve us well, and others that are ugly and cause us pain. It’s my opinion that, religious or not, if those imposed narratives are causing you pain and frustration it’s time to find a new set. After all, they are meant to bring us comfort in times of severe stress and uncertainty, aren’t they? And times when you’re facing any kind of medical struggle, including infertility, definitely qualify. So if praying makes you feel better, if it helps your body relax so that it can prepare to concieve, by all means do it. But if you find the more standardized concept of God that others believe in oppressive, let it go and construct your own version. Whatever feels good. There is so much unavoidable pain in life, we don’t need to inflict more upon ourselves by adding in stress regarding existential boundaries that can’t be definitively known.

Wishing you luck (in all its unknowable glory ๐Ÿ™‚ )!

Post # 5
Member
8991 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper

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BeepBopB00p :  infertility basically made me give up on the Catholic Church once and for all. Although we are an interfaith marriage the plan was always to baptize our children in the Catholic Church. When I needed IVF to have our daughter I had a breakdown – how could I baptize this perfect being into a church that thinks her conception is a sin?! I didn’t do anything wrong. I’m not sorry for what I had to do to get my daughter. There will be zero repenting or asking forgiveness for this mama right here.  Although I was baptized Catholic I also grew up going to the Episcopal Church and decided to baptize her there after a nice long chat with the priest about my feelings and beliefs. 

Post # 6
Member
1151 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2019 - City, State

God is calling to you. People often end up turning to him in struggle. Keep praying! 

Post # 7
Member
1186 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2019

Well first, those people were fucking rude. They personally know that God doesn’t want you to have kids right now? Do they know that you aren’t religious? Because idk why they would bring God up at all. My husband is Agnostic. He wasn’t brought up in any religon, and his Mom died when he was a teen. I would punch someone in the face if anyone told him that “it was all in God’s plan.” What about my Uncle whose Mom died when he was an infant? Was that His plan, too?

Post # 8
Member
8991 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper

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MissCtoMrsR :  when my sister died I had a friend say something like “God will get you through this”. I was in the back room at the funeral home during the wake already having a breakdown because I’d been standing next to her casket for 3 hours while literally hundreds of people came through and hugged me and tried to say something even remotely comforting. I was 14. It was all too much. I snapped and said “he clearly doesn’t exist. And if he does he can go fuck himself”.  Our priest walked in to check on me right as I said that I was terrified I was about to get yelled at, and I was very certain I was going straight to hell. I started to fumble out an apology and he just said “Lilli you have nothing to apologize for. That is a perfectly valid feeling in a time like this and I’d be lying if I hadn’t thought it myself already.”

Post # 9
Member
1016 posts
Bumble bee

I definitely prayed to a god I don’t believe in while struggling with infertility. 

I personally think struggling and watching others struggle has only convinced me more there isn’t a God. Things are incredibly unfair and not logical when it comes to this part of life. I can’t imagine if there were a God some of the amazing women I know would’ve had to struggled as long as they are or did while we all watch terrible people become parents daily. 

**Just wanted to add that I respect everyone’s beliefs and if you want to try to convince me of “a bigger plan” I don’t normally take well to that.**

Post # 10
Member
9433 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2013

i am jewish though not religious.  my son attends a religious jewish preschool.  the director approached me recently and asked if i would be comfortable talking about my story.  there is a story in the torah about chana and her “prayer for child.”  the director is going to speak to the jewish/religious aspect of infertility.  i’m going to tell my story (i have 2 IVF children) and what not to say to women. or how to better phrase your questions.

as for faith. i have faith, i wouldn’t call it religious faith but it’s there.  as for getting pregnant, to me that was all science. 

i remember the day we got the phone call of our first success.  we had already been through 3 IUI failures and our first IVF retrieval became a freeze all. so this was the transfer from a 2nd fresh retrival.  this was the first time i let the phone call go to voicemail, i was waiting until my husband got home and we were going to listen to the message together.  i get home earlier than him and to kill time, took the dog for a walk.  at one point in my walk, a very pregnant woman was walking towards me also walking her dog.  i thought to myself, maybe we are mirrors right now, each pregnant, each walking our dogs.  i had hope.  so maybe hope is a better word than faith. and when i got home and listened to that voicemail, it was a success.  he’s now 3.5 years old.

but also, in the 2 years it took us to be succuesful, i probably prayed to a higher power, anything and everything hoping for a positive outcome.

Post # 11
Member
1186 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2019

It’s also not uncommon for people who don’t believe in anything to pray or turn to a God when they’re going through their hardest time. I pray the most when something’s not going right. I have to remind myself to pray when things are good, too

Post # 12
Member
2249 posts
Buzzing bee

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megm1099 :  I know this thread is a couple of weeks old, but I absolutely love your stance on infertility and adoption. My fiancé and I have had this exact same conversation, and we feel the exact same way. 

Post # 13
Member
7195 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: February 1997

I realize I am not your target demographic for this thread, but why would you pray to something that has heard/seen your struggle and denied you? God is not some cosmic vending machine, where prayers bring you what you desire. Indeed, many people are left cold, hungry and unfulfilled by God’s apparent “plan”.

If you become pregnant (which I very much hope you do!), you have technology to thank. Thanking God when you’ve had IUI or IVF is a slap in the face to every doctor, nurse and scientist who made that pregnancy possible.

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