If you have ever walked the painful path of infertility—or walked with someone who has—then you know something of the grief and anguish that many couples experience when they are unable to conceive. That is why I love Karen Swallow Prior’s recent essay in Christianity Today, “The Hidden Blessing of Infertility.” It is well worth your time to read and share. Here’s an excerpt:
I was 26 years old when my husband and I threw away the birth control.
But the babies didn’t come.
When I was diagnosed with endometriosis—likely the culprit in my inability to conceive—I had corrective surgery. My doctor said I would be pregnant within six months.
Still the babies didn’t come.
My husband and I decided that further procedures were off the table. Although we are Baptists, we believe in the principles set forth in the Catholic Church’sDonum Vitae (“The Gift of Life”), which distinguishes between medical interventions that assist the marital union in achieving pregnancy and interventions that replace the procreative marital act. We agree with the distinction made by some Christian ethicists and theologians between procreation and reproduction: While reproduction can be achieved any number of ways, procreation takes place in the mystery of two bodies becoming one flesh and producing another body.
These were our convictions. In adhering to them, I was ready to cope with what would be lost in doing so. I never imagined what would be gained.