When Family Planning Doesn’t Go as Planned
By Megan Lacourrege
Many newly married couples dream of what their future families will look like. It can become disillusioning, then, when that plan doesn’t become reality. For some, that means have more children or having them spaced closer than anticipated. For others, like my family, it’s meant the opposite.
Our initial family planning aspirations were dashed when, soon after marriage, we had a very early miscarriage. We hadn’t been aware until then that a loss that early was possible. There was encouragement when we were able to conceive our daughter soon after.
However, when we wanted another child, we became acquainted with secondary infertility. Month after month we waited. When we finally conceived again, we had a miscarriage at 12 weeks. I had never been so devastated.
What made matters worse was having others make assumptions by how our family looked. One person commented that I was “smart” for having only one child. What she perceived as a choice was actually a source of heartache.
More frequently, it was assumed we didn’t want more children: “Well, when are you going to have another?” “She needs a sibling.” “Your daughter’s already 2. I guess you don’t want to have more kids?”
I barely wanted to go into public anymore. I was frustrated and often reduced to tears that my family was not readily accepted as we were.
Yet, aren’t we all tempted to judge other families by appearance? We see the young married couple and anticipate them announcing a pregnancy, not knowing that they are struggling with infertility. We see a family already with a child and falsely believe that conceiving has not been (or will never be) difficult. We see a larger family, but we don’t see the losses they have endured, either of a baby during pregnancy or a child already born.
If you are going through this struggle, please know that you are not alone. Your family is good and holy. God is truly the one leading you. He doesn’t want you to be plagued by the guilt and shame that have been placed upon you. Know that your family is cherished, loved and understood by him, the very creator of family life.