Infertility and laughter are words not often used together in the same sentence. And certainly, a couple's struggle with infertility is not a laughing matter. But every once in a while, a funny conversation occurs that makes one smile, if not laugh.
One such instance happened at Mass...of all places... this past weekend.
My husband was on-duty on Saturday (24-hour shift), but our family was assigned to carry up the Offertory Gifts and so my three little ones and I attended Mass by ourselves. It also happened to be the weekend of my husband's and my wedding anniversary.
Since we had arrived early, Father Pat, our Pastor, put my two older kiddos to work greeting parishioners and handing out bulletins. Sitting alone in the pew with just our youngest, two sweet little "old" ladies sat down in front of me.
They oohed and aaaahed over Luke and then somehow it came up in conversation that Sunday was my wedding anniversary.
So little "old" lady #1 says: "How many years?"
To which I say, "Eighteen".
Little "old" lady #1 replies, "Eighteen. Don't you just have babies? What did you do all those years?"
For the first time, ever, I was able to simply look her in the eye with my head held high, smile, and say, "Infertility".
Chime in Little "Old" Lady #2 who says, "WHAT DID SHE SAY? SHE CAME EARLY?" And yes. She yelled it. (I don't think her hearing aid worked properly.)
Little "Old" Lady #1 then says, "SHE SAID IN.FER.TIL.I.TY," so loudly that not only could Little "old" lady #2 hear, but so could every other parishioner at Holy Family!
I wanted to die. Laughing. And it was all I could do to stifle that giggle.
Is infertility funny. No. But gosh darn it, we just need to laugh at ourselves and the situations we find ourselves in at times.
After four losses, my husband and I were blessed with Mary and then Benjamin. A fifth loss occurred between Benjamin and Luke.
And Luke. A gift from God a mere 3-weeks before my 41st birthday and 17th wedding anniversary.
So, what did we do all those years?
We loved, we lost, we loved, we grew, we loved, we grieved, we loved.
And we thanked and honored God.