May 12, 2010

The cross of being super fertile

You have to read this post by DoctorGianna at her blog, The Children I Cannot Hold.  She compares people who are infertile with people who are "super-fertile", as she calls them.

I was very moved by what she wrote, and was going to leave a long comment.  Instead I'll just blog my thoughts here.  :)

Trav and I have 4 kids, our first was lost to miscarriage, a 2 yr old, an 8 mo old, and I'm 6 mo preggo.

My husband and I DO practice NFP, just maybe not very "well". (har har)  We were able to use it successfully to achieve our first two pregnancies, and to not achieve pregnancy for awhile after the miscarriage.

After our firstborn I was too tired to chart and conceived our 8 mo old while we were "recklessly having sex", as I jokingly say. The baby I'm carrying now was conceived P-6.  (For those not up on their NFP jargon, that's 6 days before peak day, which is the most likely day of ovulation.  It is technically within the realm of fertile days, but usually sperm only lives 2-3 days in a fertile woman.)

We feel like God is blessing us abundantly, but I also feel very strongly that this is MY path to sanctification. There are a lot of crosses to be carried every day, including the cross of knowing that other women would trade everything to be in my place.  When L whines while Ben fusses, or when the naps just don't seem to want to happen, or the poopy diaper leaks all over the entire outfit I just put on the freshly bathed child I sometimes want to roar curses.  Afterwards I apologize to God and the kids, and I remind myself that I need God's mercy, and these crosses have been given to me by God, handpicked by Him especially for me.  I need to try to do my best with them.

At the risk of being redundant, I want to be perfectly clear:  my children are enormous blessings.  It is the craziness, physical pain, exhaustion, frustrations, etc. that come with them that are the crosses.

Of course there is a difference in the crosses borne by those who are infertile and those who are super-fertile, but we all should be mindful that God opens and closes the womb as He sees fit.  I have experienced infertility through the loss of Peter; I am currently in a "super-fertile" stage.  Yet I am very aware that while we may have more children, we may not.  Kaitlin at More Like Mary - More Like Me said it beautifully when she wrote that children are ONLY gifts and they are ALWAYS gifts. 

Oh Mother Mary, St. Elizabeth and St. Hannah - pray for us!


  1. Bonnie,

    You are pretty much awesome.
    That is all.

  2. Billings Method Instructor - I accidently deleted your comment. Sorry! Could you repost?

    And maybe I did misunderstand something in my class - but I thought that while sperm can last much longer than the 2-3 window the further one gets away from said window the less likely they are to become pregnant.

    Is this not true?

  3. I knew you'd love this :) Thanks for you insight too-you've been a blessing to me-reading your blog is very helpful. I never thought I could get so much comfort from a "super-fertile"

  4. Thank you for this reflection. It is interesting that one can see themselves at different "stages" throughout their life - "fertile" or "super-fertile" - and how quickly it can change. I'm thinking of an infertile that is now pregnant with triplets, or another infertile that adopted and is now pregnant with her first bio child due 1 year after her adopted child's birthday. I've thought about this a lot because I realize that (God willing) my cross could change in just a few short months or years. I like how you clarify that children are enormous blessings and it is just the feelings/work that come with them that are crosses. Observing this in my own family (sisters, sister-in-law) was my inspiration in writing the original post. These women have been wonderful examples to me of how they handle their cross with such grace. In an odd/opposite sort of way, I could relate their cross to the suffering I have endured being an "infertile." Thank you for being such a self-sacrificing mom in all stages of your life!

  5. would love to chat with you about this sometime. Would you consider having a play date with us? We can always make a road trip and I could even weed a garden or hoe for that matter - just not until after graduation week is over

  6. Bonnie,
    My cousin is Rachel Wack and she's been asking for prayers for your baby. While reading your update, I came across this wonderful post and I am really grateful that I did! I have five children, the oldest is 7, and I'm pregnant with my sixth. We also had three miscarriages over the years. What a great reminder that this is MY road to sanctity! Sometimes it's hard to see :) Thanks for the encouragement and please know that I am praying for your sweet baby, especially as you bring him home!

  7. I came here from Conversion Diary. I feel like I could have written this post, minus the miscarriage and add a few kids. My husband (Travis!) and I have six kids and will celebrate our 10th anniversary in February. It has been a very challenging road. I know this is my path to holiness. I don't ever mean to hurt my infertile friends when I discuss my fear of being pregnant again, but it would be a very real challenge for our family.

  8. So happy to have found your blog! I'm a mom of 4 kiddos under ages 3 and under so I greatly appreciated this post...look forward to reading more.

  9. Boy,do I identify with your post! I have 8 children, 6 under 8 years old. I love my kids with all of my heart, but it is anything but easy! No, I don't have an abundance of patience and I often pray for bedtime so I can slow down for the day-there is no stopping in a house with kids! I do fear getting pregnant again as it is both physically and emotionally exhausting as I get older- I'm 41- but I practice NFP to the best of my ability and trust God's judgement. Sorry if I'm rambling, but this has been a much needed release! God bless!!

  10. Coming from someone dealing with infertility, this is a beautiful and caring way to speak about the burdens motherhood brings. It's rare and very very appreciated!