The beauty of life is a remarkable occasion on every single account. As a woman, and in particular, as a woman of a childbearing age, I take more notice to the miracle of birth now more than ever. The process of conceiving, developing, and fostering another human being is an act that is so natural, so expected, and so instinctive for any woman; or at least, it should be.
Something I have never openly discussed on this blog is my battle with infertility. In no way do I hide this from my family, friends, or even strangers who ask, so I guess I’m now at the point where I’m ready to release it in my own healing process, the process of scribing my feelings.
Almost two years ago, Toly and I decided we had hit that point in our lives where a family seemed necessary. We both always wanted a family, but up until then, I never desired it the way that I saw other women yearn for a child. Until one day, I woke up and realized it’s time to start. It just made sense. We’d created this ideal life together; had secure jobs, built a nice big home, and so naturally, the next step would be to bring a baby into the picture. Up until this point, I had been on birth control pills for almost 10 years, so my first step into expected motherhood would be to neglect my daily pill and hope to biologically let nature take its course.
Like so many other women, there had always been a fear in my heart that I wouldn’t be capable of reproducing. No matter if you desire children or not, every woman has a sense of obligation to have that ability. When I noticed that my period was not occurring after five months without birth control, I knew there was a problem.
I went to my OBGYN who had known my history with health my entire womanhood, and right away; she confirmed my fear that there was indeed a problem. Her prediction was that my lack of menstruation was not from physical implication, but rather mental. I was referred to a specialist where my diagnosis was then given a name, hypothalamic amenorrhea or HA.
I wanted to face my fate head on, and decided to take action shortly after. After a few months of invasive testing, I began a grueling treatment of self-injectable hormones; a process that was supposed to synthetically make me ovulate in order for Toly and I to have the attempt at conceiving.
After months of sticking my legs with needles, daily ultrasounds, and three devastating failed rounds; it became clear that it was just not my time in life to give life.
I spent a long time feeling as though I’ve failed as a woman. I had my moments of grief, anger, and hopelessness and for so long, I blamed myself for not preparing my body the way I should have. But after months of beating myself up for working too hard, not resting enough, not weighing a certain amount, not eating the right things, eating too much of the wrong things, etc., I finally realized and accepted that it is not so much my body that is not ready, but my heart.
I’m not sure if I will ever be a mother, but I do know I hope to be, and I hope to be the best I can possibly be when caring wholeheartedly for another human being. This many sound self-seeking to some, but I’ve always felt that there is something else that I need to do before I sacrifice a portion of myself for someone else.
When I met Sara Connell a few weeks ago, I knew immediately that she was meant to be a part of my life in some way. Before our meeting, I started doing research on her background and found her story-the one that led her to world recognition- to be extraordinary.
Like me, and a significant amount of women, Sara struggled with a brutal battle of infertility. When she lost the life of her twins at 5 months into the pregnancy, Sara and her husband began to fear that they were not meant to physically create human life.
Sara started to loose the very last ounce of hope until the day that changed her life, her husband’s life, and the life of her 61-year-old mother. The day Sara’s mother stepped forward so bravely, and offered her body in order for Sara to have the family that she dreamt and deserved. Sara’s mother became her surrogate, and in turn gave life to Sara and her husband’s biological child, Finn.
God gave Sara the gift of a child, but he also gave her the gift of being able to share this experience with the world. Her book, Bringing In Finn, is a deeply personal account of her own sexuality, infertility, and the beautiful unique story of rekindling a relationship with her mother through the miraculous birth of her child.
Within the first chapter of this novel, I knew I was going to connect with the author in a way that no one has ever been able to truly understand. Some of the experiences and feelings that Sara scribes are so close to my own emotions that I couldn’t get through most of it without tears.
Now, I find myself getting ready to embark on one of the most life changing experiences in my life thus far with this incredible woman. It’s a gift to be able to learn from her, absorb her passion, and in turn, try to recreate her purpose on my own level.
In a little over two weeks, I’ll be moving to Chicago to work side-by-side with Sara and I couldn’t be more grateful. I may not be meant to be a mother right now, but I am meant to learn something from one. I cannot wait to see what that is over the next several months.
For any woman that is struggling, has struggled, or fears struggling with the stress of infertility, I recommend this book. For any woman that has dealt with unhealthy sexuality or has felt emotionally or physically abused, I recommend this book. For any woman that believes in the marvel of birth, no matter what circumstance that may be, I recommend this book. And for any person in this world that believes in love, the power of relationships, and the miracle of human life, I recommend this book.
In an effort to spread her story, Sara has offered to give away a hardback, signed copy of Bringing In Finn to one of my readers.
Click on the Sara Connell Facebook Page and like the page -> leave a comment indicating that you’ve done so.
For an extra entry:
I’ll announce the winner on Friday, January 4th.
*Disclaimer- all images used with permission from the Sara Connell website.