Shop the fall collection ➔

“You don’t know what it’s like,” she said, “you don’t have kids.”

She had no idea how those words stung, or maybe she did. She had no idea how badly I wanted her biting words to be untrue, or how hard I was striving toward the dream of becoming a mother.

I collected her cruel comment and added it to my repertoire of triggers for self-pity: When are you gonna start having kids? Have you tried (insert unsolicited well-meaning advice here)? Or It will happen when you least expect it.

She didn’t know about the nights my husband and I cried out to God between sobs. She didn’t know how I envied every pregnant body walking past me at the grocery store.

Every. Single. One.

She didn’t know how many days I came home just to burrow into bed because my feelings couldn’t find me in my sleep. She didn’t know how exhausting it was to maintain a happy facade day to day or how hard it was to feign excitement for yet another pregnancy announcement.

She didn’t know how many times I wondered, when will it be my turn?

She didn’t know how it tested my faith.

“Unexplained infertility” . . . that’s what the doctor called my silent struggle.

That was his conclusion after exams and procedures and hot tears of frustration and months spent on hormones that came with mood swings so bad, they could give a person whiplash. (My poor, sweet, unsuspecting husband . . .)

Related: A Letter To My Husband As We Struggle Through Infertility

He framed his diagnosis in a hopeful tone, patted me on the shoulder, and left the room. I sat there for a moment in silence, soaking in the frigid sterility of the exam room, then mindlessly fumbled for my belongings and left.

I felt so fragile. One thought could send me spiraling into a darkness so deep I couldn’t find a way out. I tried to rely on God like a good Christian girl, but He was silent, so I became bitter. And I couldn’t talk about it because I was ashamed and embarrassed and scared because baring my scarlet letter would mean admitting to its truth.

I didn’t want it to be true.

I still don’t want it to be true.

Every morning I crawled out of my pit to go to work and my darkness followed me there.

You see, I worked in the land of babies and pregnant people. Yes, as if being called “infertile” wasn’t enough, I got to take care of other people’s kids for a living. A cruel form of torture indeedconstantly reminded of the very thing I desired most but would likely never happen for me.

Yes, folks, I was in a dark place.

But I couldn’t let myself wallow in self-pity, there was no room for that kind of thing.

After all, there were babies to love.

Fast forward about seven years from the time we decided we wanted to start our family. With support from my husband, family, friends, and our Heavenly Father (who is good even when I don’t feel good), I’ve risen above the dark cloud that encircled my life at one point.

Don’t get me wrong, that all-consuming darkness is still looming. Threatening that if I let my mind go back to that familiar place, I will find myself plunged deep into that cold and hopeless pit.

Please don’t feel sorry for me, that is not my intent in writing this. I write to bring awareness to a topic that few are willing or able to bring to light. If you are traveling your own journey of similar darkness, please know you are not alone.

RELATED: Wrestling With Infertility and Faith

One thing I love most about our Creator is His mission to make beauty from pain.

He moved Joe’s and my heart from a position of introspection and nursing our own wounds, to a place of redemption.

Our focus shifted to an outward gaze.

A view that opened our hearts and minds to be aware of drug addiction and how it is impacting the lives of families in our own backyard.

We dropped everything to become foster parents because once again . . . there were babies to love.

Not long after, we opened our home to two amazing little people who now know us as Mommy and Daddy.

Our story is still being written, and we haven’t abandoned hope. If there’s anything the past two years have taught us, it’s “where there is great love, there are always miracles.”

I still dream of experiencing every ounce of motherhood. I still long to know what it feels like to have life growing inside of me. I still want to know what a perfect embodiment of my love for my husband would look like. I still have names picked out for a girl and a boy.

I still wonder if they would have their daddy’s ocean eyes and his curls.

RELATED: 

But here in the in-between, there are children living in so much brokenness. Children who need a safe place, a voice, a caring adult.

Children who aren’t so different from me because I’m a little bit broken too.

Right here and right now . . . there are babies to love.

“But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us” (‭‭2 Corinthians‬ ‭4:7‬, ‭NIV‬‬).

Originally published on the author’s blog

Amber Watson

I am a foster and adoptive mother from the sunny state of Florida. I am married and have two children and two dogs. I am a preschool teacher for a teen parent program at a high school and I love what I do. I am a lover of the creative arts and find myself most at peace among the work of our Creator.

Our Friend Steve Is Back! Get Ready for the “Blue’s Clues” Live-Action Movie

In: Kids, Living
man in a trench coat and green tie looking out door

We just got a letter, we just got a letter! Except this time, it’s even better! ’90s kids rejoice, because one of our favorite classic Nickelodeon series, Blue’s Clues, is getting a live-action makeover. Not only that, but it will also feature all three of the show’s hosts, which means our beloved Steve Burns will be returning to the screen after all this time! You may remember, Steve popping back into our lives unexpectedly last year for the 25th anniversary of the show to explain why he had departed so suddenly. He hit us all in the feels when he...

Keep Reading

My Daughter is Almost the Age I Was When My Grandfather First Molested Me

In: Living, Motherhood
Back of little girl's head with braid and ribbon

Trigger Warning: Child Abuse My daughter is swinging, head tilted up to the sky, pondering the shape of the cloud—is it a puppy or a tiger? Or maybe a dragon? She picks a flowering weed from the yard and brings it to me, so proud of her gift for Mama. She sits down and draws one of her imaginary kitty superheroes and the tale of how it saves the day—her lips pursed, then open, then pursed again—concentrating as though it’s the most important story she’ll write in her life. I pull her close, breathe in all of her joy and...

Keep Reading

When Storms Come: How To Help During Hurricane Ian

In: Living
When Waters Rise, You’ll Struggle to Put One Foot in Front of the Other. You’ll Do it Anyway. www.herviewfromhome.com

When waters rise and spirits fall, you’ll listen anxiously to weather reports from your neighborhood. You’ll watch angry waves swirling on the sacred ground of familiar streets. You’ll feel a sickening, sinking feeling in the pit of your stomach. You’ll try to grasp fleeting thoughts of hope that maybe, just maybe, they’re all wrong. Surely it won’t be as bad, as devastating as they say. You’ll try to overpower Mother Nature by sheer force of will. But she is a determined and destructive houseguest. You’ll understand futility.  You’ll go through motions, completing necessary tasks in response to catastrophe. You’ll cry,...

Keep Reading

Things I Wish My Therapist Would Say

In: Living
Little girl looking out window

Things I wish my therapist would say . . .  Welcome. Sit down, have a tea or a big coffee. The latest studies say caffeine does wonders for your anxiety. Now, tell me everything . . .  You’re not crazy. But if you are it’s okay, all the best women in history were crazy. You don’t need medication. But if you do, it’s okay—I can get you some right now. You don’t have to call a thousand pharmacies or drive or wait, here it is. It will work right away and has zero side effects. You don’t have to change...

Keep Reading

It’s a Bird! It’s a Plane! It’s…Jupiter?

In: Living
Boy looking through telescope

It’s a great week to gather the kids and train your eyes on the night sky—the planet Jupiter is bigger and better than ever! Well, at least it’ll look that way this week.   Jupiter reaches what’s termed “opposition” during the final week of September this year, and that makes for some fun stargazing conditions. Quick science lesson time: “opposition” is when a planet is directly opposite the Sun in the sky. And all those orbits out there in space have the Earth sandwiched between Jupiter and the Sun right now too, meaning our Solar System’s gasseous giant is closer to...

Keep Reading

I’ll Find Her Again One Day

In: Living, Motherhood
Mother holding baby at night

It happened again. Took 15 months this time. But I found myself in the same spot I said I’d never be in. Lost, drowning, on the brink of a mental breakdown—however you want to put it. I was gone in motherhood. With the diapers piling up around me, I was getting mad at my husband for nothing, screaming at my oldest son, crying along with the babies, and in a fog. RELATED: To the Woman Who’s Lost Herself in Motherhood I couldn’t do anything—literally—I couldn’t even pee without hearing a demand. When my children were quiet, my house billowed with...

Keep Reading

I Want Friends Who Grow Old with Me

In: Friendship, Living
Friends laughing

When I grow older, I want my friends to come with me. I want us to sit on porches sipping tea and watching the young walk by. I want us to scoot around on our scooters or on golf carts because none of us want to walk back home from the beach. I want us to sit in restaurants and order whatever we want because life has become too short and we know it, so cheesecake it is. RELATE: Life is Too Short for Fake Cheese and Fake Friends I want morning strolls together to get the willies out, and...

Keep Reading

To the Mom In the Trenches: Make Room For Yourself

In: Living, Motherhood
Mother and daughter on beach black and white photo

“I need to make room for myself,” I think quietly as I shove toys aside with my foot and toss the dog-hair-covered blankets onto the couch behind me. This endless carousel of shuffling clutter weighs on me, but I try not to dwell on that fact right now. Clearing a space for a quick strength class between Zoom calls requires almost as much effort as the class itself. Plastic play food and melodic baby toys lay strewn about the room (the whole house, really). Scattered LEGOs and Hot Wheels wait to attack unsuspecting bare feet at any moment. To say...

Keep Reading

“Old” Seems Less Old the Older I Get

In: Living
Mother and teen daughter smiling

Growing up, my grandparents hosted birthday parties that involved all of my dad’s aunts and uncles gathering around the kitchen table with a deck of pinochle cards dealt among them. After a few games, a “lunch” of sandwiches, cake, and hot cups of coffee would be served.  I remember looking at the people gathered around that table—wrinkled fingers raking in cards, deep, scratchy voices calling out bids and naming trump, laughter mingled with German words I didn’t understand. The kids were never invited to the table, only allowed to watch from the outskirts.  We were too young. And they were...

Keep Reading

I Love Being a Mom, But I Miss That Party Girl Sometimes

In: Living, Motherhood
Girl at bar in black tank top

It’s 7 p.m. on a Saturday night. Freshly showered and ready to take on whatever the night brings. I’ve just gotten dressed and am finishing up my makeup when the phone rings. “Hey, I’m about to leave in half an hour. Do you want to meet around 8 p.m.?” “Sure! I’m almost ready. I’ll be there at 8!” I say excitedly. I finish my makeup and start working on my hair when a text comes through. “Hey, Ash! Just wanted to let you know we’ll be there around 9 but we’re definitely going to make it! I can’t wait to...

Keep Reading