A Shift in Identity

“We can’t have kids.”

This is a new reality for us. We are no longer “trying to get pregnant” or “suffering through infertility.” We are now in the tiny percentage of people who have tried as far as their conscience and/or finances will allow and still can’t have children.

It seems more permanent. Even more heartbreaking. The other day I told my husband I felt like a piece of me died, like I have to learn how to live with the reality of being without a limb.

I waver back and forth between clinging onto Jesus’ cloak and desperately trying to believe what He says is true and feeling despaired in my grief and completely without hope. Being barren without Him would be completely unbearable, yet sometimes it’s harder that I know God is strong enough and powerful enough and good enough to give us children, yet He hasn’t.

Now you may look at me and say ‘He can do miracles’, ‘You’re still young, your time’s not up.’ Yet without medical intervention, my body is unable to do the first step in conceiving. And as we’ve seen the past 2 years – even through 11 bouts of medicine, 6 IUIs and 2 Frozen embryo transfers – we’ve left with no healthy pregnancy, no baby in our arms. All we have to speak of is 2 early miscarriages and 4 dead babies.

You may say ‘There’s a lot more medical interventions you could do’ or ‘You should totally try embryo donation again… it kind of worked didn’t it?’ There are many more treatments available- there’s IVF, egg donation, ICSI, genetic testing, etc. No doctor has ever told us we can’t get pregnant or there’s medically any reason why we haven’t yet. Yet after much prayer and consideration, we decided these options are not right for us. (And logically – we’ve done embryo transfers and they didn’t work… IVF would be about 4 times as expensive, more time and energy intensive and so much more uncomfortable).

All of this is so emotionally devastating that it gets to a point where you have to walk away.

And unfortunately for us, it’s gotten to that point. If it was up to me alone, I would have kept trying, kept trying, kept trying… and eventually self destruct. In the beginning of this last cycle, Bryan and I discussed what we wanted to do if it didn’t work. We had no more embryos at the center so we would have to start a new process somewhere. We could either get back on the waiting list (the first time took about 10 months), begin the process for another center for embryo donation or begin the process for infant adoption. Bryan said he thinks if we are going to start a new process, we might as well try infant adoption since we’ve given embryo donation two chances.

I know he loves me and cares for me deeply and wants the best for our family, so I told him I trust him and that infant adoption will be our next step… although not for quite a while. It doesn’t mean that we’d never try embryo donation again – – but honestly, the older I get the less likely success is…. and after 2 miscarriages and 4 babies with Jesus… I don’t know if I can sign myself up for the possibility of that pain and loss again. Four dead babies is almost too overwhelming for me to deal with.

And so now, I begin to learn my new identity. The woman that cannot bear. The painfully empty womb. Grief and sorrow are constantly by my side. I grieve my babies, oh yes, and I also grieve the death of my dream. The desire of getting pregnant and having a family that beautiful way is dead too.

I know in my mind that my barreness is not my identity, but only a part of it– but I’m just not there yet.

And as we heard about our recent loss on Good Friday, I think about how real Jesus’ death was as we were coming to grips with our own child’s death. There’s no reason that day should be good – for any reason. But Jesus’ death happened so He could raise from the dead and gain victory over death. Easter is that great day where we celebrate redemption and hope conquering over hopelessness.

Jesus conquer my hopeless heart.


About jackielopina

Follower of Jesus, Pastor's Wife, Cookie Baker.
This entry was posted in Embryo Adoption, Infertility, Jesus, Suffering and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to A Shift in Identity

  1. Linda Vincent says:

    Jackie, You are constantly tugging at my heart. Obviously, God has something more planned for you and Brian. With the love that you have for Jesus and for each other, you will rise above your disappointment and be wonderful at what ever your task that He has assigned. However, this is still a loss and I am so sorry for both of you. Love, Linda

  2. Sara says:

    This is beautifully and achingly well written. I will keep you in prayer as you journey with this new identity.

  3. I have no semblance of what this pain looks like or feels like or sounds like, none at all. So responding to such heartache feels a little undeserved on my part. But, sweet Jackie, what I can relate to is the idea that a new, painful aspect of your identity must now be added. Here’s what I know: On this earth, the identities we build for ourselves will be mortared with tears and shattered dreams, for that is all we know. The idea of identity solely rested in His grace is incomprehensible from our standpoint. But, praise Him, that our TRUE, ETERNAL, UNCHANGING identities are set, with Christ as the cornerstone, who bore all of our heartache and failures and pains of sin on the Cross, giving us the ability to walk with HIM as our identity. Oh, that we could believe this glorious truth! That our identities are daughters of the Most High God, blood-bought sinners, free to walk with Him, in Him, through Him.

    My prayers are with you and Pastor Bryan today, Jackie. Prayers for rest, comfort, joy and restored hope. You are His and that’s it.

  4. peggy says:

    Jackie, my heart is breaking as I read your blog. I knew that is where you and Bryan were in your infertility journey, but it still breaks my heart. As your mom, I want and have wanted so long for you to be able to carry your own baby, but it has not happened for some reason that I cannot understand. I wish there were some comforting words that I could say, but all I can think of is that I love you more than words can ever say. If I could take this pain away from you I would. It’s like when you were a little girl, I would do anything I could to make your hurting go away. And, of course, there is nothing. So, just know that I am here for you and I am praying that God will continue to heal your broken heart and in time you will begin to heal.

    Love, Mom

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