Information is power. That’s the presumption that drives the incessant desire to gather facts and statistics when couples discover they’ve entered the realm of infertility. But what happens when the data is conflicting and the messages contradictory?
This week, one group of experts announced IVF babies are no more likely than naturally-conceived babies to suffer chronic health problems later in life. The same day, another study declared women’s fertility drops off at a much faster rate than previously imagined, as does egg quality [By age 30, 88% of a woman’s eggs are gone; by age 40, only 3% remain – and are likely to contain a higher proportion of abnormal eggs].
So is the news good, or bad? Should we be encouraged, or disheartened?
This is a particularly difficult question for Type A women. The same vigilant monitoring of relevant information that makes us a success at work, causes tremendous stress during infertility. Each bit of news forces us to adjust our perception of reality, so we can factor the newest variable into our calculations. It’s tiring, but we keep pushing because we tell ourselves it’s critically important.
The problem is, the onslaught of good news-bad news-good news-bad news keeps coming. And the clock keeps ticking. Over time, the constant uncertainty about how this will end – and when – becomes increasingly destabilizing. With each day, the emotional roller coaster seems more and more likely to careen out of control – taking us with it. It’s crazy and exhausting… but what is the alternative?
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you.” Jesus spoke these words as he promised the presence of the Holy Spirit to those who trust him. “Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid” [John 14:27]. How can we possibly experience peace in the midst of infertility? How can we hear statistics and read news reports and not be filled with fear that our dreams won’t be realized?
The apostle Paul provides the answer, “It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life” [Phillipians 4:7]. That new center enables us to focus on whom we trust, rather than what we fear. And from that center, “peace that passes understanding” can radiate in all directions. Faith can gain the upper hand on fear, if we choose this new focal point.
So, what will you choose to think about today, and what will it bring you: panic, or on peace?
Find resources and more cause for hope at PregnantWithHope.com
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