The Missing Stage of Grief: Claire and Jon’s Story- Part 2

1 in 8 couples struggle with infertility. My name is Claire, and my husband Jon and I are the 1 in that statistic. We are not just a number though, our journey has been very personal, gut-wrenching, and hard.

I am sharing our story to bring awareness, and to help others who struggle to not feel alone. If you missed the first part of our story, you can read it by clicking here.

Bargaining

This is when I tried to do everything I could on my own to get pregnant. I read articles about hormone interrupters, diet changes, and how to switch common household products to more natural ones. I did it all. I bought ovulation kits, essential oils, powders to help with hormones, vitamins, fish oils, fertility supplements. Basically, if it was said to “help with pregnancy,” I tried it.

I thought if I do all the “right things” for my body, then I will get pregnant. Remember how I said the stages of grief are not always seamless? This is another example.

While I battled to take control and change my story, I constantly returned to a state of denial.  

All of the changes I made have been for the betterment of my health, but they have not helped Jon and I conceive. After trying for so long to do things on my own, I had to lay down my false sense of control at the feet of Jesus. This can sometimes be a daily task and struggle. I have to remind myself that I am not in charge, God is.

Depression

Infertility can  make you feel so isolated and lonely. Even though you and your spouse are in it together, you are both trying to process the grief month after month. You also may process your grief in entirely different ways, or at different times. For example, you might still be in denial, while your spouse is past denial and walking through anger.

Because you process things at different times, it can make you feel as though you are never on the same page. You can be right next to one another physically, but still feel alone in this struggle.

This stage repeats itself more than the others do for me. I have to be very mindful of it. I want to allow myself to mourn, but I don’t want my mourning to become hopelessness.

On days when the sadness is heavy, I look down and see my empty womb, quiet hallways, and an empty room that should be a nursery. I have to remind myself of who God is in those moments.

He is my comforter. My strength when I am weak. He is a way maker when all the doors seem shut. A miracle worker. He is my healer. My peace. My Hope. My rock. My anchor. He is my all and all and I cling to Him tightly in sorrow.

I list these truths, not because they are easy for me to constantly remember, but these are what I NEED to remember. For me, clinging to Him isn’t always “pretty.” I sometimes go into that room that should be a nursery and just sob. I always invision Jesus holding me during these times.

Admitting I need Him is a way I worship Him. I thank Him for what I do not yet see, because I know He has great plans for us.


The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. -Psalm 34:18

Acceptance

This for us is one of the hardest stages. I believe that is because once you truly reach acceptance, you are admitting something is true. That truth for us, is that we actually struggle with infertility.

It is the process of trying to accept that we struggle with infertility that started these stages in the first place. Sometimes I feel as though I have reached acceptance one moment, just to be thrown back into denial again.

The Missing Stage:

Faith and Hope

This stage for us is intertwined with all the other stages. Without it, we would not be able to even get past denial. Although we have no clue how this journey will end, we know that God does. We have faith that God will make a way for us to be parents one day. When I’m going through times of denial, anger, or depression, this is where my faith muscles get a workout.

Let me take a moment here to clarify.  

These emotions are not an indication of lack of faith, but how we respond when those emotions arise is where your faith is pressed.

When the darkness feels like it is closing in, I build my faith and hope through worship, through reading His word, and speaking truth over this situation. I have also posted scripture in various places around my house to encourage our hearts in times of sadness.

Romans 8:28 says That God can work all things for good for those who love Him. All things, that includes my infertility. It is this hope that helps us push on month after month as we wait, with expectation that He will make a way.


Every journey looks different. This is how ours is unfolding. If you read this for awareness, I truly thank you. The probability is high that one day someone around you will struggle with infertility. It may be a sister, a friend, a daughter, a cousin, or coworker.  I pray that sharing this will help you know the emotions that can come from infertility, and help you to better support them.

For my sweet friends currently in the wait, keep pressing on. Infertility is not our whole story. It is a chapter. A very long and hard chapter, but eventually a new one will come…and how wonderful that day will be!

Author Bio

Claire and her husband, Jon, live in Texas. She has a passion for working with children with special needs, which is actually how she met Sharon. Their paths crossed while working together during their therapy days. She walked with Sharon through her struggle with infertility and IVF. Now Sharon walks with her through her infertility. Claire enjoys crafts, hiking, traveling, praying for others, spending time with family and playing with their dog, Piper.

Claire, Sharon, Libby & Lani