Dual Citizenship

by lisha epperson

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Have I lost my infertility card?  After trying  to conceive for 14 years, my previously barren body jumped ship, deciding to take a dip in the waters of fertility.  I had a baby. A beautiful, healthy baby boy.  I lived the miracle,  but have I lost all memory of the pain, the tears, the ugly ducking, broken doll feeling that infertility is uniquely qualified at transferring on a woman.  No my friend, it is still with me and that is why I came back to get you.  The greatest gift of survival  is having  the honor of reaching back through the turbulence of my own ride to help you see the way through yours. I clearly recall all of it so that I can be in touch where you are – so that I can find – you. You, who have also been a source of encouragement for me.  You, who unknowingly,consistently contributes to the reconstruction of my healing heart. Blogging about this experience made me realize that although I have given birth and am now no longer infertile by definition, my heart, my still infertile heart is yet being healed. I am daily being strengthened to serve and would consider my experience a complete waste of time if I couldn’t find a way to allow God to turn what the enemy meant for my destruction into a helping hand for someone else’s healing.  A healing so powerful it ricochets back and forth in a state of perpetual grace. I am captivated by the beautiful reciprocity of this exchange.  It is what amazes me most.  I give, I get. I give, I get.

In my journals I always referred to infertility as being female.  She was one of those acquaintances that seemingly asked for my cool stares of distrust.  She would show up unannounced in the oddest of places and quite simply sucker punch me.  Some days, I was on the lookout but most days, I was making every effort to live my life without the spectre of her shadow casting its gloom over my supposed sunny days.  On those days, she left me doubled over in pain seeking relief in solitude because I thought no one understood.  I felt alone.  I wished to God I had someone to talk to about this thing that was ruining my life, who would walk this road with me…but would you really wish that on a friend?  The one person I connected with  was a source of unspoken comfort but we were so engrossed  in our own personal stories that we fell victim to that secret society of infertility phenomenon,  where even the members of this global organization won’t call upon each other for help.  I know this has changed and continues to – but 15 years ago ?  Yeah…crickets.  I was beyond thrilled to find so many women blogging and tweeting about their experiences online and am thrilled to add my voice to the ongoing dialogue.

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I am requesting dual citizenship.   I can’t choose.  My allegiance  to each side is multi-layered and complex.   This “fork in the road” presents a choice I cannot  make.  I was granted the opportunity to know intimately the precious womb-time a woman gets to experience when carrying a child.  I was also graciously given children by women, who have that sacred time alone, as memory of the babies they bore.  The largest part of my journey however,  has been spent in the trenches.  I’ve completed boot-camp, special ops training and have been promoted to general.  Infertility was made known to me and I have all the qualifications of a senior warrior.  My time spent in the fertile world was a test of faith to be sure, presenting its own battery of exams – all of which I felt I barely passed.  I spent a lot of time praying for a do-over. But I rest now, knowing in my heart, that the time spent on each side of the road had purpose. Thankfully, I know that a greater love is at work here and it keeps me focused, on my post and on course. I am here.  If you are going through infertility and need to pray, talk, cry, complain, or yell….I am here.

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