I'm Officially Giving Our Unborn Child to God

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This is the sort of life experience that pales in comparison to what other couples are going through with their unborn children (even now), but it seems like it’s worth noting: we are Catholic and we may not have a child.

A year ago, I thought this out in tears.

I could still be upset if I thought it through too much, but God has given me too much to begrudge him this.

And besides, I only had to chuckle when I realized that of the Big-3 childless women in the Bible (Rachel, Sarah, and Hannah) one is my real name and the other I unknowingly chose as a pen-name.

Could it be God was telling me something from the start?

God gives and takes fertility a lot of times throughout the bible. Starting, for me, with Mary. The ultimate gift with the ultimate acceptance. But what does it mean that some women receive (and can receive) that gift, and others can’t?

Millions of women have gone before me to talk about the pros, cons, ups, downs, and emotional crises that comes with infertility. But now it’s my turn to reach over and let everyone know that it’s going to be okay.

We only think that we have control over our fertility. And we only think that we want, deserve, will get, or need the family we think we do.

Copyright (2016) by Pexels, CCO.

Copyright (2016) by Pexels, CCO.

With my husband’s unending support, I have made the difficult (and yet transformative and freeing) choice to officially give our unborn child to God and to gently stop investing emotional energy in the prospect of being childless.

I am in my early 30s with a medical condition and a fear of pregnancy, and that’s okay. Everything that’s happening is what needs to happen for my husband and me to become the people we were made to be.

The guiding principles that have brought this feeling into my heart? The knowledge of the following two Truths:

If we were meant to have a child right now, we would have one.

As so many stories in the bible show, seriously nothing can stop God from providing a baby when it needs to happen. And…

If we were meant to not have a child in our marriage, no amount of physical health or psychological healing could change that fact.

If parenting and family is not our road to salvation, the only thing that would come of it is selfishness and the false pride that we are living the life we choose to live. Neither of those things are good, so we can only conclude that a baby may not be a part of our spiritual completion (no matter how much the secularly-motivated desire for motherhood might move me).

Obviously I can’t speak to how other women do or should experience infertility, but I am curious. Is anyone else on this road? How are you approaching or framing your experience?

Copyright 2016 Sarah Greesonbach

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About Author

Sarah Greesonbach is a writer living in Virginia and a "recovering Catholic" turned Theology of the Body enthusiast (is that a thing yet?). After growing up pretty darn secular, she writes about rebuilding a Catholic view of sexuality, marriage, and pregnancy at Life [Comma] Etc.

2 Comments

  1. Hannah Jean, how beautifully you have accepted this cross and with what wisdom.
    My problem was sort of the opposite: my husband and I were pregnant the first month of marriage and had 3 in three years and a day. He was still is college. Needless to say, he didn’t finish his studies; he felt it his responsibility to be the provider of his family. Now he is supporting a family of 11 without a college degree, but somehow God multiplies the loaves and fishes and all the bills get paid.
    Ultimately, though, our quandaries are the same – the struggle to give God our fertility. Let me also encourage you by saying, I gave birth to healthy twins at 40 and one more at 43. My husband’s godmom got married at 19, wanted children from the beginning, finally resigned herself to God’s will, opened a home and center for pregnant teens, then at the age of 40 had twins, too.
    I do not know what God has in mind for you and your husband, but I know He is never outdone in generosity. God will bless you in ways greater than you can imagine.

    • Thank you so much Kelly! Accepting is the key word there. I know I could have fought it for a long time and been completely miserable.

      Your large family is an inspiration to us! But I understand how stressful that must have been to have so many so quickly and not quite catch your breath about it. So happy to hear you and your husband have made it work!

      Thank you also for sharing about your later-in-life babies! I can appreciate how many people are having babies later in life that turn out just fine. Patience is the name of the game!

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