Territory Folks Should Stick Together.

Bare with me this week -apparently I’m thinking in song lyrics.

This song pops into my head ever time someone suggestions that I’m at odds with my more fertile friends.




Y’all…. territory folks should stick together.  Plain and simple.  This is not a race and this is not a competition.

Oh sure everyone has run into someone who’s made the other side look bad, really bad.  We all know that woman with 13 perfectly spaced children (boy, girl, boy, girl of course) who clearly thinks your small family is a sign of a compact with the devil.  We all know that woman who thinks that strollers in public and the baby section at Target should be punishable by hard time in prison (she may have even tried to push a bill into law saying as much) because they make her sad.

As T.Swift would say…

Now I’ve already addressed the fact that yep, as an infertile woman or a woman going through pregnancy loss sometimes it’s hard to be around “the other side”.  So let me sum that one up… it’s not you, it’s me.  It’s my personal reaction (often totally justified) to my own, personal lot in life.

But I want to let you in on a little secret.

The women I run to when I’ve had another loss or am struggle with this next round of infertility are my fertile friends.  The ones I run to have three kids in four years or six kids in eight years or foster parents or women who’s lives in one way or another revolve around kids.

Why do I put myself through the agony?

Because they get it.

These are the people I know really understand that what I’m going through is horrible.  They’re the ones who don’t see my broken body as free birth control.  They’re the ones who understand the desire to see a little pink line or a blur on an ultrasound.  They’re the ones, overwhelmed as they often are, who understand that the teenager driving them crazy or the three year old currently using them as a human Kleenex are a blessing.  They celebrate and mourn with me the best because they get it.

I’ve run into this line of thinking that our church doesn’t honor or respect women who struggle with infertility or pregnancy loss.  That we only raise those on pedestals who produce regularly and quickly; the visible martyrs of openness.  A lot of women feel our church doesn’t have a place for the infertile, but I say there’s no better place for an infertile women to carry her cross than surrounded by people who understand that life is a gift and with it comes great responsibility (thanks, Spidey) and often, great disappointment.

Yes, I also surround myself with women who have or who are walking in my shoes – they’re not without necessity in my life.

Yes, it is hard to be infertile and show up every week at church where someone else is sporting a new bump…. again.

Yes, it is hard to see the number of other peoples births that have happened during our infertility struggles creep close to the triple digits.

Yes, it is hard to be happy for them.

Yes, sometimes I need a break from them.

But, they’ve also become my safe place to fall. They’ve become my little monastery of solitude and refuge where it’s easy to find someone who will sit with me, pray with me and offer no advice or probing questions.

It’s not Farmers vs. Cowboys folks.  It’s not a war between the Fertiles and the Infertiles.  We’re all in this together and gosh darn it, if I see another fight brewing between women on the opposite sides of the fence one more time I’m going to do my best Aunt Eller, {proverbial} shot gun and all.

Sing it, Andrew!

10 thoughts on “Territory Folks Should Stick Together.

  1. I love this. Thank you for sharing. I get so overwhelmed with the emotions that come with seeing so many people with several + children. But at the same time, those are also my best friends that I cling to when it gets so hard. I keep reminding and telling myself, it's not your baby that makes me sad, it's the fact that my baby is not here too. Hard for some to grasp, even myself at times.


  2. I wish I could be in this place. I wish that I had a place to fall. I can't deal with the new babies and baptisms and apparently I am missing the gene to make actual real friends. I know people, but I never can get past the friendly wave of a few words of hello.
    So I am dealing with secondary infertility and so, so alone. After 5 years of waiting to see another positive pregnancy test I have no one to talk to, no one who gets it. The few people I know struggling with primary infertility I feel guilty around because they are still struggling to become mothers at all.


  3. This makes so much sense to me, Molly. My super-fertility and your infertility are very different crosses but because they have to do with fertility and faithfulness to Church teaching on sex, marriage, and family I sincerely feel that there is still room for compassion, empathy, and charity.

    And now I too will think of this song. 🙂


  4. This is beautiful. My biggest supporter and dearest friend has had five children in seven years, and when she told me of her last pregnancy, she started crying, because she just GOT how that would bring up so many mixed emotions for me. I think there are a lot of people in my life who don't understand why I can't just be happy with three kids and move on, but my Catholic friends understand. They appreciate the blessing that every child is. Thanks for writing this.


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