Things that are a Book Review: He Remembers the Barren

Tuesday, May 24

I started reading this book about a week after embryo transfer (January 24), which probably wasn't the best idea at that moment (when I started spotting and bleeding more heavily). Well, it took me a while to finish the book which happened to be in April. I am really slow at reading books, and am the type of person that I have to start and finish a book before I can move onto the next one. I also find it hard to just sit and read when I could be cleaning my house, blogging or training/running. Weird Right?! ;)

He Remembers the Barren is by Katie Schuermann, this book is about personal questions women who are termed "barren" have. From questions like "Do I need to be fixed?" to "How long?," Katie, the author, uses stories to help encourage those who are suffering barrenness. She uses the bible as well as examples of Christ to help remind barren women that Christ suffered all.

The book overall was very positive and uplifting and helped remind me that Christ can help me with the pain from infertility. There was one chapter that Katie said things that I didn't necessarily agree with pertaining to IVF. I understood her point of view, but I did not agree with her. By about chapter 2 or 3 I started not liking the term "barren," it left me with an empty, icky feeling. I felt like there could be a better term for barren.

Here are a few of the quotes that I liked:

"Will your faith in Jesus be upset if you do not conceive? Sisters, be wary of such emotional snares that would bind your faith to things temporal rather than to things eternal." This is question that we need to answer: Are we going to be upset at Christ if we don't conceive on the earth? I have a friend who is much older than me adopt 3 or 4 kids because it was cheaper than doing IVF. This friend told me that she has come to terms that she will not conceive during her life here on the earth, but she will know and understand after this life is over, why she was not ever able to conceive. She has such faith and realized that she needed to focus on the eternal perspective rather than the temporal one.

"Some days are better than others...Yet, all it takes is one innocent comment from a stranger, the unexpected sight of a pregnant woman crossing the street... turning our small irritation back into a gaping wound." I cannot count how many times this has happened to me. Where I wake up and I'm feeling good in the morning, but by the afternoon or evening I'm a mess and feel that my infertility wound has been opened once again. I have noticed my wound re-opening more when I'm on social media and see the baby or "trigger" announcements in my feed.

"There is still another way in which God can physically make us mothers, though it means letting go of some of our preconceived ideas of motherhood." This preconceived idea of motherhood, is often thought of as carrying a child in our own womb. We can still be mothers to those children we have adopted. We can still be mothers to those children that are with a mother whose husband has left them/passed on, etc. We can still be mothers to our nieces and nephews, and those children in church who look for a smiling face. There are lots of ways for us to show our mother-like attributes.

"The emotional fatigue of continuing to want something you may never have is draining on any marriage." The first few years Chase and I were married were so hard and draining. We were arguing, I was on anti-depressants, and was seeing a counselor to get through my past. What finally helped us was going to see a counselor together to try and have that desire to make our marriage work. Growing up, one of my friends mom would always say "marriage isn't 'happily ever after' it's you get married and you 'go to work,'" that's what I believe now. Wanting something you may never have, or may never get to experience can be draining on a marriage, but with work and striving to be the best for each other, you can make it work.

"Even if we conceive and adopt, we still carry the painful scars of those empty years of wanting, waiting, and, in some cases, miscarrying." I'm not in that position now, but I want to believe that we will have those scars, and like any scar they serve as a reminder for something difficult you went through. I heard a quote from Dave Ramsey the other day that said "The past hurts less the more you look the other way," and I believe that with all my heart.

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