by Nishoni Harvey
I have four beautiful children and two awaiting me in Heaven, snuggled in the arms of Jesus. I have been blessed. Yes, we wanted more. Yes, mental illness–the medicines I must take and the nature of, not only my mental illness, but my health issues as well–have stolen that away from me, but I am content, but there are others who cannot be, those who cannot have children at all or have had one stillborn or born perfectly healthy only to have it taken away through SIDS. There are those left only with heartache and pain to replace the baby that should be laying in their arms. These precious mothers and fathers have been on my heart these past few days.
My heart goes out to those of you who cannot have a child or who so desperately want a second or third and cannot due to an illness or other condition or circumstance thrust upon you. I am not speaking to the women out there only, but also to the men. So many times, we think about the women affected by the infertility that plagues so many, but what about the guys? What about those precious husbands? Their hearts get broken too!
Let’s think about this a moment, ladies. These precious men are so good at holding things in, at turning off their emotions–a strange ability that has not been afforded we ladies. They hold it in, but that doesn’t mean it’s not there. Those emotions, though pressed down inside, though covered by that tough (and fluff they only let you see <3), are still there and still must be dealt with through reckoning, reasoning, or prayer, or they will cause depression, bitterness, blow-ups, and more pain inflicted on themselves and others.
My husband showed me a piece of his heart yesterday, a piece I had not considered. Reaching out to touch my stomach, he made the comment that the way I was holding my back made it look like I had a baby bump and that he thought I looked beautiful that way. He went on to tell me he had wanted more kids, but that God had not seen it that way, that he wanted more, but he knew God knew what He was doing.
I had asked God to take the desire for more children out of my heart when we were told that to have more would, not only jeopardize my health and sanity, but also our baby’s life. I had forgotten about Matthew. I never thought about his feelings on the whole matter. I never even thought about it affecting him at all, which was stupid and selfish of me. Maybe I thought he’d take care of his end on his own… Maybe we were just so busy between trying to get me better, fresh out of the hospital and trying not to return for yet another time in 3 months (I’d already been inpatient for 6 weeks of my newborn’s life), caring for a newborn and three other small children, getting a house ready to sell, packing, getting me healed up from my surgery, and preparing to move closer to family, that we never took the time to think about each other’s feelings. I know we never took the time to grieve together.
I don’t think we, as women, in our own grief, take the time to think about how the man in our life might feel about everything related to “our” infertility issues. Yes, I know. I know. I don’t qualify to be included in the “our”, thus the quotation marks :). I don’t think it’s even the time that’s not taken in considering them. I think it’s more of an inability to think about anything else in the numbness that comes with that loss. Yes, I’ve felt that numbness too. Losing my first baby to miscarriage brought that numbness into my life. Losing our third was devastating too. And, though many of you may disagree, having the inability to have the other three we so desperately wanted to be stripped from us was heart-wrenching as well.
I cannot imagine wanting a child, or even wanting a second child all your life, wanting to just have one little gurgly smile or one little fist holding your finger to never have that blessing. I truly feel for you ladies today. I feel for you. I feel for your husbands. I pray for you. Remember to pray for each other.