By: Morgan Olliges
“Morgan, what do you want to be when you grow up?” My mom asked as she looked at me playing dress up with the new costumes I had gotten for my fifth birthday. I looked at her and without hesitation I said, “you.” She laughed, not really understanding and went on, “Well, that’s sweet but what else? A doctor? A singer?” I insisted, “I want to be you, Mommy… a mommy. I want to be a mommy and I want to have a husband.”
For twenty one years I have known motherhood was calling out to me. I knew that I was created to be a mom–not because I grew up in a Christian home and not because the Bible talks about women bearing children. This was just something the Lord decided to place into my DNA when He formed me in my own mother’s womb; a deep, innate desire to be a mother. My entire life leading up to where I am now (a married, twenty six year old woman), I have prepared. I have prepared to be a mother by watching my mom mother me and my siblings. I carried my little sister who was eight years younger than me around like my little baby doll; loving her, protecting her, changing her diapers. I would say that I practically raised her myself, but I don’t think my mom would appreciate that. I got my first paid babysitting job when I was eleven years old, watching a newborn and a two year old. Why they trusted me to do that at eleven years old, I will never know. But I ended up becoming the nanny to those girls for five years. I took on a few other nannying jobs as I got older, giving me ten years of experience before holy matrimony.
At the ripe age of twenty one, I married the most handsome, kindest man I’d ever met. He filled me with joy and love in a way I had never experienced. His love for Jesus was contagious and beautiful. Going into this marriage we knew we wanted children, but we just weren’t sure when. I had a history with mental health issues and was on some pretty heavy medications for that reason. But six months into our marriage we both felt the conviction fall upon us…we were supposed to let God decide when it was time for us to have kids and not contraception.
Four and a half years later, here we are, no children.
If you told me when I was eighteen that I would have unprotected sex in my marriage for four and a half years and I still wouldn’t be pregnant, I would have laughed my head off! That is the craziest thing you probably could have said to me back then… Okay, one of the craziest things. I believed that as soon as you had sex, a baby would come. There would be no ifs, ands, or buts about it. I believed that they would just start popping out of me. Easy! My, my what a journey this has been for a little girl who watched her tiny mom give birth to four children, one after the other. I thought that would be me. Never did the thought cross my mind that I would struggle to get pregnant.
I remember after a few months of Paul (my husband) and I having unprotected sex, I still hadn’t gotten pregnant. I thought it was a miracle! I thought, “Wow, God really does know that I am just not ready to have kids yet.” And don’t get me wrong, I still fully believe that God’s timing is perfect. But it never crossed my mind that actually, something could be wrong with me and my body and that could be why I was not getting pregnant.
Two years into us trying, I finally decided to just ask my doctor about the situation. I shared that we had been letting things flow naturally for two years and I still wasn’t pregnant. I asked her if that was at all concerning. She looked at me and said, “Oh wow, I’m so sorry. You know, after a year of a couple trying and not conceiving, we diagnose the woman with infertility. We definitely need to run some tests on you and your husband and see what’s going on.” I sat there listening to her talk about how I was infertile and that clearly something was wrong with me and it didn’t really sink in. It took yet another year for it to truly sink in. There it was, and here it is:
I am battling infertility.
How is this possible? My mom was so fertile. How is this possible? I know I’m called to be a mother. How is this possible? I’ve dreamt of having babies my whole life. HOW IS THIS HAPPENING!?
I began the journey of infertility three years ago, but I began the journey of facing infertility a year ago.
I trust that the Lord has a plan, and I believe that I will be a mother. That could be through my own womb, through fostering, or through adoption. It could look like a lot of things. But I do know that I will be a mother in God’s perfect timing. Please hear me when I say, adoption is beautiful and I desire that one day if that’s what the Lord has planned. But for a girl who walked around with a pillow stuffed under her shirt at the age of five, pretending to be pregnant, hearing that I might never carry a child in my womb is…numbing to say the least.
This season has been hard, lonely, sad, confusing, beautiful, and refining. It has been a constant reminder that I can only do so much before I have to just put my trust in my Heavenly Father. I have peed on a thousand sticks that gave me that stupid negative line. I have read article after article about the teas and the foods and the workouts and the sex positions that are SURELY going to work. I have felt nauseous and had back pains and thought to myself, “this seems like early pregnancy,” only to start my period two hours later. I have thought to myself month after month, “This is it. I’m really pregnant.” I have mourned and grieved a loss I didn’t have to lose to begin with.
I don’t think any woman is ever really prepared to enter into a season of battling infertility–I definitely was not! Luckily, the Lord knows what is coming and what will be. He is the Comforter and Provider. He has carried me through the mourning and the grieving. He has given me a husband who understands he will never understand, but continues to love me and be gentle with me and dream with me. I hold onto the good, I accept the bad and I breathe and move forward.
Through this season I have learned that it’s okay to dream, it’s okay to look forward to something that might not actually happen (having a child through my own body). It’s okay to desire that deeply and to pray for it. But what is more important and absolutely necessary is that I hold all of it lightly with hands wide open, unclench my fists that are holding onto certain expectations. I am learning to loosen the grip and be okay with God taking and placing things in and out of my hands. These are His ways and His plans. They are so much higher and so much better than anything I could ever try to imagine.