I had a lovely blessing this weekend: My parents came to visit. My dad hadn’t seen our new house yet, and when my mom came last we had just moved in. She was helping us unpack. So it was very nice to have a chance to show them the house now that it is put together and we’ve hung stuff on the walls.
We had a great time while they were here. DH and I took them to NASA headquarters and we visited DH’s parents at their lakehouse. We ate at excellent restaurants, and we really had a wonderful time.
But last night my mom (who you may remember tends to prefer to live in la-la land) wanted to discuss our infertility stuff. It was their last night here, and we were up until almost 4 am talking. She and I had talked a little about the physical stuff (the HCG, our approximate timeline of upcoming stuff, and so forth), but last night she asked, “Are you happy?”
I told her that I am happy most days, but on the whole I’m sad. I don’t think I’ll ever look back on this period of my life and think, gee, wasn’t that a great time? Remember when we were living in a strange city, we didn’t have a very good social outlet, and we found out we were infertile? Wasn’t it just lovely?
And she didn’t like my answer. She wants me to be happy, of course. But in her mind, the fact that I’m not happy isn’t a fact. It’s something I’m apparently supposed to be either ignoring or “doing something about.” The hardest part was that she kept telling me that she just knew we would have children someday–if we had faith. She said it more the more I tried to explain to her that, while I appreciated that she was trying to make me feel better, her words weren’t comforting.
I really feel that God is calling me to trust him and to, in a sense, come to terms with the possibility that we won’t have our own children and know that if this happens it will be because that is what is best for us (based on Romans 8:28). It’s not that I think we won’t or that I am not hoping that we will, but that I feel I need to come to a place where I can say honestly that while I hope we will have a family of our own one day, I am okay with the possibility that we won’t.
I’m not there yet. But I’ve gotten close a few times.
I had told her all this before. But it clearly didn’t sink in (or, more likely, she just thinks I’m wrong in my assessment of things). Last night, I told my mom that what she was saying was undermining what I felt like God has been telling me.
And she couldn’t comprehend that.
She doesn’t understand what we’re going through, but she claims she does. She hasn’t done any research to know what the stuff we’re dealing with means, but she says she has. At one point last night she said to me that it only takes one sperm to fertilize an egg.
I told her that is true–with ICSI. But not in normal circumstances. And she was genuinely surprised by that.
I just wish she would try to understand. That she would sincerely put herself in our shoes and try to get what it feels like to be here. Or, if that is too much or not possible for her, that she would at least listen when I say, “Mom, what you are saying to me right now hurts me. Believe that if you like, but please stop saying it.” Instead, when I say that to her, she repeats the offending words. Over. And over. And over again.
What she said (though she couldn’t understand why this was hurtful) boiled down to saying that if we had enough faith we would be pregnant. As in, it’s our fault we are still barren.
I don’t believe that is true. Deep down, I know it’s not true.
But it’s hard enough to hear stuff like that from people I don’t know well. It’s so much harder to hear it from my own mom.
Lord, give me strength to love her when she talks like a crazy person. And to recognize that she means well, even when she keeps throwing little barbs at me.
(Note: I am really grateful they came to visit. As hard as last night was, maybe by the end of our 4-hour conversation she came to understand something new. Maybe things will be better next time. I am glad it happened. And I really did have a lovely long weekend with my mom and dad, even if some of last night was depressing.)