Infertility Prayer Project: Courtney's Story

Today I am really glad to be able to share Courtney's journey with you. I teared up as I first read her story because I can (obviously) relate to her feeling and emotions. Day in and day out. And I love that she is so real. Women often times hold back their true thoughts.

If you are new here and want to know more about the infertility prayer project, please click here.
If you have ever struggled with this journey(or currently are) and are interested in sharing your story, please email me at

I want to start this by thanking Maddie for coming up with an idea like this one. If I’ve learned anything through this time, it’s that infertility can be one of the most painful, loneliest journeys a woman will go on and I love meeting other women who are walking it too for understanding and the knowledge that you aren’t alone.

"The pain [of infertility] is similar to the grief over losing a loved one, but it is unique because it is a recurring grief. When a loved one dies, he isn’t coming back. There is no hope that he will come back from the dead. You must work through the stages of grief, accept that you will never see this person again, and move on with your life.

The grief of infertility is not so cut and dry. Infertile people grieve the loss of the baby that they may never know. They grieve the loss of that baby who would have had mommy’s nose and daddy’s eyes. But, each month, there is the hope that maybe that baby will be conceived after all. No matter how hard they try to prepare themselves for bad news, they still hope that this month will be different. Then, the bad news comes again, and the grief washes over the infertile couple anew. This process happens month after month, year after year. It is like having a deep cut that keeps getting opened right when it starts to heal."

My name is Courtney and I come from the blog With Gratitude. My husband, Jeremy, and I will be celebrating 5 years of marriage this winter but we have been together for a total of 10 years since we started dating our senior year in college. Jeremy is finishing up his PhD in Biochemistry, I work in the Family Courts and together we are raising our 3 year old Yorkie-Poo, Willow, in the great state of Colorado.

We always knew from the beginning of our marriage that we wanted to have children someday. We didn’t want a big family, just maybe one or two, and we weren’t in any rush to get started on it. We both love to travel and decided during our engagement that we would enjoy our first years of marriage by visiting new places together, buying a house, getting Jeremy through the majority of his grad school program and getting established financially.

Life went according to plan right after our wedding. We began our travels, bought a house before our first anniversary, paid off all of our debt and student loans, bought a dog, started a nest egg and began to build a strong foundation for our marriage. While friends and family started their families and pregnancy announcements were announced left and right, we were taking our time and enjoying the moments, just the two of us.

Around our three year anniversary, in the fall of 2011, we decided that it was finally time to take the plunge and start trying for a baby. Like the rest of our planning, we figured that the timing would work out perfect and we would get pregnant right away because that’s what was on the schedule next. A year and a half later and we are finally starting to learn that God doesn’t work like that.

We’ve been learning some hard lessons on trusting in Him and HIS planning while also struggling with patience I’ve never really had to have before. It’s been a long and bumpy road on our infertility journey with better days than others but as time goes on, I’m learning so much about myself and our marriage, I never knew before. I have nothing but patience now as we wait for our first baby to join the family and in the process, Jeremy and I are learning to lean on each other and make the most of this time while we can. We know that we can either wallow is self-pity or we can learn the lessons God is showing us while we try to rely and trust on Him.

I’ve made a list of some of the more important lessons I’ve learned in the last 20 months and thought I would share them on here for other women going through this waiting stage.  They are my Lessons Learned Through Infertility:

There will be bad days. You can choose to fight them, embrace them, or hide them behind a smile but eventually you need to acknowledge that they're going to be there. {Mother’s Day will practically suck the happy out of you for 24 hours.}

  • You never realize how badly you want something until you're faced with the possibility of never having it. Jeremy and I were never that couple who couldn't wait to have a baby and be parents. We actually talked about how scared we were for that stage in our life because we weren't sure we were cut out for the lifestyle. But now, knowing that we might not get to experience the joys and pains of parenthood, we have never been so anxious or scared that we might not have children of our own.

  • It's ok to put boundaries around some relationships in your life. You are going to have loved ones that are SO supportive and sympathetic during this time and they are the ones you run to on your bad days. But there will also be the other side: the ones who don't get it, the ones who seem to make it only worse and the ones you have to block from certain news feeds in order to get through a day. And that's ok. Not everyone understands what it feels like to go through something like infertility and if you need to guard your heart and protect yourself by limiting those relationships then DO IT {and don't allow yourself to feel bad about it!}

  • What once was endearing and fun to watch your husband play with little ones will become an open wound when you see him wrestling, carrying, playing and laughing with your nieces and nephews. Sometimes you will find yourself wanting to surround yourself with anyone and everyone who doesn't have kids.

  • Every woman is SO different on this journey. Some are more gracious about it. Some are more patient. Some want to hole up in their bedroom and cry until there are no more tears. You can't judge how another woman will handle the situation because there is no "rule book" on how to deal with the struggle of getting pregnant. If you want to cry, cry. If you want to scream and throw a fit, then be my guest. Just don't take that fit out on the husband, I learned this lesson the hard way about 6 months into our journey.

  • Which brings me to my next lesson, {and I can't say this with enough importance} turn to him during this time. Things like this can either make or break a couple and I've heard numerous stories of married couples splitting up because of their inability to have children. One blessed and amazing thing that has come out of this is my marriage. I've always loved my husband, more than words can even say, but the last 17 months have brought us so much closer together than we ever were before. I've had to face the reality that it may only be the two of us in our family and when I look at that point blank, I know I will still be very happy because I am SO lucky and blessed with the husband God gave me. We've come together in a new way and it makes my heart happy to know that no matter what our future holds, at least he'll be by my side, holding my hand along the way. I've said this before and I'll say it again; God may not give me children but he gave me one hell of a husband to make up for it.

  • Find things that help during certain times of the cycle. Jeremy learned early on that any type of trip away from home and our normal life did wonders for my spirit. We've started planning little get-aways for just the two of us to help us get through some of the more difficult cycles AND it also gives me something to look forward to if I don't get pregnant that month {bonus!} My period came? Now I can drink as many margaritas as I want on the Mexican resort next week! Another failed cycle? At least I will be able to enjoy our hotel weekend without worrying about anything going wrong. No positive pregnancy test? That means I get to go skiing! Get-aways are what work for me but they may not necessarily work for you. I have an "internet friend" who has found comfort in shopping and buying clothes in her itty-bitty size to make her feel better about not having a belly {and I have to admit, I use that one sometimes too.}

  • Every pregnancy announcement or picture of a newborn baby on social media is sometimes too heart wrenching to bear. There's the "block" option for a reason and it's ok to take large amounts of time off social media as needed.

  • You'll find you have violent thoughts when you want to punch some women when they complain about their pregnancy or motherhood.

  • No matter how many times you see it, the monthly visit from Aunt Flow will ruin your day {and possibly the entire week.} Word of advice: you might want to stay away from family and friends until your pity party is over. Otherwise, you might end up saying something you will regret and have to apologize for later.

  • You'll never stop praying that this month will be different.

  • Your faith and relationship with God will change. My older sister, Christine, has said many times before that she never felt closer to God than when she was going through her infertility. Her walk became so strong and her faith went through the roof. I... well I'm having a harder time of it. I can probably say with certainty that this is the weakest my faith has ever been. I have times I'm so angry with God, I threaten to quit everything altogether. I have to actually fight to remember there's a reason we have been chosen to go through this and He's not doing it out of vengeance or punishment towards us.

I’m sure there are many more lessons to be learned but these are some of the ones that have jumped out on me when thinking about infertility. I can’t wait to read some of the other stories women will be sharing on here. Thanks for hosting Maddie!

Thanks again, Courtney! I will be raising you up in prayer every week. and cannot wait to hear from you when your hurdle is a thing of the past.
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