For Girls Only: Empty

It’s Friday and I’m thrilled that my sweet friend, Helen, has written a guest post for the ladies.

Gentlemen, same old rules apply. If you are easily embarrassed or flustered by girl-talk, you’d better get while the getting is good! You may stay—at your own risk. And if you choose to stay, you may comment, as well.

And now, without further ado, here’s Helen:

Psalm 127:3-5 (English Standard Version)


 3Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD,
    the fruit of the womb a reward.
4Like arrows in the hand of a warrior
   are the children of one’s youth.
5Blessed is the man
   who fills his quiver with them!
He shall not be put to shame
   when he speaks with his enemies in the gate.

My husband and I discussed having children before we even became engaged.   We agreed that birth control would be out of the question.  We are both “strict” Catholics.  I put the strict in quotation marks because it sounds so austere.  But we are not stern and austere people.  We laugh and are playful…  Anyhow, we agreed that we would be happy to accept however many children God gave us.   We were kind of hoping He would give us three, but if He chose to give us up to five, we’d be cool with that.  But after five, we’d be curtailing activities that could lead to such blessings big time.

We thought at the time that we were trusting Him fully.  We thought we were being generous in our faith.  We had no idea at the time that years would go by, and we would not have our little blessing.  Some months my period would be very late.  I remember being in the bathroom at work and finding out I had my period forty-five days late.  I cried.  When I came out of the bathroom, the school secretary asked what was wrong.  I told her.   Bless her, she meant well when she said “You’re young.  Maybe next month…”

We went to see a fertility specialist.  I remember the first of many tests.  Bob and I had no idea the test would be so grueling, that the doctor’s assistant would be doing the test, or that I’d be told results that day.   I had him go to work, and I drove myself.  It was a long drive.  This particular doctor’s hospital was located in a far Western suburb.  My mom insisted on going for the ride with me.  Ironic how I thought she’d be of little help, since she couldn’t walk very far at the time, not even with a walker.  It turned out that I was told then that my tubes were closed.   The only thing that kept me from ramming my car into a barrier on the interstate that day was that Momma was in the car with me.  I did not have it in me to commit matricide just because I was depressed.

I got a call from the doctor the next day.  We still had options.  Long story short, after many different treatments, some painful and others merely uncomfortable, it was determined that the only way I’d be able to conceive is through invitro fertilization.  Even then, it was a long shot.  Just as my Church does not allow birth control, she also doesn’t allow for conception without intercourse.   While this option was very tempting to me, I could not ask my husband to go against his conscience.   My conscience was saying “the heart wants what it wants….”

It’s tough.  I feel like a failure as a wife.  Isn’t it my job to put the “arrows” in his hand?  My dear husband has been wonderful.  I offered him out.  I am not sure about whether infertility is grounds for an annulment, but suggested to him that he should check into it, so that at least he will be able to start over, and have a family.  But Bob insists he’d rather be childless with me, than have three precious little ones with someone else.  He says this is covered by the vow “in sickness and in health”, and that he in no way regrets his marriage vows to me.

Still, I ask God why.  Every time I see on the news that someone has abused or even killed her child, I cry out to Heaven “Do you really think I’d make a worse mom?  Really?”

Healing is slow.  I no longer cry daily over being infertile.  Sometimes, though, it is hard to see the precious little ones line up at Church to leave for the Liturgy of the Word for Children.  Or to watch the News.  Sometimes I still pray for a miracle.  

There is no happy conclusion to this story.   I’m less distraught this year than I was last year, and was better last year than the year before, etc.  But I’m still in the midst of struggling with trusting in God’s will for me and my husband in all things.  I’m sorry that this doesn’t end more neatly.

God bless you.  Thank you for reading my story.

***Bob and I have considered adoption.  We were going through the form filling out process just before my mom got sick.  Now that she passed, lots of forms need redoing.  I also need to clear out her things.  I suspect that the inspector would have a problem with me leaving mom’s room as is.  So these plans are held up a bit once again, but are still part of the plan.

You can find Helen on her website (Random Musings) or on Twitter (cleverly disguised as @Helenatrandom).

About Sarah Salter


  1. Thank you for sharing such a difficult story, Helen. I’m sorry that there isn’t a happy ending (yet)… but I know God has a plan for you. I will continue to pray for you and Bob and can’t wait to see the plan unfold…

    Lots of love to you!

  2. Helen, thank you for opening your heart to share such a powerful story. With the help of the Holy Spirit and I know God will soothe every disappointed place inside you and your husband’s hearts. I’m so thankful that no matter what we go through in life, God never leaves us without hope. Blessings to you as you trust in Him.

  3. Thank you for sharing your story Helen. I know it may not seem like it, especially right now, but God does have a plan for you. Just like he does for each one of us. Sometimes our paths seems awfully difficult and almost unbearable, sometimes even lost. He will come through for each of us as we let him. I think the hardest part is being able to let go and let God be the pilot rather than the co-pilot. Lots of love to you, Helen :o)

  4. Oh Helen…that was brave of you to share so personally. Thank you.

    And I’ve wanted to ask you about the adoption plans, but agreed to not ask you about it, knowing you’d update us in your time. Thank you for telling us where things are. I wondered if you’d changed your mind, or just delayed the paperwork, since your mom passed.

    You’re still in my prayers and God is still in the business of miracles.

    Love you.

  5. (((hugs))) I’m sorry to hear about all of your losses and disappointments.

  6. Thank you for your prayers for me and my situation. I greatly appreciate them.

  7. I’m so excited for the prospect of adoption for you! There are so many children out there who would be so blessed to have you and Bob as parents. And maybe one less story for the news to cover. Big ol’ hearts and hugs to you, Helen! You know I love ya!

  8. Helen, thank you for sharing your heart. You will be continually in my prayers as you & Bob pursue adoption. Please keep us posted. There indeed will be a lot more of your story to write.

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