We met with a fertility specialist for the first time yesterday; up till now we had just been pursuing “ordinary” gynecological diagnoses. Until, that is, the ob/gyn I was seeing stopped being helpful, kind, understanding, or even attentive.
It shouldn’t matter; there are enough other good doctors around here that I don’t have to keep seeing someone like that. But it was one more burden in wearisome, heavily-laden season.
The fertility specialist was wonderful, listening to what I had to say and actually paying attention to our moral and ethical concerns about many of the available fertility treatments. Helpful, respectful, attentive, compassionate – everything a good doctor should be.
It is, however, very hard to know where to begin. How badly do we want to “cure” our infertility? Does trying too hard violate our deep-seated faith in God’s sovereignty? How open should I be about this struggle with the people in our church fellowship, especially when I feel like most of the people have already dismissed me as an invisible non-entity? How can I bear the emotional pain of constant baby-shower invitations and birth announcements, and the inevitable, never-ending patronization by women who think that I don’t understand life because I don’t Have Kids?
But the desire to become visible, to have my full personhood recognized and respected, is not a sufficient reason to bring children into the world. Deciding on what course we really want in life – and how to pursue it – is going to be the hardest decision we’ve ever faced.