A poem for National Infertility Awareness Week

April 23-29, 2017 is National Infertility Awareness Week (NIAW). The CDC tells us that 15% of couples, more than 1 in 8, struggle to conceive. This seems like a surprisingly​ high number. But as I count those of my closest friends who have struggled with infertility, and run out of fingers on both hands, I know this is sadly a problem that all too many have faced.

I write this post today in honor of NIAW and to add my voice to the voices of many women and men experiencing the difficulties of infertility, who have shared their stories this week.

This is not the first time I have posted about my fertility struggles. You can read my previous posts by clicking the ‘INFERTILITY’ tab above or here: Our Journey to Parenthood, We Are Ready For You, Thankful for those little thingsOur baby journey continues, and Strength and Faith.

As I sit down to write a new post, I ponder what facet of infertility I should write about this time. In my previous posts I have shared our fertility story to date. I have wanted to be open and honest about our journey, and it is cathartic for me to write. I hope my posts might help to dispel some of the taboo surrounding infertility, to help people to understand, to support others who might be experiencing infertility themselves or know someone who is, and to be real about one of numerous struggles we can face as humans. In addition to sharing the details of our experience, and the emotions we have felt, the over-riding theme that kept coming to me was of the lessons I’ve learned that I can share with others.  Lessons on how we can deal with this messy, beautiful thing called ‘life’ – patience, perseverance, gratitude, connectedness, love, and faith, to name a few.

What should I share today? I sit. I close my eyes. I think. I feel. Words start coming into my head. Then the sound of my heart beat, loud and strong. A poem is stirring inside of me. I wait for it to come. The words pour onto the page. This is my poem:

My womb is empty, But my heart is strong.

My womb is empty,
A hollow void,
An empty chamber,
My deepest thoughts and fears,
Echoing against it’s “barren” walls.
Wanting, hoping, waiting.

But my heart is strong.
Thump, thump … thump, thump …
My blood moves through my body,
Like I move through life –

I hear the sound of one heartbeat,
But there is room for two.
I wait,
For the faster beat of another’s,
To join mine,
Creating a symphony.

These compositions* are beautiful,  (* life with children)
Messy, but beautiful,
Louder and faster,
They can make your head spin,
Other times peaceful and soft,
Filling your heart with immense joy.

Sometimes however,
The composer writes a different song.
Choosing His timing carefully,
Waiting longer* to reveal the crescendo, (*infertility)
Some of His pieces wildly different, unexpected*  (*surrogacy, adoption, life without children)
Each vital and brilliant in their own way.

Thump, thump … thump, thump …
My womb is empty,
But my heart is strong.
I feel it in my chest,
Vibrant, healthy
Letting me know that I am ALIVE!

Lydia Kluge 4/29/17

My womb is empty but my heart is strong