Infertility Questions Answered by My Husband
Infertility Questions Answered by My Husband
Y’all my husband is so sweet and amazing. Several of the women in Moms in the Making had questions that you wanted Colby to answer. Well we started with a live facebook video, but he is now following up with the answers in writing too.
If you have more questions that you want answered, please let us know. Without further adieu, here is Colby!
How do you feel about being so public with your journey?
Because so much time has passed since diagnosis, it’s hard to remember how I felt about Caroline sharing so openly. I can assume I was hesitant since I’m private in most regards, but I think sharing progressed naturally from close family and friends, then outwards to acquaintances and eventually public. In hindsight, the diagnosis can’t hardly be kept private – if a couple is married for two or three years and hasn’t had kids, anyone can safely assume there are issues. A couple who thinks they are keeping the matter secret might only be fooling themselves. Once you can admit this, its time to address worrying about what people will think and fitting in. Contrast this with the absolute freedom you walk in once you are able to fully share your life journey with those who are closest to you.
Recognizing the need for prayer helped, as it’s natural to combine sharing the devastating news with a request for prayer from family or close friends. If your family and friends aren’t believers, then you have an opportunity to share your hope and faith with them when you share the news with them, in place of asking them to be praying for you. If asking for specific prayer or sharing your faith aren’t incorporated with informing someone of the diagnosis, the conversation likely moves to remedies, alternatives, and advice – probably not welcome or helpful when your heart is to receive healing and experience natural pregnancy. In this sense, you have the ability to set the tone of the conversation and create the environment of expectation that the battle belongs to God and he is good and faithful to deliver the victory.
How do you deal with infertility in marriage when it’s with the male?
Male factor diagnosis poses its own challenges to the husband and marriage. It’s extremely difficult for men not to be able to fix a problem or have answers, which speaks to our ability to control. Few things demonstrate our lack of control like this – like most things in life, how we respond is everything. The man of wisdom quickly recognizes their great need and acknowledges and confidently turns to the source of all help, healing, and power. Men with little or no faith in God wander in every manner of devastation and despair before finally coming to the same conclusion. I personally gave this burden to God quite quickly, having gone through a cancer diagnosis earlier in life and experiencing his faithfulness through that trial. While I’m able to share to a certain degree, it won’t look like Caroline’s ability to share and communicate. Personality-wise we are very different in some ways. And just like a man won’t be able to relate to and speak in great detail to the experience of pregnancy and childbirth, expect that your husband won’t have the same experience and understanding when they describe and communicate their infertility perspective to you and to others. Test this for an example – ask one of your friends’ husbands what the pregnancy has been like or what the delivery was like. Depending on their personality, they may be able to describe and converse about it for a few minutes, but if they’re anything like me, you’ll be lucky to get a few sentences summarizing the highlights. Don’t be upset and offended if your husband doesn’t know what to think and what to say. As long as they love and pursue the Lord, and love and pursue you well, then they are handling their essential functions and purposes well – and you can assume their heart is in the right place for desiring healing and pregnancy.
A pivotal point has been jointly sharing the diagnosis and not assigning it to one spouse as the ‘owner’. Caroline has been amazing and gracious in this, never pointing out, lamenting, or weaponizing that pregnancy could possibly be achieved if not for the condition of the spouse. Even entertaining these thoughts, and certainly expressing them, would cause serious harm and divide in the marriage. If its something that’s already present in your marriage, it needs to be addressed, starting with asking God to change your thinking and attitude, and asking for the removal of guilt, shame, and blame that’s been either assigned or accepted.
How does Colby deal with stress and everything else related to infertility?
To me, stress has to do with performance, and in this context one has to take a serious look at what performance entails for us. If you’re not abiding in relationship with the Lord, your performance criteria can be twisted into almost anything, and you can create a crushing, unbiblical load for yourself. This is why your identity and foundation are absolutely critical. When these are set and found in the truth of God’s word, you can quickly assess that you are to love God with all your heart soul and mind, and to love others (Matthew 22:37-39). You are to be fruitful and multiply (Genesis 1:28), and to love your wife by understanding, honoring, and respecting her (1 Peter 3:7). Ok, are you nailing two out of three of those? If not, you are called to pursue those two primary relationships to perfection – by the grace and power of God, not by your own ability. That leaves us to be fruitful and multiply – its not come quickly or easily! Lets take a moment to thank God for his patience when we were embarrassed, angry, depressed, doubtful of his goodness, and poor in loving and supporting our wife. For many of us, that may take a long moment. Back on task – we have a trial in our life, just as we were promised. Since we know God’s word, we know we should call upon him in our day of trouble, because he will deliver us and we will honor him (Psalm 50:15). And we should lean not on our own understanding, but in all our ways acknowledge him, and he will make our paths straight (Proverbs 3:5-6). We can even humble ourselves under his hand, and in due time, he will lift us up (1 Peter 5:6-7! Great thoughts and words, but what are their practical applications and what do they look like in real life? Ask God to show you and to give you wisdom, and most importantly, ask him to do a work in your heart to believe and trust his words. God wants your heart more than he wants your action. Proper action will be inspired and guided by a heart completely given over to God.
Here are some of Colby’s other posts
PS. If you are going through infertility, please head over to my ministry to join my support group!
PPS. Have you picked up a copy of my book? Buy In Due Time, a 60-day devotional for hope + encouragement in the waiting.
PPPS. I created a group on facebook as an extension of my book + blog to discuss anything + everything. Women only! Come join us!