Infertility gives marriage a brand new meaning, one most couples don’t anticipate ever having to deal with. It’s not part of the vision or dream of starting a family.

It’s never in the plans.

Infertility is just, well, not fun. It takes you and your marriage places you never thought it would go . . .

To places filled with guilt, shame and envy. Guilt for feeling like the one who is broken. Shame for feeling like your body is incapable of doing what it is supposed to do. And envy of those it comes easily to.

To a place of heightened insecurities and brokenness. Will someone ask me if I look pregnant in this outfit? Am I really a woman if I can’t do the basic thing a woman is biologically supposed to be able to do? Am I broken beyond repair?

To places of depression and anxiety. A place of defeat and loss. A place of worry and doubt.

Infertility brings with it emotional extremes. What are simple joys for mothers of babies can be like daggers to the heart of a yearning wannabe mama.

A beautiful pregnancy announcement can produce a flood of tears. Watching a news report on infant abuse ignites an anger you never knew you could feel toward another human being. A tote of second-hand maternity clothes can cause a meltdown.

Infertility is ugly.It has a way of exposing all of our flaws. Our fears. Our doubts. Our weaknesses in our faith.

It takes us to hard places. It gives us no guarantees. There is no concrete answer or quick fix solution.

It’s not a fun place to be.

But it does take your marriage to a whole new level. It can be intimidating to get so real and vulnerable with one another, to let down your guard and bare your soul. But it’s also eerily beautiful.

Now, please understand, I’d never wish the struggle of infertility on any couple.

But there is beauty to be found in the ashes of such a struggle.

If you can push yourself to peer through the hard stuff to find that beauty . . . to focus on the blessings in disguise.

My big, burly man of a man . . . he has the biggest heart. I’ve seen it ache for mine. I’ve seen his guard come down in ways I never have before. We’ve talked fears and dreams and hopes and faith more in the last few years than in our entire 10 years of being married.

We’ve envisioned a future since the beginning of our marriage and we are working hard together to bring that vision into reality. And we’ve had to shift that vision at times. Infertility has made us look at it from a different angle.

We’ve lived a beautiful, messy life through this struggle.

We’ve fortified our marriage on strength and intention and faith. I’ve neverfelt closer to God. And I’ve neverfelt closer to my husband.

We’ve made plans for our family-to-be. We’ve changed and adjusted and reworked those plans.

We’ve walked the valley of infertility together. And we’re still in it.

Yeah, infertility . . . it is ugly.

But there is beauty there too, if you have the courage to search for it.

Originally published on the author’s blog 

Lacey Westerby

Lacey Westerby is the Country Wife behind Country Wife Chronicles (CWC), a blog that savors the stillness of a simple country life. Lacey writes blog posts to help her readers seek out stillness and simplicity, revel in the contentment of country living, and embrace the role of a Wife on Fire for her marriage. With her own recent diagnosis of endometriosis, the Country Wife is now sharing her story to help spread awareness.