Recently, two stories of a friend (and a cousin of a friend) hit me hard. Each reminded me that this world is a broken place with broken bodies and ugly illnesses that rob us of our loved ones. Each also reminded me that while I may struggle with my own ugly and unexplained illness, it may also be a mercy in disguise. Infertility, to me, may be a mercy in disguise. Infertility, tried as it might, did not rob me of motherhood, or of experiencing pregnancy. And, just maybe, it is sparing me other unknown heartaches.

I can only pray that each of the women below, in working through her own story of pain, is experiencing her own basket of mercies in disguise:

1) My friend, who I will call Faith, recently delivered her first child in a very traumatic delivery that nearly cost her life. This was a completely spontaneous, ordinary course, pregnancy. No problems. When it came time to deliver, Faith developed a fever. Her son was born via emergency C-section. Faith developed a uterine infection. Her uterus would not contract. She was bleeding out. She was intubated. Her life hung in the balance. They performed a complete hysterectomy to save her life. She has a miracle son, but she will not be able to be pregnant ever again.

2) My friend’s dear cousin, who I will call Hope. Another completely spontaneous, ordinary course, pregnancy. No problems. A healthy baby boy, who I will call Noah. At 10 months, Noah started having seizures. A month later, he was dead. His life was taken suddenly, and with not much explanation. He had a rare genetic disease that his mother, Hope, gave him. Hope may not be able to have any other genetic children without passing along this same disease.

Today, I am grateful for my two children. And today, my heart aches for Faith and Hope. Although they did not experience infertility, they are having struggles of their own.

All of us are.


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