Ed and I started trying for a baby one year after we were married. After trying for a year we met with a fertility specialist only to be diagnosed with unexplained infertility. I was then put on a variety of medications and shots and underwent a few very painful procedures. During this initial year of trying to conceive my sister sent me the crib and changing table that her children had outgrown. I was grateful for the furniture and excited about the day that that small bed would be filled with my own children. Little did we know it would take us over five years to finally conceive. During that five year span we moved to three different duty stations (one being overseas) and the baby furniture moved with us. In each house it was stored in an extra room or large closet waiting the day that we would bring a little one home. The crib became a symbol of hope and heartache for me. Walking into the room where it was stored or opening the closet and seeing it, would bring me to my knees somedays. Going to a doctor after enduring shots, emotions caught up in a hormonal mess and the frustration of my own body "not working the way it should" and be told that the next appointment should be one of listening to a heartbeat and "everything is looking great you should be pregnant next time I see you"...to nothing...time and time and time again, is heartbreaking.
I still kept the crib though. I had a hope. I tied a knot on the string that I was clinging to and held on with all my might. I had dear friends who prayed with, cried with and hoped for me. And then it happened. The two lines showed on the stick, we were having a baby...The joy of that hope fulfilled was indescribable. And now, three times over that crib has held my sleeping babies. Three different mobiles have hung over the bed, three different blankets and colors sets have adorned the sides of that crib.
This weekend I dismantled it, I cleaned the last set of crib sheets and wiped down the rails. As I was working on it I cried, I thought of the hope that felt so heavy and almost unbearable to me at times. I thought of my friends who answered my calls when I couldn't face the day on my own and invited me to sit on their couch and they mourned with and prayed with me. I thought of my husband who stood beside me through the long years of infertility, he cried with me and hoped with me and was strength for me. I thought of God's faithfulness and the hope that he had given me. And while I know that we are done with babies for our family, I still mourn the ending of these chapters.
I packed the crib and changing table into my car on Saturday and dropped them off at a friends house. A friend who adopted a baby girl...to give her a life full of hope and the promises of Christ.
Infertility is a part of my story. Moving an unused crib from duty station to duty station is a part of my story. I hope if you are experiencing infertility that you reach out to friends and hold tight to your hope string, let them comfort you when you mourn and let them pray with you. I am certain that my story would have held more heartache if I had not opened myself and my hurts to trusted friends.